The event, which showcases multicultural acts from across the university, is aimed at celebrating Asian culture.
Houston senior and Asian Students Association president Angeline Nguyen said AsianFest is an ASA tradition and it embodies the mission of the organization.
“The purpose of AsianFest is to celebrate Asian culture, but we don’t just limit it to Asian culture,” Nguyen said.
Austin sophomore Niki Lee, who is the Asian Students Association public relations chair, said AsianFest is a time for different multicultural organizations to come together.
“AsianFest, as a whole, is just a time for all the multicultural organizations, especially the ones based in Asia, to be able to share and express their culture in modern time and cultural time,” Lee said. “So it’s a fun way to see what the organizations are and what they’re about.”
Muskogee, Okla., sophomore and Asian Students Association secretary Nancy Ha said the annual program is an expression of traditional and modern Asian culture. Ha said AsianFest has been growing every year.
“It started outside the SUB bowl and then a couple years later moved to Barfield and this year it’s in Waco Hall,” Ha said.
Ha said AsianFest is the biggest event Asian Students Association hosts in the fall semester. “The bulk of the work has been during the last two months: getting performances together, getting committees together to help put on different aspects of the show and getting members involved,” Ha said.
AsianFest is divided into two programs, the culture show and the banquet. The culture show, which is free and open to the public, is at 7 p.m. Friday in Waco Hall. “The performances and shows have gotten bigger and bigger,” Ha said.
The culture show this year includes performances from the Filipino Students Association, Korean Students Association, Vietnamese Students Association, Latin Dance Society and the Asian Students Association officers, along with other individual performances. The banquet is at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in the Bobo Spiritual Life Center and costs $10 for students and $15 for general admission.
“For the banquet, we bring in an Asian-American who has had some kind of impact as our guest speaker of the banquet,” Ha said. “It’s not just open to ASA; it’s for everyone who wants to come. This year our speaker is Leroy Chiao, who is a former astronaut.” Lee said the banquet also includes the crowning of Ms. AsianFest.
The Filipino Student Association, Asian Students Association, and Vietnamese Students Association along with Alpha Kappa Delta Phi, an Asian sorority, nominate two to three contestants to run for Ms. AsianFest.
“Usually they are people who are really involved in the group and also involved in other activities on campus. I think the purpose of that is to recognize the people who put their time into the organization,” Lee said.