Two dragons were dancing around the ballroom, both wearing vividly colored patterns, while the audience watched in awe. Although this might sound as if it is a scene out of a film, this happened at the Lunar New Year festival, hosted by ASIA on Feb. 4th at the Student Union. For those who don’t know, ASIA is an acronym, standing for Asian Students In Action. The club recently hosted the festival as a celebration and homage to the cultural aspect of the holiday.
The ballroom was a warm scene, the audience was abuzz in anticipation of the performance, traditional food was being served and all were thrilled to see Felix V. Matos, the president of Queens College, in attendance. The performers, masked by a large dragon, precisely yet lively maneuvered through the audience.
Freshman psychology major, Michael Tacuri, was working the event serving food to those in attendance. He commented, “This is my first time working (as well as attending) the festival, and I’m happy to say it’ll definitely be a memorable experience for me.” Festival hosts, Sara Jiang and Kaylen Luu, grabbed the attention of the audience with their welcoming and upbeat energy, and they also engaged everyone with a raffle. One might say that one of the notable part of the events was watching the screams of joy as members in the audience won the raffle (12 people in total). The attendance of the festival was quite high, totalling approximately 165 people.
The hosts of the event were kind enough to have a sit down, to speak more in depth about their club. President Kaylen Luu, a sophomore media studies major, states, “This club feels like family to me. Anyone who wants to join can, and you don’t necessarily have to be Asian.” She went on to describe how her fondest moments with the club are formed during exam weeks. “We have our own space in the library, we all cry together, study together and motivate each other,” Luu detailed. When asked how to encourage people that are shy to approach a club that seems so tight knit, she explained, “You’ll be scared but you have to dive into it. I was a freshman last year, and I came by myself, but now I see a sea of familiar faces at club day. If you see someone familiar, don’t latch onto them, but they’ll introduce you to other people, and that’s how it all starts.”
Secretary Sara Jiang, a sophomore education major, said this when asked to speak about her experience with the club, “Everyone in the club is very open and friendly. Come in open-minded, if you have an interest we can say hi and introduce ourselves and address your needs or thoughts. It’s a different experience for everyone, some people look in and we talk to them, some people just come and go.” Jiang spoke on how the club has grown since last year. “There are a lot more members. Last fall the turnout was pretty big at our first general meeting. The year prior there were only ten members. This fall, we had more than 20 who joined.” Jiang touched base on how the club was a key part of her student life here. Jiang dorms, whereas other students commute back home after school. She elaborated on how the club was there for her, and wanted to leave readers with the lasting opinion to, “Come with an open mind, look for people you can spend time with and look for connections.”