Dining at SHHO “HOME”
MENG Fan Yi, Lloyd (Faculty of Law, LLB Legal Studies, Year 1)
My name is Lloyd Meng, a student of Law at the CUHK and an extremely satisfied first-year student of the S. H. Ho College. “Communal dining” and “Full residence” – these two phrases alone invoke a feeling of home and family: somewhere where a student can truly feel at ease and comfortable. It is this, along with other essential qualities, which makes the S. H. Ho College one of most integral parts of my university experience.
These two qualities were what initially attracted my interest in the college and it has not disappointed. The first communal dining session took place during the orientation camp for the college. Although some people still felt apprehensive towards other students they were unfamiliar with at the college, the atmosphere at the first communal dining session was one that helped unify everyone and helped bring the college together. The atmosphere and the knowledge that everyone in the room was a part of the same college helped incorporate a sense of ease between students in knowing that they were all part of the same, large family at the CUHK.
Before I explain further, allow me to clarify one point. There are three types of dining events at the S. H. Ho college: Communal Dining, Cultural Dining, and High Table Dinners. The most common of these is Communal Dining, where the whole college gathers to share a meal together. Cultural Dining is the next in line, essentially a communal dining session with a message or theme to educate college students in some cultural aspect. And lastly, High Table Dinners, formal events which require proper dress and feature guest speakers.
It is always a pleasure to attend Communal Dining sessions. Being in the presence of professors and other students in the college every week encourages people to meet each other and become a much more tight-knit group of friends than usual. Personally speaking, simply attending the Communal Dining sessions has helped me to meet many of my friends within the college, and I’m sure the same is true for many people. Cultural Dining, on the other hand, is slightly more important in the sense that there is also an important cultural message associated with the meal. The messages have a wide range of topics, from the more casual orientation sharing sessions at the first dinner, to the bridge-building opportunity in Mainland China as part of the latest Cultural Dining session. And finally, the first High Table Dinner was a very grand event. Three long tables filled with students, and a table with the guests and MC’s at the front. The atmosphere in the hall was particularly impressive, and it was interesting to see students from other colleges looking into the hall wondering what we were doing. It felt impressive to be a part of something that was so beautifully presented and structured, and gave a sense of pride to all of the students that were in attendance. Everyone got the chance to sit with their academic mentors assigned from the college as well, so there was a chance to interact with their mentors and fellow mentees in a more formal, distinguished setting. I must not forget to mention, finally, that the food, the most important aspect of the dining sessions, is always delicious, and everyone always eats their fill!
WANG Boya (ASLE Stream, Year 1)
The Communal Dining held every week at our college helps sweep away our homesickness and the atmosphere there encourages us to play more, learn more, and therefore, enjoy more. I will never forget the steamed Shanghai buns that my SHHO peers brought me when I was absent from a dining session, nor the happiness that we shared at the table and the games we played in the canteen.