By Emma Weidmann | Staff Writer
The Asian Student Association and international sorority Alpha Kappa Delta Phi hosted the CelebrASIAN Alliance on Fountain Mall Thursday night, complete with raffles, food, games and several dance performances. The event was all in good fun and all for a cause. The proceeds from raffle tickets, food and T-shirts sold went to Giving It Back To Kids, a nonprofit to benefit underprivileged children and their families in Vietnam.
The Asian Student Association is dedicated to promoting Asian culture on campus through events like CelebrASIAN Alliance, and is also responsible for two of the largest Asian student-held events, Lunar New Year and AsianFest.
Vietnamese Student Association vice president and Corsicana junior Anna Nguyen said CelebrASIAN Alliance is an important event to have on campus because it’s a way to spread awareness of Asian American culture and build a strong community for students of Asian descent.
“There’s a lot of Asian Americans that come to Baylor, and when they get here, there’s kind of a feeling of loss,” Nguyen said. “Having CelebrASIAN Alliance allows people not only to come together and celebrate Asian culture, but it also introduces it to others.”
One of the ways in which the event promoted a diverse range of Asian culture was through the several dance performances. Students filled Fountain Mall, even sitting on and around the fountain itself to watch dancers from ASA and aKDPhi perform choreography to popular hip-hop and rap songs. However, it was not only Baylor students who performed at the event. Fusion, a K-pop dance group from the University of North Texas, joined in on the festivities, giving a high-energy performance of three different Korean pop songs.
In addition to hip-hop and K-pop songs, the Hawai’i Club gave a performance of a hula dance, following closely on the heels of its very first luau on campus.
Honolulu freshman Jack Pang, one of the hula dancers from the Hawai’i Club, said that hula is a time-honored and ancient tradition that is important to Hawaiian culture.
“Hula has been passed down for generations as a way to tell stories and as a form of entertainment,” Pang said.
There are two types of hula dance, the pre-colonial kahiko and more modern auana, and Pang said the main difference is that auana has more western instruments, like guitar and a full band, while kahiko uses just the ukulele.
“I feel like it is important to expose people to the culture so they can get to know more of the culture and history of Hawai’i, rather than just the tourist surface level,” Pang said.
While the event may have had a special focus on Asian American students, it was for all to enjoy.
“This event is where all these Asian organizations come together,” Nguyen said. “We have the Hawaiian club here with us to celebrate Asian culture, and it’s not limited to just the Asian population. It’s open to everyone as well.”