Written by: Wen Qi and Hiba
Edited by: Gan Pei Zoe
With respect to Malaysia’s preventive measures to the new Coronavirus (COVID-19) in prioritizing the health and safety of the public, Sunway University Chinese Cultural Society (SUCCS) had officially announced the cancellation of their event, the Sunway Chinese Cultural Night (SUCCN) 2020 <Nascentia>, which was supposed to be held on 23 April 2020 (Thursday) at Jeffrey Cheah Hall, Sunway College.
Even though the event had to be unfortunately canceled, members from the Echo Media Event Write-Up department have taken the initiative to interview the committee members from SUCCS about the juicy details of the event.
Firstly, the theme for SUCCN 2020 was “Nascentia”. According to the committee members, “Nascentia” is a Latin word derived from the word “Nascence” which means coming into existence and beginning to display signs of future potential. From that, “Nascentia” is a world where everything is constantly changing, where old stories die, while others live on, and more which are yet to be born. The word could be used to reflect the heritage of the Chinese culture nowadays where descendants have started to forget their own precious and distinct identity.
As a little trivia, the Chinese culture has actually been one of the world’s oldest cultures, tracing back to five thousand years ago. The long history of it does not only act as a strong and solid background for Chinese civilization but it also plays a role in strengthening the bond among Chinese people. However, with the change of time, the interest and faith in the Chinese culture have started to fade away due to the invasion of modern customs.
Thus, SUCCN 2020 <Nascentia> hoped to present to all, a medium or a platform to stimulate every individual to carry out their responsibility as the future generation in affirming the “Chinese Nascentia” and imprinting the great ethos of Chinese culture deep in their hearts.
With much consideration of this event, clearly, SUCCS had put a lot of effort into making the event a success. SUCCN 2020 committee members had started planning the event since December 2019 with a total number of 61 organizing committees. The preparation for SUCCN 2020 began with an early Promotional Campaign 1.0 where 100 early bird tickets had been sold. SUCCS was also expecting around 1000 people to turn up for the event.
The plan was to deliver valuable and educational messages in the form of a stage play in hopes to impress the audience and to invoke reflections in the audience regarding the messages delivered. Besides that, an event wouldn’t be an event without any special VIPs. So, SUCCN 2020 had intended to invite YB Puan Teo Nie Ching (Member of Malaysian Parliament), YB Tuan Nga Kor Ming (Member of Malaysian Parliament for Teluk Intan), YBhg Puan Sri Datin Seri Dr. Susan Cheah (The Honorary Life President of SUCCS) and the two teacher advisors of SUCCS who are Mr. Augustine Wong Chung Howe and Dr. Goh Yi Sheng as special guests.
Here’s a little sneak peek of what would have gone down on the night of the event. The SUCCN committee members had planned to construct a time tunnel aura which would help to enhance the audience’s imagination when following the storyline of the stage play. Although this was a challenging task, it was worth the effort in helping to deliver the message of the importance of Chinese culture and inheritance more effectively to the audience. This was important to them as they aimed for the play to remind the audience to go back to their roots – exploring the origin of Chinese culture and achieving the purpose of inheritance so that the Chinese culture will not fade away with time, ensuring cultural preservation.
All of this excitement was planned to take place on the 23rd of April. Of course, we now know that by then, the whole country was under the COVID-19 MCO. At the time of planning, however, the fate of the event was still unclear. Upon receiving word of the virus, the SUCCS team was tossing around ideas on how to adapt to the sudden changes but it wasn’t until the 20th of April, 3 days into the first phase of the MCO, that they officially announced the cancellation of the event. Although. at the time, there was still a chance of things resuming to normal, the committee decided that the right thing to do was not to risk the wellbeing of their attendees and they eventually announced the cancellation of the event.
Then came the next challenge – the cancellation itself. The committee knew that they must adapt to the changes quickly to tie up any loose ends and to make sure the cancellation goes smoothly. Refunds were arranged and the public was informed. Thankfully, the attendees were very understanding as everyone was on the same boat – unsure of where the situation was headed and prioritizing safety above all. In support of its hard-working SUCCN 2020 committee, SUCCS arranged a small farewell party for all the members online as a gathering for them to work through what happened and to share their thoughts and feelings.
It is nice to see the committee members being supportive of each other and handling such a major change of events with grace. Almost everyone’s lives and plans were majorly affected by the outbreak in the past few months, but it is important now more than ever to look at the bright side and to appreciate the little things in life. The committee members were grateful for the public’s encouragement and support and for the chance to rest and plan more for the future of SUCCS. Please stay tuned to see what SUCCS has in store for everyone!