By Linda Nguyen
Friday marks Vietnamese Student Association’s 20th annual Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. The festival is held to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Moon or Tet Trung Thu, as it is referred to by most Vietnamese people.
The VSA will work with the department of Multicultural Affairs to host the event, which will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. today in the Barfield Drawing Room of the Bill Daniel Student Center.
Students from Baylor as well as outside performers will be featured at the festival, which includes performances from Ashley Nguyen, the Phap Luan Lion Dancing team, the Phap Luan Vovinam Demonstration team and the VSA officers.
“We’re having Ashley Nguyen who is a freshman,” Grand Prarie junior and VSA’s vice president Nicole Nguyen said. “She’ll be singing and playing piano for us. We have our traditional dance. We’re having PLB poppers, lockers, breakers perform for us as well. We’re having a fashion show.”
Nicole Nguyen, who is in charge of the traditional dance this year, said this year’s dance will differ from previous Mid-Autumn Moon Festival dances.
“The traditional dance is all girls, and we’re going to be dancing with the bamboo hats,” Nicole Nguyen said. “We’re going to be using a song titled ‘Ngay Tet Que Em’.”
The song, which is by Vietnamese singer May Trang, wishes luck and prosperity to everyone during the mid-autumn moon.
The fashion show will feature different styles of Vietnamese dresses, called ao dai.
“The fashion show is going to display a bunch of different ao dai’s and escorting them will be good-looking men,” Nguyen said. “So there will be gorgeous girls and good-looking men.”
The festival will also include a skit called Tam Cam that will be put on by the officers of the association.
“Usually we do Chu Cuoi, but this year we’re doing a skit that’s a Vietnamese take on Cinderella,” said Chau Truong, VSA president and Houston senior. Truong is also the chairperson for the event.
This year’s festival will include the Phap Luan Lion Dancing Team, which is a lion dancing team based in Houston, as well as a Vietnamese martial arts demonstration from the Phap Luan Vovinam Demonstration Team.
Lion dancing is a tradition within Asian cultures that represent prosperity. The “lion” will consist of two to three people in a lion costume.
The festival will conclude with a lantern procession outside the SUB.
Nicole Nguyen said since the event comes so early in the school year, it’s usually a very intense first few weeks of school for the members of the organization.
“It’s really hectic, but it’s so rewarding especially when the event comes,” Nicole Nguyen said. “It’s difficult to get everything in order by the time of the event because it’s so early in the year, but we pull through in the end. We have a better connection from it, and we’re like a family.”
Funds for the event will be provided by the student government allocation fund and the department of multicultural affairs, the student government allocation fund is used to fund events by student organizations that are open to the public.
Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs Kelley Kimple said the department of multicultural affairs has a financial commitment to the event.
“We pay for the performers,” Kimple said. “This year it is $1,800 for the performers, the lion dancing and kung fu demonstration.”
The department of multicultural affairs also helped in planning the event.
“What we do is meet with the chairperson for the event,” Kimple said. “Basically, we go over the planning process with them. We make sure they are on track with getting decorations, food stuff, room reservations, flyers and most importantly, their performance.”
Kimple said extensive planning goes into the event.
“We started meeting the second week in August,” Kimple said. “It’s pretty much at the beginning of the school year, so we’ve met each week, myself and the chairperson.”
The event is free and open to the public.
For more information about the Vietnamese Student Association, go to http://baylorvsa.webs.com/.