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Asia Fest 2017: Dance, Culture, Fashion, Food, and Friends

APISA 2017 (William Mierz / The Index). APISA 2017 (William Mierz / The Index).

Kalamazoo College Annual Asia Fest is a collaboration of tradition, modernity, politics, and food to create an entertaining and impactful evening.

APISA (Asian Pacific Islander Student Association) hosted its annual Asia Fest featuring K-Desi last Saturday night. The event showcased the talents and identities of students from all over the world.

Countries such as China, Nepal, India, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Korea, Georgia, and Germany, to name a few were represented both through performance and attendance in the Kalamazoo College Dalton Theater.

The show featured Asian and Asian American dances, vocal music, poetry, instrumental music, and concluded with a fashion show.

Following intermission, a video “#THISIS2017” produced by Kimberly Yang K’19 was featured. In the video K College students both shared their experiences as Asian American and took a stance in solidarity with Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen against president Donald Trump’s executive order restricting travel from those countries.

In the video Anthony Diep-Rosas K’19 said, “There is a hierarchy that exists in the Asian American experience, conflicts within our own Asian American identity. For me I think the biggest challenge is to break down those barriers so we can come together as Asian Americans and form that community, so that we can create a holistic identity.”

Some of the other acts included a dance piece to the songs Superlove/Me Like Yuh choreographed by Joy Lim, an original rap titled “Burn it Down” by Simon Li K’19, and a performance of the Hmong song “Txoj hmoo” or “Fate” by Cheng Y. Moua K’20.

There was also a collaboration spoken word piece where Hannah Jeong K’20, Christine Cho K’17, and Malavika Rao K’17 performed their own pieces. Their pieces were based on their personal experiences with their Asian American Identity.

“With the snap of her fingers she disappeared/ nobody noticed the empty saree following the group while he went seven times around the fire,” Rao said.

A Croatian Rhapsody piece featuring traditional Chinese instruments was another collaboration act. Mengqiao Guo (piano), Yu Shang (guzheng) and Quwei Jiang (pipa). Another act that featured traditional Chinese instruments was Sherry Chen who played “Moon on Guanshan Mountain and Big Fish”, the theme song from the Chinese anime, Big Fish and Begonia.

An act that combined traditional and modern aspects of culture was performed by Eva Kwak K’17. Eva performed her SIP (Senior Individual Project) “Korean Identity Dance”.

The event concluded with a fashion show. The participants showcased a wide variety of dress from their range of cultures. Food was catered in from Saffron and Bangkok Flavor.

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Asia Fest 2017: Dance, Culture, Fashion, Food, and Friends