Issue 145, April 2015
Celebrating global diversity
​NTU alumni experience a colourful blend of cultures at the NTU International Alumni Dinner 2015

This year's NTU International Alumni Dinner returned with a sumptuous eight-course banquet at Yunnan Garden Restaurant at NTU’s one-north campus with a programme packed with cultural performances and stage games to delight the 120-strong crowd comprising alumni, faculty, staff and student performers.

Amongst over 190,000 alumni, more than 20 per cent hail from outside the little red dot – in 146 different dots on the map, to be precise. Some of them attending the dinner came in beautiful traditional costumes such as Indonesian batik shirts, Indian saris and Burmese longyis, showcasing their countries' colourful customs.

The evening began with an impeccably observed minute of silence for the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, whose contribution to the development of NTU’s modern campus was recognised by all in attendance.

Guest-of-Honour for the evening, Professor Er Meng Hwa, NTU's Vice-President for International Affairs, began the evening’s festivities by speaking about the growing regard the University enjoyed internationally.

He highlighted NTU's remarkable accomplishments in international university rankings and provided updates on the University's other developments.

Throughout dinner, cultural diversity was on full display with performances from a variety of student groups reflecting the best of the region and beyond, with Malaysia, Vietnam and China among the many countries represented by the performers.

Students from Pelajar Indonesia NTU (PINTU), an Indonesian student club, donned traditional batik shirts as they performed two beautiful songs to a rapt audience, connected by their shared memories of their time at the University. Another standout act was a swashbuckling martial arts show, Hidden Dragons, put on by Malaysian undergraduates.

Whilst the performances received the loudest cheers of the evening, some in attendance spent the evening reminiscing about their time in NTU.

Colleagues and fellow alumni Mr Chee Tuck Keong and Mr Gordon Chan, both financial services consultants with AIA, only found out when they met at their workplace that they had graduated a year apart from NTU's School of Electrical and Electronic Enginering (EEE), with Mr Chan one year ahead in 2012.

Mr Chee, a Singaporean, said that he still meets up regularly with the friends he met while staying in hall in NTU, and gets tips on various customs and traditions he should observe during business trips to neighbouring countries.

Another highlight of the evening was the Best Dressed competition. 36-year-old Bangladeshi alumnus Mia Md Zakir Hossain clinched the Best Dressed award in a clay-toned kurta, when the audience applauded loudest for the former ship captain, who is completing a two-year Masters in Maritime Studies programme at NTU's School of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE).

The evening ended with a lucky draw, with winners walking away with some very attractive prizes.

© Nanyang Technological University Singapore