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Superpass: A HKU Thing

December 02, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

It’s revision week. I see you’re alive, or well, barely. It’s ok, I mostly can’t think straight either.

A well-known tradition at HKU practiced around this time of every semester is to wish everyone good luck for finals (I’m quite sure we all need it) – “Superpass”. The name is pretty self-explanatory. To superbly pass (I made that up but it’s something among those lines anyway). CEDARS gives out free Superpass apples to students for a couple of days during the last week of teaching and HKUSU hands out Superpass welfare packs late in the evening for hardworking students, to give them that mental boost. How thoughtful.

And if any of you noticed, this year’s Information Day theme was also Superpass. Click here to watch the video.

I got one of these as a token.

Photo credits: Bill Yue

Pretty cool huh? It smells like a bao too. Kudos to Pam who actually gave it a whiff.

So what’s Superpass? If you don’t stay in a hall nor belong to a society/team, your Superpass tradition experiences may be a little thin. So what is it? There are a couple of things that we do during Superpass gatherings and one of them is pretty fattening (but no one’s complaining). Roasted pork! Depending on the number of people attending, big chunks of mouth-watering crispy roasted pork are prepared. Everyone takes a turn to chop a piece of roasted pig. If it’s chopped cleanly into two in one go, it means you’ll Superpass. If you had trouble, better get back to revision – but only after everyone is done stuffing their faces.

Photo credits: Tony Chiu

At most Superpass parties, there is Superpass Red Banner Writing too.

Calligraphy credits: Joann Teo (I like her sense of humour)

You basically write whatever you want on it with a traditional calligraphy brush and black ink and put it up wherever you like. Most people write phrases wishing themselves or their floors good luck for the upcoming exams, but I’ve seen some pretty weird ones where studies don’t seem like a priority (but hey, no one’s judging…the person is probably already on the Dean list and doesn’t need to care).

See if you can spot anything here at my hall’s Superpass party!

Calligraphy Credits: Residents of Shun Hing College

Many clubs, societies and sport teams have Superpass traditions too. And other than the roasted pork chopping and calligraphy, the seniors of the organization (usually the current Chairman/Team Captain) will give out red packets with money in them to everyone else in the club.

Oh yes. Kaching.

A big thank you to my generous seniors & professors =)

I’ll save you the anticipation and just tell you how much is in it – $1.30. Why $1.30? Because the pronunciation for this amount of money in Cantonese is the same as saying your GPA went over 3.0 – gor (over) sam (three).

One the most popular phrases at this time of the semester is ‘gor sam bao sei’ (exceed 3.0 and even “explode” 4.0). Yes, we HKU-ers are very ambitious students. And because the first half of this phrase is coincidentally able to be expressed in monetary form, hence the red packet. Interesting, isn’t it?

And so yes, at the end of the semester, we have nothing left to do except to “Superpass”. So get going with that revision and may we all gor sam bao sei!




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