Halloween at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center

By Hayden Paulsen

NANJING, China On Oct. 26, the Hopkins-Nanjing Center hosted its annual Halloween party. Festivities included performances by the HNC student band, a costume contest and attendance by local and international Nanjing University students, staff and their friends and family.

Student committee leader Shelby Tuseth coordinated the night’s festivities. “Our goal was to attract local Nanjing University students to enjoy a silly, spooky Western holiday and to enjoy themselves after a few months of hard work.”

The HNC community came together to celebrate the holiday. “We sold 150 tickets to outside attendees and had multiple committees and volunteers for security, food, decorating, music and recruiting; without the HNC community’s dedication, we couldn’t have pulled it off,” reported Tuseth.

The student band, The Leeches — named as an homage to a leech discovered inside the dormitories is composed of vocalists Jessica Dee and Max Bork, vocalists and guitarists Jesse Adler and Ryan Lucas, drummer Sam Smith, keyboardists Steven Rotchadl and Yicai Wang and bassist Alex Rosas. The Leeches played “Werewolves of London,” “Monster Mash,” “I Put a Spell On You” and “Zombie,” among a variety of other Halloween-themed songs.

Above (left): The Leeches play in front of the Halloween backdrop

Above (right): Drummer Sam Smith

Photo credits: Hopkins-Nanjing Center WeChat group

“We practiced for several weeks leading up to the party and were nervous how it would turn out, but it was a success,” Ryan Lucas said after the party. “We got everyone involved with Halloween classics that got both Chinese and international students to dance.”

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Vocalist Max Bork encourages the crowd to dance.

Photo credits: Hopkins-Nanjing Center WeChat group

Attendees sported a variety of costumes, including witches, vampires and characters from  popular television series including “Rick and Morty,” “King of the Hill” and “Star Trek.” One  group dressed up as a horse and tigers to represent “mama huhu,” a Chinese phrase meaning “not too bad” that is homonymous with the words for “horse” and “tiger.” Participants showed off their costumes as they strutted across the stage to various drag and club anthems by artists like RuPaul, Madonna and Britney Spears. A total of 24 contestants participated in the costume contest.

Left: Contestants dressed as “mama huhu”

Right: Partygoers show off their costumes in the lobby

Photo credits: Hopkins-Nanjing Center WeChat group

First place went to a group dressed as characters from The Princess Bride, second place to a drag-inspired dark angel and third place to a professor dressed as a blood-stained Saudi diplomat. Several children of faculty members also participated, demonstrating their superhero powers for an enthusiastic crowd.





Left: “Rick and Morty” attendees make their way to the party from their dormitory

Right: A drag-inspired dark angel struts to Beyoncé’s “Run the World”

Photo credits: Hopkins-Nanjing Center WeChat group


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