Posts Tagged ‘National Week’

National Week Bidding Day

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

On 11 May, INSEAD students across both campuses held the National Week bidding day for September to December. In the two periods over these four months, four National Weeks are going to be held – and given that there are obviously many more nationalities of students present than there is space for national weeks every year, the spots for national weeks are tightly contested. Each year, two bidding days are conducted (one for the first six months of the year and one for the last four) and prospective national week candidate teams prepare a booth with exhibits and food, a 10-minute presentation, and fun activities to advertise why they should be the ones to host a national week. Then, all students can cast their votes, and the national weeks that get the most votes across both campuses will then be scheduled.

For this bidding day, the competing teams were Comrades (Russia and other former Soviet Republics), Africa, Japan, Desi (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka), Lebanon, and GPS (Greece, Portugal, Spain). Those nationalities that already had their national week in January to June were barred from participating in the bidding day.

The actual bidding day was one of the most fun days at INSEAD so far, a full display of INSEAD diversity. The teams had set up booths in the school’s foyer, and students dressed in traditional regional attire handed out delicious food. The presentation of all the proposals then took place in the main auditorium, and most teams had prepared videos, played traditional music and showed some kind of performance. Highlights of the presentations were clearly the Desi bollywood dance, the comrades flag-waving, uniformed entrance, and the Africans’ bonfire story (told by one of the students who was dressed up as a hunter – another one was the hunted game, a zebra). After the presentation, everyone headed out to the school’s courtyard for national drinks from GPS wine to Comrade vodka shots.

In the end, the winning teams were Lebanon, Japan, Africa, and Desi – I am looking forward to experiencing these national weeks in my last two periods (and taking part in the national week bidding for next year’s Heart of Europe week!)

National Weeks in P2 and P3

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

While each of the national weeks in P2 and P3 would certainly have deserved their own blog post, I have no pictures from those weeks and therefore I am going to keep everything together in one post.

In P2, there was only one national week, because it was the main recruiting period for the previous (July 2012) promotion: Israel Week (16-20 April). The INSEAD students, both organizers and participants, did the best to make it a non-political celebration of culture and of friendship across borders – even though that was certainly not easy for everyone at every time. I, however, had a blast at the Israeli national week activities, especially the dinner, which was certainly one of the more memorable nights at INSEAD, starting out with delicious food and later dancing on the tables at the dinner place, later moving on to INSEAD students’ favorite rooftop bar 1-Altitude and ending with drinks at (and in) the Heritage View pool until way past 3am… but I still made it to class next morning at 8:30am to make sure that future national weeks would still be allowed to hold dinners…

To balance the lack of national weeks in P2, P3 had three of them. The first one was Latin Week, which covered all of the Latin American countries. Since many of those are culutrally prone to partying in general, that of course made sure that we had a good time during the week, including a legendary national week party at Movida in St. James Powerstation (a Singaporean event location with multiple clubs and bars). This party was probably the best national week party so far, with a designated area for INSEAD students in an otherwise public club and an amazing live band with lots of energy performing latin and non-latin pop classics, which was certainly a change from the 20-odd dancefloor songs that are played over and over again at most of the clubs in Singapore.

The second national week in P3 was Italian week. Unfortunately for me, I had to miss the Italian week dinner, because I was sick – and I am sure the food at the Italian restaurant Limoncello was awesome. The party, which took place at Powerhouse (another club at St. James Powerstation) was another extremely crazy event – there were so many vouchers for free drinks around that at one point I was walking through the club with two one-liter pitchers of long drinks… which I didn’t both drink myself, but distributed to other people 😉

The last national week for P3 was Dragon week, which basically covers Chinese culture and was organized by all the people with Chinese heritage and some others with a strong connection to China (such as my former group mate Caroline and her boyfriend who spent multiple years working in China). In Singapore, obviously, we are in contact with Chinese culture on an almost daily basis, but it was still very nice to get to know more about the culture and have a nice dinner with traditional Chinese food with all students together. Also, the national week party was the first one which was in a club that was less Expat-dominated than the other clubs that I have seen in Singapore… which was certainly also an interesting experience.

Heart of Europe National Week

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

Only two weeks after the Korean National Week, we had the Heart of Europe Week coming up. Heart of Europe, in the INSEAD case, means Germany, Austria and Switzerland, so I was personally involved in the organisation – I was responsible for all a large part of the communication: graphical design, emails that were sent out with information, printing of admission tickets etc. Also, I was sitting at the Heart of Europe booth in the hallway, selling tickets, T-shirts and providing information to the other students.

Our program over the week was as follows (click to enlarge):

The whole week was a lot of fun, and it also helped build some connections with the “12Js” (these are the students who started 4 months before us and are finishing their MBA in June 2012, we are the 12Ds because we finish in December), especially within the Heart of Europe team. Talking about the team: there are approximately the same number of Swiss and German students at the Singapore campus, and only very few Austrians. In total, our team consisted of ~25 people with varying degrees of involvement.

The events we had planned were – at least from my perspective – all a great success, especially the events in the evening: We had our “Herzblatt” dating show on Tuesday, which was Valentine’s day. In each of the five rounds, one student looking for the “love of their life” asked questions to three potential dates, who were hidden behind a wall. The questions had been prepared by the ingenious showmaster Carl-Christoph and ranged from innocent ones such as “were would you take us on our first date” to hilarious ones such as “if you were a cocktail, what would you be and what are the main ingredients” (best and completely unexpected answer by one candidate: “Carrot juice. Main ingredient: carrot.”)

On Wednesday, we had our “Bavarian dinner” at the Paulaner Bräuhaus – a very nice evening, with live music (authentically Bavarian), food ranging from Haxn over sausages to sauerkraut, and later a lot of dancing to cheesy German Schlager music.

Friday night, as the furious finale and highlight of the week, we had a “Loveparade” party at Tanjong Beach Club on Sentosa. Everybody was equipped with with fluorescing glow sticks, and we had prepared the pool at the club with a lot of small rubber ducks. A DJ was playing electronic music and party favorites, and  everybody was having a good time, dancing by the beach under palm trees 🙂

After this week, which was a really fun experience, but also a lot of work, I am already looking forward to the next national weeks which I will be participating in only passively again. Also, before the summer break we will have the “bidding day” coming up, a day in which different nations compete for four national weeks to be organized in the second half of 2012. From what I have heard from the 12Js, the bidding day is a really great experience and great fun, so I am also looking forward to that!



Korean National Week

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

National Weeks are a really big thing at INSEAD. Twice per period or roughly once per month, one nation or a group of nations gets to organize a national week. When there is a national week, the whole campus is decorated with flags and other accessoires, and events from smaller ones like food from the country to bigger ones, typically a dinner and a party, are organized. There is also always a T-Shirt available for sale.

The first national week that I was able to take part in was the Korean week at the beginning of February. The national weeks always kick off with the so-called “Amphistorming”, during which the students from the respective nations storm the classes in the last few minutes, wearing traditional attire and showing a video of what is going to happen during the week. The Koreans had set up a really good program, including a Korean BBQ dinner, a K-Pop party on Friday (which I unfortunately could not attend since I was travelling on the weekend) and many other events such as a karaoke night in the courtyard of the campus or a Taekwondo show.

All in all, the Korean national week was really a great starter for the national weeks to come and set the bar pretty high. My personal opinion on these national weeks is that they provide a really great opportunity to get a deeper insight into the culture and traditions of some of the other students, thus making the most use of the diverse student body that INSEAD has.

A few pictures from the Amphistorming, the K-Week ticket booth in the main hallway, and the karaoke:

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