The Asian Cultural Association works to create a friendly atmosphere for people interested in learning about various Asian cultures through fun and innovative ways.
Tien Phan, a junior diplomacy and international relations major, said, “Our purpose is just to have a space for other people to be more interested in the culture of not just East Asia alone, but Asia in general.”
The e-board does whatever they can do to bring together people from different backgrounds and majors and have them learn about one common interest.
The president of the club, Kana Emery, a junior Asian studies and social work major, said, “The club is essentially trying to spread knowledge of Asian cultures, so we’ll look at media outlets, have game nights and have a lot of food involved.”
Emery is from Japan and said she saves the snacks her family sends her to share with the people in the club. Another event the club hosted was Halloween-themed. One of Seton Hall’s professors gave a lecture about Japanese ghosts.
“We have different ways of being interested in culture,” Emery said.
The club hosts many different events during their meetings. The main constant in their meetings is Asian food and snacks, but they also have movie nights and game nights. Occasionally, the club has a board meeting where they discuss events they are organizing or wish to organize, and how they would go about doing so.
“It’s a pretty relaxed atmosphere,” Emery said. “We do talk a lot in the club because we are a smaller club and are pretty good friends.”
“People who are not Asian talk about their culture, we talk about ours and then we just relate to one another,” Phan said. “We just have a good time.”
This year, Emery hopes to expand the realm of knowledge outside of East Asian cultures. Most of the learning is about Chinese and Japanese cultures, and Emery hopes to change that and allow members of other Asian cultures to be able to express aspects of their culture to the group.
“We obviously don’t know everything about Asian culture,” Emery said. “So I want more members of different cultures to introduce something about their culture whether it be food, dance, song or one of the other things they can do.”
Ella Small, a junior diplomacy and social work major, has been a member of the Asian Cultural Association for the past year and a half. Small originally joined at the urging of her friends, but she quickly grew to love the club. She has learned a lot about Asian cultures during her time with the club.
“It’s definitely in smaller bits and pieces than hanging out with my friends every day, but I’ve gotten to see more Asian media in particular and Asian foods,” Small said.
She said she loves being a part of the club because it allows her to keep an open mind and be open to new and interesting things.
“My goal is just to be open to experiencing as many different cultures as I can,” Small said. “I just always want to be open to new things and be comfortable enough to ask questions.”
Rebecca Amrick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.