High-table Dinners (HTD) originated from the formal dinner tradition in Britain’s prestigious boarding schools and higher academic institutions with a long history. They are vividly illustrated in the movie series “Harry Potter” with students wearing gowns, attending a grand formal dinner after the speech of their school master. The values of HTD are that it fosters a sense of shared identity among students and provides an opportunity for community leaders and renowned people in town to share their life experience. It also enables the students to practice social skills, proper table manners, and people networking.
As a major college function, HTDs in SPC are organized normally three times per academic year. It is our hope that Shiu Pongers (SPCers), through participating in HTD under an elegant and refreshing ambience, will achieve the following:
- to feel at ease in attending formal social functions and to become well- versed in social and dining etiquettes, which will be beneficial for their career development;
- to learn to break the ice in interacting/communicating with High Table guests or guests at their table (Table Guests) and other unfamiliar SPCers as an enhancement of their social skills;
- to get insights from the speech or success story delivered by the invited speakers;
- to cherish the precious opportunity of learning from fellow SPC students and interacting with them while enjoying the dinner.
Social Etiquette at HTD:
As the saying goes, “good manners will open doors that the best education cannot.” The HTD is perhaps an epitome of one of the most important social rituals that each and every university student should have some knowledge and experience of before they enter into society. All the etiquette and formalities allow the students to have a “taste” of socializing in a formal setting.
- Be punctual;
- Stand up and shake hands with guests when greeting them;
- Dress up properly—Formal or Lounge-suit (i.e. a matching jacket and trousers/skirt for office work) is recommended for HTD and similar formal occasions;
- Never put things other than food or tableware, e.g. spectacles, handbag, etc., on the table;
- Show respect to the speaker by stopping all activities in progress (e.g. eating or talking).