NUS Rag Day (8th August 2008)

08/08/08 not only commemorated the opening of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, it was also the day the National University of Singapore (NUS) held it’s annual Rag Day.

A brief introduction to what Rag Day is all about. First of all, it has nothing to do with the form of ragging we find in our local universities in Malaysia (which involves both mental and physical abuse of university freshmen by seniors). On that day, the various faculties and halls of residence of NUS will display their own floats built by recycled and unwanted materials. On top of that, a short performance will be staged by each of them in front of their own respective floats. The performance and float design will be judged and there are various awards to be given out to the best floats, best presentation, etc.

School of Design & Environment (SDE)'s static presentation

I don’t know too much about the history of the whole thing (you might wanna Google for it if you’re curious) but it is supposedly a day to show our appreciation and gratitude to the general public for their kind donations on Flag Day. I emphasized on the word “supposedly” because I personally feel that Rag Day has become more of a competition among the halls and faculties to vie for glory by winning the coveted awards. Besides, there wasn’t much of the general public among the audiences anyway.

Temasek Halls static presentation

Temasek Hall's static presentation

On Rag Day, expect to see beautiful and elaborate floats, hand-made by the students themselves. It’s really quite hard to believe that these floats were built from recycled and unwanted stuff.

Eusoff Hall Float

Also, not forgetting the pretty girls in their beautiful costumes and make up.

I don’t have any photos of the live performance as I did not have a media pass. Most of my shots were taken during the static prejudging which is a period when the judges visit each float to get a closer look on things. Some dancers during the performance will have to remain in a stationary position during this period hence the usage of the word ‘static’.

King Edward VII Hall's static presentation

Kent Ridge Hall (KR) pretty much swept most of the awards including the Chancellor’s Shield for Overall Champions. A strong performance for Flag Day coupled with a detailed and beautiful float helped them clinch the title despite strong competition from the other halls.

Kent Ridge Hall float

As for my hall, Sheares Hall, we won the Most Environmentally Friendly Float award. It’s not as prestigious as the Chancellor’s Shield, but an award is still an award. We had our hall band hidden inside the float which was to be unveiled playing some musical instruments during the performance. I thought that was a very original and creative idea. Hats off to all Raggers and people who have contributed to building the float.

Rag Day 2008 was a fun and emotional day. I was dead tired at the end of the day… with a bad case of sunburn.


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