School of Public Health Harmony Night: A Melodic Celebration of Culture and Community

By Sunyuntao Xu, MSc Epidemiology, Academic Representative, School of Public Health

On June 4th, 2024, we hosted the inaugural School of Public Health Harmony Night Karaoke party at Kungfu Restaurant. This vibrant social event, organized by the School of Public Health, brought together postgraduate students for an evening of singing, dining, and networking. This student-led initiative aimed to strengthen community bonds and promote well-being, encouraging cultural exchanges and interpersonal connections beyond the academic setting.

Karaoke is an entertainment culture that originated in East Asia, gaining immense popularity in China, Japan, and Korea. Over time, this engaging pastime has spread to Europe and America, thanks to cultural mixing and globalization. The School of Public Health is a wonderfully diverse department, with students from all around the world. As student representatives, our goal was to
find the best social activity to enhance this multicultural atmosphere within our department.

The SPH Harmony Night was more than just an evening out; it was a carefully curated experience designed to enhance community well-being. By stepping away from the rigours of academic pursuits, this event offered a refreshing break that fostered mental and emotional well-being.  Participants had the opportunity to engage in cultural sharing through music and cuisine, enriching their understanding and appreciation of diverse backgrounds. The informal setting encouraged
students and staff to build lasting professional connections, enhancing their future careers and research collaborations.

We strategically scheduled the event after our research project background presentations, aiming for everyone to relax and celebrate the accomplishment of this milestone in our master’s program. Participants contributed songs in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Mongolian, and Yi, significantly enhancing cultural communication among students. Everyone immersed themselves in enjoying the collision of different traditions and forms of vocal arts, and surprisingly we got a chance to see many excellent singers in our community. This event highlighted the power of music  and social interaction in bridging cultural divides and fostering a sense of community. As the organiser of this event, it was heartening to see everyone enjoying delicious food and drinks while singing their hearts out. The SPH Harmony Night not only strengthened our community bonds but also promoted well-being and cultural exchange, making it a memorable evening for all.

Comments From Participants:

  • Togetherness in class, academically, is good, yet togetherness outside class is also important! A sharp heart is a sharp mind. Thank you, team.” – Naesilla (MSc Epidemiology)
  • I enjoyed the event last night, had lots of fun with my course mates and enjoyed spending time with them outside of the academic environment.” – Bridget Pickard (MSc Epidemiology)
  • It was fantastic. I had such a great time with my colleagues, and it was great to see everyone outside academic settings. These moments brought us closer and made our time at Imperial much more enjoyable. Thanks to everyone who participated!” – Xiaoming Xu (MSc Health Data Analysis and Machine Learning)
  • It seems everyone enjoyed themselves. And the interactions between students of different majors just created interesting connections. It was a successful event and thanks to the organisers.” – Yiying Meng (Master of Public Health)

This event played a multifaceted role in enhancing both soft skills and community spirit within the School of Public Health. By breaking down barriers, fostering interpersonal connections, and encouraging creative expression, karaoke significantly contributes to a positive and productive research culture. It also provides valuable networking opportunities. We hope to make this event an annual tradition, offering more enjoyable cultural experiences for students in the future.

Acknowledgement: Thanks for the help from the Graduate School for providing financial support this this activity, and thanks to the School of Public Health Epidemiology course team for providing information circulation support.