The Southeast Asian Student Association of Eastern Michigan University holds their first semi-formal cultural night to promote the unity and beauty of all Asian cultures.
SEASA and many other Asian organizations gathered in the McKenny Hall ballroom on Friday, Jan. 19 from 7-10p.m. to showcase their respective countries and cultures.
“This event is actually to spread cultural and awareness of southeast Asia and other Asian countries as well,” SEASA president Anna Pathammavong said. “We are unifying Asian countries.”
There were six large tables set up on both sides of the ballroom for attendees, leaving space for the stage at the top of room and the dance floor for group performances. The room was filled with attendees with barely enough seats for everyone.
Anyone was welcome to enjoy free Thai food and a night of performances by students representing Hmong people, South Korea, Vietnam, Japan, Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Philippines, Malaysia, and Laos. The performances consisted of mainly traditional dancing and singing.
There were a total of nine performances by the following groups:
· The Kapamilya Club (representing the Philippines )
· The Chimmi, Nadia and Vidhi Dance Trio (representing Nepal, Bangladesh, and India)
· EMU’s Hansori Drumming group (representing South Korea)
· Guest performers APEX Hip-Hop from Huron High School (representing South Korea and Vietnam.)
· Singer Gai Robertson (representing Japan)
· Singer Nancy Sharma (representing Nepal)
· Singer Alyssa Choo (representing Malaysia)
· Reggie Craig (representing Hmong people) with a short rap video telling their history
· Anna Pathammavong and Lynne Yang (representing Laos) with line dance called “Bah salop” towards the end of the night.
EMU sophomore Aysia Booth attended the event to support her friend part, who was of the Kapamilya club. However, she also had interest in the different Asian organizations.
“I learned about the Hmong,” said Booth. “I knew a little bit about it but I didn’t know much so that was pretty cool. And I’m one that respects diversity and culture, so really it was something to enjoy for me.”
Like Booth, EMU student Desmine Robinson came in support of a friend, but later finding that many of his friends were attending and performing as well.
“I [try] to make sure I have a good relationship with all students on campus,” Robinson said. “Trying to make sure we bridge our divides, so I wanted to come here and support our Southeast Asian eagles.”
SEASA has been an active group since the fall 2017 semester with a total of 104 members, according to their official Facebook page. Since then, they have organized four of their own events along with many collaborating events with the International Student Association like Halloween parties and diversity dinners.
SEASA is one of the four active Asian organizations on Eastern Michigan University's campus. The other three is the Kapamilya Club, Hansori Korean Drumming, and the Japanese Student Association.
If you are interested in SEASA or any of the Asian student organizations, you can find more information on their Facebook pages for upcoming events and club meetings.