The 15th Annual Flavors of Asia event was hosted by The South Asian Student Association, alongside The Asian Student Association, Office of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and the Office of Residence Life this past Friday, Nov. 11.
President of SASA, Manjot Singh ‘23 describes the event.
“The 15th Annual Flavors of Asia is a celebration of Asian culture as we share it with the University community,” she said. “Overall it is a time for people to gather and get an in-depth idea of what Asian culture entails.”
Singh continued to describe the importance of the event, specifically the significance of a cultural event hosted at a predominantly white institution.
“It is incredible to see that even at a PWI we can have diversity representation and showcase our culture for others to experience,” she stated.
The event began with performances from the belly dancer Aisha and continued with a performance from RAAS, a dance team from Yale University. Additionally, Remixx, Fairfield University’s dance club performed at the event.
Singh notes how “A lot of the performers that come to SASA’s events, such as Flavors of Asia are from the surrounding community, so bringing them onto our campus invites more people to the University and really puts us on the map in terms of welcoming South Asian culture and representation.” She continues, “For a lot of the people who we invite to our events, it is their first time at Fairfield so welcoming them into our home has been a very rewarding experience.”
Sophomore Mishell Pringle, a member of the dance club Remixx details why she chose to perform at the event.
“I performed for the Remixx club at this event because I love culture and I wanted to spread my own culture at this event and be able to witness the spread of many different cultures,” she stated.
Other cultural dances performed at the event consisted of Dabke, led by SASA Club Representative Haya Shilleh ‘25, and Bhangra, which was performed by University of Connecticut alumni.
Henna was available for guests at the event and food and drink were served as well. Food and drink included samosas, dumplings and more, as well as refreshing mango lassi.
Many members of other affinity clubs on campus came to the event to show their support for SASA and ASA’s events.
President of the Black Student Union Sebastian Michel ‘23 emceed the event because it was the event’s “15th anniversary and [he] couldn’t miss it.”
Members of the Latinx Student Union attended the event to support clubs that hosted the event.
LSU Secretary, Jennifer Fajardo ‘25 states that the “LSU E-board was very excited for the event and we love to show our support to all the affinity clubs on campus.”
Vice President of FUSA, Aliyah Seenauth ‘24 also came out to support the event.
“I am half South Asian and love to be in attendance for all the Fairfield United club events and love to show my support for them.” She continues that she was “happy to be here amongst the culture.”
In between performances, SASA and ASA e-board gave heartfelt speeches bidding goodbye to the seniors that will be graduating and thanked them for all their hard work in getting the club to where it is today.
In her speech at the event, President of ASA Phoebe Trinh ‘23 gave thanks to SASA.
“It is such an honor to collaborate with SASA to host Flavors of Asia. I hope with more events like these, we can further promote Asian culture!” she exclaimed.
The final event of the night consisted of a fashion show presenting cultural outfits. Models from SASA went first, followed by ASA models.
First-year Kai Ostaszewski explains why he volunteered to model.
“I modeled at the event because I wanted to contribute to the SASA event and I thought it would be a great experience to grow myself by experiencing a new culture through modeling their cultural outfits,” he said.
Sophomore Phuc Nguyen echoes those sentiments as he is not a part of either club and chose to model because he “wanted to contribute and get involved.”
ASA Social Media Coordinator Charlotte Delmonico ‘24 comments on the significance of the event in terms of Asian visibility on Fairfield’s campus.
“This is a very important event for Asian pride here at Fairfield. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to work with such inspiring team members as we host this event and throughout the school year,” she said.
Singh described SASA’s mission and how to get involved in their club.
“Our goal is to share our culture with others and we achieve this through different events such as Flavors of Asia, Holi, South Asian movie nights as well as Henna events.”
She continued that “You don’t have to be a South Asian to join this club. SASA is a really fun and engaging way to learn more about a group which you may not have been as familiar with in the past.”
Through participation in SASA, Singh detailed how that involvement “can really help widen someone’s scope and perspective on culture, on campus.”
Even though SASA was worried about how the rainy weather would impact the event’s turnout, Singh details that the event “welcomed a huge crowd” and “was definitely a success.”
Singh expressed her excitement about the events and her hopes for the future of SASA.
“With all of the support and love that came from the attendees, we are motivated to keep working to make a signature event such as Flavors of Asia continue to grow every year and work on even more events in the future,” she concluded.