Don’t rain on my parade, as the hit song from Funny Girl chants. If ever there was a moment where cringe-worthy clichés could be excused, NUS Rag 2013 made way for that cry of passion. The event on August 7 got off to a wet start as rain washed down on UTown Green on the morning of the event. It was a small but unwanted welcome gift for the 55-year long tradition’s inaugural year at UTown.
The rain did not last long, and quickly made way for the confetti rainfall that showered on the enthusiastic crowd at the end of the first performance. RAG, which stands for Receiving and Giving, is an annual event with the pomp of painstakingly handmade floats and dance performances, meant to thank the public for their generous donations during Flag Day.
This year’s theme, ‘EXtending Love, EXperience NUS’, was best encapsulated in the bustling crowd. Spotted amidst the fanfare were children playing and even a couple getting their wedding photos taken. British Petroleum and 100 Plus sponsored Rag 2013 and Minister for Education Heng Swee Keat graced the event as Guest of Honor.
Besides the spanking new locale, several changes also took place this year. Lorries, traditionally used to transport the floats, were done away with. Instead, students had to push their floats towards UTown Green.
But more significantly, the award system was updated. Previously, there would be an overall winner for the faculties and halls, as well as separate awards such as Best Creativity Award given out. This year, each faculty and hall walked away with an Appreciation Shield and a prize for their efforts – bronze, silver, and gold.
“It’s just like SYF (Singapore Youth Festival),” an emcee quipped.
However, some were a little skeptical about the new award system.
“I think it’s good, but it’s also a little weird that halls and faculties are not judged separately,” said Phoebe Xie, a final year student at the Department of Real Estate who has attended Rag for the past three years.
She added: “It may not seem so fulfilling anymore, because among the gold winners, there’s nothing to distinguish your faculty as the best in NUS.” But as the emcees emphasized, ‘everyone’s a winner’
With all the superlatives tossed around as students from all participating bodies celebrated, one thing is clear: changes or not, the spirit of Rag and NUS stands strong.
The prizes given out for 2013 are:
- Kent Ridge Hall + Sheares Hall
- School of Design and Environment
- Faculty of Science
- School of Business
- School of Medicine
- Faculty of Law
- King Edward VII + Raffles Hall
- University Scholars Club
- Faculty of Engineering
- Eusoff Hall + Temasek Hall
- Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
- Faculty of Denistry
- School of Computing
Most Environmentally Friendly Participating Body
This award was given out by Students Against Violation of Earth (SAVE).
- Faculty of Science