Asian community unites with music, fashion

Asian community unites with music, fashion

Cameras rolled, cultures converged and housemates released their frustrations in the confessional. One student offered chopsticks lessons while another became annoyed by a blaring television.

“Where’d my math book go?” one student snapped while frantically searching the apartment.

This spoof on MTV’s “The Real World” was filmed by the Asian Student Union (ASU) to show “what happens when people stop being Asian and start being real.” It was one of many performances aimed to express and showcase Northeastern’s Asian American community at Saturday night’s “Celebr(ASIAN)” in the Curry Student Center West Addition.

Guest performers and eight groups comprising Northeastern’s Pan Asian American Council participated in the night’s event. Planning for the event began in the fall after middler business major Sarah Artha presented her idea last spring to Andrew Shen, director of the Asian American Center.

“I’ve gone to other schools where they have Asian nights, and I thought ‘Why not here?'” Artha said.

Artha and Pete Tran, a sophomore information science and marketing major, co-chaired the event, meeting weekly with the council to plan. More than 150 students collaborated for the event, which sold out in a week, said Katherine Hou, ASU president.

“There are two goals: to spread awareness of each of our groups, and to show our unity together,” Artha said.

Hou said it was difficult to plan an event that would equally represent each group.

“It’s always hard when there’s eight different personalities; it’s a lot to cram into one night,” Hou said. “We wanted to highlight each group’s talent, but we didn’t want a five-hour show.”

“Celebr(ASIAN)” began with a lion dance by Gund Kwok, the only Asian women lion and dragon dance troupe in America. They danced and tossed an orange ball while percussionists kept a beat.

Junior biochemistry major Sarah Cormiea said it was her favorite part of the show.

“I liked the dragon. I thought it was hilariously stereotypical,” Cormiea said.

The Undergraduate South Asian Student Organization (UTSAV), Kinematix, Pi Delta Psi, Delta Phi Omega and NU Barkada each took the stage to showcase their culture through dance. UTSAV performed bangra, which originates from India and Pakistan. The other groups blended hip-hop and traditional moves, dancing to songs like 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop” and Franz Ferdinand’s “Take Me Out.”

“Celebr(ASIAN)” featured two fashion shows. The first showcased traditional clothing and different variations of the “Celebr(ASIAN)” T-shirts. The second displayed modern trends and shirts with anti-stereotype messages like “I am not a ninja” and “Math is not my first language.”

Along with ASU, the Korean American Student Association (KASA) and Kappa Phi Lambda represented their groups through film. KASA’s “Love at First Sight,” told the story of two students finding love through a blind date. Kappa Phi Lambda spoofed the MTV show “Made.”

Song-Nga Tran and Nhon Doan of the Vietnamese Student Association performed a duet called “Tinh Mai Cach Xa.”

The event concluded with a performance by Passion, a 20-year-old singer-songwriter. He covered Justin Timberlake’s “My Love”, Musiq’s “Just Friends” and Destiny’s Child’s “Ticket to You.” He also performed original songs called “Well Done,” which was dedicated to his grandmother, “Lemonade” and “More of You.”

“Celebr(ASIAN)” was attended by students and faculty, family members and people from the community. Many students were enthusiastic about the show’s cultural aspects.

“It’s really fun. It’s new. It’s refreshing. It’s nice to have a big event, especially for the Asian community,” said Anita Jung, sophomore pharmacy major.

Ken Tan, a senior mechanical engineering major, said he enjoyed the bangra performance.

“I loved the Pi Delta Psi performance. It was really cool, really different. We don’t really see that stuff around campus,” Tan said.

Hou said she was very excited about the collaborative effort and felt that Northeastern would get a lot out of the event.

“I think the most rewarding part is feeling the sense of unity when we’re together, and getting to celebrate it and share a common bond,” Hou said. “We’ve been really supportive of each other.”

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