2011 Asian Gala praises culture

By Jessica Domsky

Contributing Writer

Students for Asian Awareness at Bucknell (SAAB) sponsored the annual Asian Gala in Larison Dining Hall last Saturda. The organization is designed to promote awareness of Asian heritage and act as the voice of the Asian and Asian-American community at the University.

Before the Gala, campus organizations were allowed to reserve tables, and members of BSG, faculty and various Greek organizations collectively comprised the 200 attendees.

SAAB is one of the few cultural organizations on campus that prepares and cooks all of its food from scratch. The students began on Thursday evening and continued into Saturday to prepare 16 Asian dishes for the event.

“I think the food was really well-received,” said Brian Chiu ’11, a member of SAAB who was very involved in preparing the food for the evening. “The lack of leftovers was testament to that.”

Nikujaga (Japanese beef and vegetables), Japchae (Korean noodles) and Num Treap (Cambodian sticky rice) made up the buffet-style dinner and desserts. Several national dishes were served that are rarely served in America, such Hainanse chicken rice from Singapore.

“I hope we inspired people to try more culturally diverse dishes in their diets,” Chiu said. “If a bunch of college kids with little or no cooking background were able to cook it, anyone can.”

While guests enjoyed the delicious flavors and textures of Asian cuisine, student members of SAAB performed for the audience.

“This year there was more cooperation between different cultural clubs than ever before,” said Yinan Yu ’11, former Vice President and member of SAAB. “All the Asian countries were fairly represented in the performances, and there were dances and songs from India, Korea, China and Japan.”

Performances ranged from traditional Mongolian dancing to a Tae Kwon Do demonstration.  Students performed several musical numbers, including a rendition of the Korean song “Nothing Better” by Brown Eyed Soul.

“My favorite part was the cultural fashion show,” Yu said. “I know many international students wore their own traditional costumes all the way from home for the Gala.”

The campus organizations Korean Cultural Association, Japan Society, South Asian Student Association, Burmese Cultural Organization and Chinese Cultural Association all came together to make the Asian Gala a success.

“My favorite part was when my friends or professors came up after the event, or even today, to tell me how much they enjoyed the food and performances,” said Anna Uehara ’12, President of SAAB. “I’m very happy that I was able to make those people’s evening enjoyable, and I am proud of what the group has done as a whole to make the event possible.”

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