With the marathon of Orientation approaching its end, the SH’MASH performances paved a new path of anticipation and excitement. To flourish in the competition (which is the theme of the year), all the twenty-four teams must collaborate with creativity and passion to present a performance referring to fitting in at NYU Shanghai that all freshmen crave, as well as worries and hesitation about adapting to a new community, a new country, and new ways of studying, living, and sharing.
The SH’MASH competition has been an NYU Shanghai tradition since the second Orientation. According to Orientation Ambassador (OA) Safia Kariapper, “You are going to know each other better, to have a lot of fun, to learn how to work things out, and eventually, to build something new through experiences sharing between Easterners and Westerners.” The themes, performers, and performances change and vary year after year, but the core purpose of bringing students together and appreciating each other and themselves is the same. As part of the orientation, SH’MASH aims to get the team members involved, exposing them to communicating and interacting with fellow students who are of various linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
Ten groups made it to the final round, with each team’s act designed by their leading OA and participating students and named after the OA themselves. In Team Xiran, team members explained the cultural phenomena of Square Dance(广场舞) in both Chinese and American styles, which aroused applause in the audience. Team Safia mashed traditional Chinese dancing and Backstreet Boys together, which showed respect and willingness to embrace cherished culture on both side. The final winner, Team Frank, told us a story about a freshman struggling to make new friends or get involved in school activities. He failed at first, but after self-examination, he found his position and rhythm not only in Dance Club but also in being comfortable and confident of who he is and want to be.
The SH’MASH performance proved to be thought-provoking due to the efforts and practice of every participant, making it clear that the Class of 2020 is ready to make their voices heard and become better people in the coming four years. In a song written and performed by the OAs, the lyrics “跟我到世界走一走，一路向前不回头” (translated as “follow me around the world, and never look back”) highlighted the spirit of the Class of 2020, both in the SH’MASH performances and months to come.
This article was written by Yutong Lin. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch.
Photo Credit: Kyla Minato