As an incoming freshman, Novy Thaib ‘16 was looking to break away from her traditional Asian upbringing.

But instead of leaving her culture behind, Thaib was convinced by a friend to join the Asian Students Association. Now a junior, Thaib is the president of ASA, a “cultural club designed to promote diversity on campus.”

“Maybe … losing my cultural identity isn’t the smartest thing to do,” said Thaib. “People should take more pride in their culture, rather than assimilate to whatever the norm is.”

The club’s signature event is their annual Flavors of Asia, which is going to be held Friday, Nov. 21 from 7-11 p.m. in the Oak Room in the Barone Campus Center.

For the past seven years, ASA has collaborated with Fairfield’s South Asian Student Association to host this event.

“It’s an event that promotes diversity in Asian cultures … Usually we get around 200-250 people,” said Thaib. “Hopefully this year we get at least 150 people.”

Flavors of Asia has entertainment such as dance performances, martial arts demonstrations and henna tattoos.

“It’s a fun time for everybody,” said Thaib. “With this event, we get all sorts of people. It’s not just our families or the Asian population on campus.”

Thaib added that a wide variety of students and local Fairfield residents also attend the event.

“It’s one of the biggest events for cultural clubs in general,” she said.

Flavors of Asia is not the only event held by ASA. Smaller events that have been held in the past are movie nights, where the club has shown films such as “Spirited Away,” “Ponyo” and “Mulan.”

“Even though they’re animated movies and they may seem childish, they really are a reflection of the culture itself and the artwork,” said Thaib.

She also explained that ASA hopes to organize another larger event in the spring, which would be held in the lower level of the BCC. The proposed event would have origami, calligraphy, games and finger foods.

When asked why she enjoys being a part of ASA, Thaib explained that it has helped her learn to embrace her culture.

“I guess I have become more Americanized, but with this club and with other kids in the same boat as me, we want to hold on to our culture … To blend it into our identity in a sense,” she explained.

Thaib also mentioned that another of her favorite aspects of ASA is the club’s close bond.

“ASA has become more of a family for me than a club,” said Thaib.

Tickets for Flavors of Asia are available Wednesday, Nov. 19 for $5 at the Information Desk and at the event for $7. Freshman will also be able to swipe for FYE Inspire credit.

For those that want to become members, ASA meets every Friday at 6 p.m. in BCC 200.

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