Staff and students of WOU enjoyed a series of exhilarating Indian dance performances during the Deepavali gathering organised by the full-time on-campus learning (OCL) students at the main campus today.
The evening kicked off with the breaking of coconut, a customary traditional practice for any auspicious occasion. This was executed perfectly by Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye on the road at the edge of the foyer behind the CSU office.
Next was the lighting of the oil lamps with candles undertaken by Prof Ho, Chief Operating Officer Mr Yeong Sik Kheong, Deputy Vice Chancellors Prof Dr Zoraini Wati Abas and Prof David Ngo Chek Ling, followed by a procession of several University staff and students.
The lighted oil lamps and the peacock ‘kolam’, a floor drawing created with broken rice/rice flour, lent an air of festivity to the gathering. Peacock, the national bird of India, is commonly used in kolams as symbols of beauty, glory and refinement.
The emcee, Yeap Mun Keat, Vice President of the OCL Student Council, introduced the first act, a solo Indian classical dance presentation. Next was the kolattam or ‘sticks dance’, with the dancers holding sticks in each hand and beating them to create rhythmic sounds.
The function witnessed a few fast tempo group performances, with the ladies clad in sarees and the guys in their jippa and vesti outfits. The dancers even adorned sunglasses in a few dance sequences to give it that extra authenticity.
Students and staff feasted on generous helpings of fried meehoon, chappati, dhall gravy and snacks like vadai and murukku.
Among those in attendance were Regional Operations & Marcom Director Mr K H Chong, Acting School of Business & Administration (SBA) Dean Prakash V Arumugam, and School of Humanities & Social Sciences Deputy Dean Jasmine Emmanuel.