Residents and visitors to Saint Mary’s for the recent Asian Cultural Night couldn’t help but hear the call. Under the theme of “A Call to Celebrate” the seventeenth annual celebration of Asian culture radiated energy out from the Soda Center into the warm, pollen-laced night air of spring.
At the start of the evening, executive chairs Andrew Nguyen ’15 and Sheila Garcia ’14 explained that a celebration commences in three phases: the struggle, the overcoming and the celebration. The evening was set up thematically through a variety of set pieces that chronicled those emotions and feelings, drawing on cast member’s experiences. Nguyen and Garcia personally chronicled the three phases through retelling the story of their family’s emigrations to the U.S. Garcia’s story was told through skits that featured the entire class, while Nguyen told the story of his mother’s emigration in three parts throughout the evening. They were powerful and efficien, keeping the theme at the forefront of the show and producing powerful imagery.
The attendees were entertained throughout the program. Upon entering and grabbing some incredible food, performers were up playing live music. This transitioned into the main program which chronicled struggles and celebrations that everyone in attendance could relate to: of life, love and friendship. These “calls” to celebrate came from a variety of artistic mediums. Dancers floated throughout the dance floor, often bringing the audience to their feet to join in. From the awe-inspiring and skillful Tinikling dance between bamboo sticks to the graceful and eye-catching traditional Vietnamese flag dancing, it was difficult to ignore the urge to dance. Spoken word, including a powerful piece from Justher Gutierrez ’14 and Kelsey Wong ’15 on their experience abroad in the South of France and an urging call to greatness from Ardi Samonte ’16 only served to enhance the already building energy, producing some of the loudest cheers of the evening.
It was hard not to be captivated by the work and the energy of the cast of this year's Asian Cultural Night. Their call to celebrate was a call that was answered by everyone, and ended with a massive dance party led by the cast and audience members. You couldn’t help but join. Through its accounts of struggle and adversity, Asian Cultural Night never stopped celebrating Asian culture and life itself.
(Photo: The Intercultural Center's Instagram)