Science - December 15, 2005

Chinese karaoke party

It was just like an authentic karaoke bar in Beijing – about one hundred students, mostly Chinese, were at the karaoke party organised by the Chinese student association CASSW on Wednesday last week at the International Club.

The karaoke event was an important contest as it was a preliminary round to the national final in Amsterdam. Not all visitors were aware of this though: most just came to listen, clap and cheer for their fellow students. A total of eleven Chinese singers performed during the two-hour show. They sang popular Chinese songs and the lyrics were projected on the screen behind them. To make things more romantic, all students who performed a love song received kisses and a bouquet of flowers from someone in the audience during the instrumental break in their song. Most performers proved to be good singers, although the audience clearly enjoyed it when a singer missed the odd high note.

Among the Chinese students karaoke, or KTV as they call it, is well known. Biotechnology student Cheng Tao: ‘It is very popular among young people. In the big cities they sometimes go to karaoke buildings where they rent a room to sing with classmates or good friends. It’s like going bowling with your family or friends.’ For the handful of Dutch students who attended the event it was a new experience. But after the contest they bravely followed the example set by their Chinese classmates, and like their fellow contestants they got kisses and a bouquet. / JH

Re:act