Asian Night proves to be a delight

Addison Crane 

CAMPUS LIFE EDITOR

Excited chatter filled the Campus Center as students entered the raffle, filled their plates with delicious food, and waited patiently for performers to flood the stage. The Asian Students Association (ASA) hosted Asian Night on March 29. This event was part of Diverse Identities Week. President of the ASA third-year Nathan Lam said, in anticipation for the week, “I think [Asian Night] is important because we’re trying to share culture with the rest of campus . . . it’s a kind of welcoming gesture to people that aren’t Asian but are interested in Asian culture.” Asian Night also served as a “displaced dinner,” inviting students to get out and try some tasty Asian food. The food served, catered by Bon Appétit, ranged from lumpia (Filipino egg rolls), to chicken katsu (fried chicken cutlets from Japan), to fried rice, and much more. 

There were a number of performances that showcased different cultures in Asia. The first was a performance of tinikling — a Filipino folk dance — by the Halo Halo club. For tinikling, two people sit on each side of two bamboo poles and alternate tapping them to a beat. Sliding the poles together while dancers jump in and out of the gap, they try not to get their ankles crushed when the bamboo slides back together. The performers started off with the traditional music, then showed a more modern interpretation of the dance to “Pretty Boy Swag” by Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em. After the club members performed they let the audience try the dance. I grew up doing tinikling, so I gave it a shot, figuring that it couldn’t be that much harder than I remembered… I was wrong. Nevertheless, it was still fun moving my feet to the beat and trying not to get caught between the bamboo poles. 

Third-year Renz Galang said, “My favorite part of the event were the performances, especially as someone who grew up in Filipino and Chinese cultures. Seeing these gave me nostalgia.” Other performances included a traditional lion dance by AB Lion Dance Troup, an island inspirations dance by Tahitian dancers, the Belly Twins Bollywood dancers, and Kishin Daiko Taiko drummers. The ASA did a good job getting a diverse variety of performers from different parts of Asia. Fourth-year Jae Yoon said, “The performers did a good job at talking about their traditions. It wasn’t just performing ... it was also educating.”

In-between each performance, the ASA hosted entertaining games and raffles to get the audience involved. Lam said he enjoyed this because, “[Having an audience] is something we lacked in the past years. Because in the past, most of the time, it would just be [the] audience [watching] performers and they would just sit there and watch the whole time… it was good that we made it more interactive.” One event was a “pin the tail on the donkey” style trivia event where student volunteers were blindfolded in front of a huge map of Asia. While members of the ASA would ask trivia questions like “What country is the world leading producer of mangoes?” the volunteers would try to find the right country on the map. Meanwhile, audience members would try to verbally guide them to the right spot on the map. Other events included a spicy ramen challenge, Pictionary, and more. 

Overall, Asian Night was a success at celebrating Asian culture. Yoon said, “I’d like to see other clubs and organizations throw cultural events.” Students who attended got to feast on yummy food, watch some amazing performances, and participate in fun games. 

courtesy of the  Office of Communications    Tahitian dancers from the Island Inspirations Company at Asian Night.

courtesy of the Office of Communications

Tahitian dancers from the Island Inspirations Company at Asian Night.