Original writer: jaco / Rewriter: Stupid Piggy (So4 Zyu1 Zai2 傻豬仔)

Title: Bits and Pieces of Seong5 Jong1

Original writer: jaco / Rewriter: Stupid Piggy (So4 Zyu1 Zai2 傻豬仔)

Source: 2017 Orientation, original piece published in 2012 Orientation

Translator: Hang Yu NG 

Seong jong [becoming a committee member of a society] is one of the “five things to do in U-life.” Many freshmen look forward to it—meeting new friends, joining different activities, gaining more hostel scores, and changing their profile pictures—how exciting it seems! 

Well buddy, you’re still wet behind the ears. Seong jong implies that you have to run an organization for a year, work on the jong matters with your jong mates for the whole year if you don’t drop out of the jong halfway through. I hope that by pointing out the features of seong jong, you will look before you leap.

  • Chur (exhausting)

Didn’t you say it’d be easy? How come we have a 10-hour meeting? 

Why is he skipping the class again? No wonder, it’s already 6am when he finished his jong’s work. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying chur is definitely bad. Just like when I was in the inter-school competition, it was chur indeed, but it was also cheerful and sweet for the whole team fighting together until the last second. A cheerful exhaustion requires an ability to chur and a passion for what you do. We all have 24 hours per day. Taking up the jong’s matter means you have less free time, and it may result in a plummeting GPA or a severe lack of sleep—not everyone is fine with that. There may be people who ridicule you “How would a university student be unable to chur?” The famous university on the other side of the harbour [HKU] always stresses “Do your best and have no regrets,” but why do so just for the sake of doing it if your expectation and the reality are poles apart?

  • Tui

What? Only three activities in the whole year? 

The extreme opposite to chur is tui. Saying a jong is tui means that it only maintains its most basic operation (or even maintains no basic operation, [and exists] only in name). There are many factors causing the formation of a tui jong, like the tradition that the former committees didn’t work much either, jong mates realizing that they don’t really like the jong and withdrawing gradually, or not planning to do anything big from the beginning (then naturally they won’t suddenly become active after seong jong). I believe that no one wants to have a tui jong since the very beginning, at least you would have some expectations. Therefore, I hope you remember your vision and thoughts at the jong discussion, don’t do it for the sake of doing it and end with no fulfilment. 

  • Unclear Meaning

Why am I doing something “big” that I don’t find meaningful?

Many people find that they have no ideas about the meaning of many things they did in the jong. Why must I dem beat? Why must I make a balloon arch? Why must I attend a 10-hour meeting, hug my jong mates and regard this as a firm friendship? Can’t we have a simple promotion? Are we doomed to fail if we have a shorter consultation? Is a 10-hour meeting really better than a 4-hour one? No matter which university you’re in, the former committees, the professors, and senior students would also teach you to think critically and have your own thoughts—so does seong jong. In society, just because someone has experience doesn’t mean he/she can decide everything or you have to follow his/her opinions. Even for seong jong, you can have your own way.

  • Lou5 Gwai2 (literally old ghost, refers to the former committees)

If you can’t keep the UC ball from falling down and prevent aliens from arriving at CUHK [1], how can you be qualified to seong jong?

A Lou Gwai challenged. 

The influences of Lou Gwai can be positive or negative. Some really want to help their successors and pass their experience down to facilitate the jong’s work. But reality is not all roses, and bad Lou Gwai do exist—your single word can result in a rebuke.

Therefore, don’t be afraid to show your disagreement against something you think is a useless tradition. Lou Gwai may have more experience, but you aren’t their shadow—it is you who will seong jong, it is your goals that you set out to achieve. If you do have different opinions, tell them. In fact, many Lou Gwai respect newbies’ thoughts. An example would be the CUHK China Study Society, even if the new jong’s localization approach differs from the former jong, the Lou Gwai still try their best to help by providing more ideas and resources. Therefore, the way you get along with the Lou Gwai should not be blind obedience, but communication.

Key to Success: Know Yourself, Know Each Other

In a nutshell, it is important for you to think clearly. At least you should know your own expectations, what the jong is about, and your jong mates. Think and talk with your future jong mates before you really become a member of it (even if the discussion takes a long time!). Don’t leave yourself regrets by joining one that doesn’t suit you. I wish all freshmen who plan to seong jong a happy and smooth jong life.

[1] The official name of UC Ball is “Satellite Remote-sensing Receiving System”. It is a spherical structure located at the Fok Ying Tung Remote Sensing Science Building near the United College. Legend has it that one day the ball will fall from its perch and roll down the mountain.


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