Students, parents and alumni were able to travel to Asia where they ate authentic Asian cuisine, had henna drawn on their hands and played traditional Asian games from the comfort of the Oak Room and Dogwood Room on Friday, Nov. 10.
From 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., the South Asian Student Association and Asian Students Association held the 10th annual Flavors of Asia event.
The OrgSync page for the event boasts that it is the largest co-sponsored event of the year, and it was awarded the 2017 FUSA Co-Sponsorship of the Year Award, which according to OrgSync, “has been established to acknowledge and recognize the best collaborative effort among student organizations. This award is a testimony that the collective whole can yield the greatest results.” Also, it won Fairfield United’s Program of the Year Award.
The event included authentic Asian cuisine, free henna, games, a fashion show and performances from Remixx, the Martial Arts Club and Taiko, a Japanese drum group from University of Connecticut.
“Not many events are as multifaceted as this one because you have the food, the games, the henna, the dance performances. And the food is just really all around great. There’s a little bit of everything,” said Katie Barrera ‘18.
According to Co-President of ASA Kristy Chan ‘18, over 250 people attended the event; last year’s event drew in around 200 attendees.
“Every year it gets bigger and better,” said Chan. “It’s more campus support; we never used to have this many tables, and the amount of people who show up has gone up every year. It’s amazing how everyone comes to this one cultural event.”
The event this year, according to Chan, was expanded to be in both the Oak Room and the Dogwood Room.
While performances happened in the Oak Room, there were games, calligraphy, henna and a photo station in the Dogwood Room, as well as additional seating.
In addition to the performances from Remixx, Martial Arts and Taiko, Octalyana Thaib ‘20,
treasurer of SASA and public relations media coordinator of ASA, and Han-Gia Pham ‘20,
public relations media coordinator of SASA, both performed a mixed Indian and East Asian dance at the start of the show.
“This year we definitely have more performances from on-campus,” commented President of SASA Zerin Sattar ‘18. “Usually in the past we’ve gotten performers from UConn or New York. But this year we tried to focus on talent on campus.”
Thaib commented on the experience of both organizing and performing at Flavors of Asia.
“It felt like an out of body experience,” said Thaib. “One second I was running around finishing up loose ends and the next second I was mid-dance with people cheering. It was definitely one of my favorite parts because I kicked off Flavors of Asia and straight after I introduced myself as one of the MCs for the night.”
Sophomore Rachel Belmonte, who performed in the Martial Arts Club, commented on the event.
“I think it’s important because it lets other people realize other people’s cultures and heritage,” said Belmonte. “They get to experience something that they would never experience with their own families. So I just feel like Fairfield is one big family with many different cultures and we’re very diverse about that.”
Sattar offered some final thoughts on the event, explaining that she feels that getting to know each other’s differences helps to unite us.
“We try to emphasize that even if you’re not Asian you can still enjoy it and, to that point, we try to make it so that everyone’s comfortable with discovering other cultures and discovering other foods, fashion, people.”