Asian American organizations host joint Lunar New Year celebration with food and games


Kaavya Butaney/The Daily Northwestern

CSA, TASA, KASA and HKSA hosted a Lunar New Year celebration Saturday, which included different foods from the groups.

Kaavya Butaney, Assistant Campus Editor

Multiple student organizations collaborated to host a Lunar New Year celebration Saturday with food, musical entertainment and traditional games. 

The event — hosted by the Chinese Students Association, Korean American Students Association, Taiwanese American Students Association and Hong Kong Students Association — welcomed the start of the Year of the Rabbit.

KASA External President and Weinberg senior Jefferson Xu said it was his goal to reconnect Asian American organizations for a Lunar New Year celebration. He said the relationships between the groups were lost during the early years of the COVID-19 pandemic after the old leaders graduated.

Weinberg junior and CSA member Ashlyn Tu said it was the first event like this CSA did with the other Asian organizations. She said she liked how the event brought together different “flavors of cultures.”

“It’s very important to have cultural exchange programs and events together in one big shared space where we can communicate and share our ideas and perspectives on our unique but connected identities,” said Evan Yang, HKSA events co-chair and Weinberg freshman.

Celebrasia used to be the primary Lunar New Year celebration on-campus prior to this academic year. In previous years, the event featured more musical guests, dance groups and pre-recorded skits.

However, TASA co-President and Weinberg junior Yolanda Chen said this year, the organizations wanted Celebrasia to be more inclusive, which meant the organizations needed a new Lunar New Year celebration.

Each of the organizations brought food, including bulgogi from KASA and dumplings from CSA, to the Lunar New Year event.

“Food is such a great way … to just meet more people who celebrate the event,” CSA President Annie Tsui said. “It’s really great to show solidarity.”

A person rolling out a pancake.
TASA made scallion pancakes on the spot from scratch. (Kaavya Butaney/The Daily Northwestern)

TASA made scallion pancakes on the spot at its table at the Norris University Center by rolling out dough and frying them. TASA’s Internal President Kaua’i Wu, said he had been looking forward to making the pancakes with friends at the event.

Wu added that the organizations had never hosted a food-focused Lunar New Year event before.

Attendees were also able to play traditional games at the event, such as mahjong from TASA and jegichagi, gongginori, tuho and Yut Nori from KASA. Xu said the organizations wanted to subvert the typical media portrayal that Korean culture only emphasizes K-pop and K-dramas, and pursue more traditional activities.

Weinberg sophomore and KASA member Minji Cho said she typically plays yut nori with her family and that it was nice to play with her friends Saturday.

“I feel like I don’t get too many opportunities to experience other cultures, even within East Asia and just across Asia,” Cho said. “I think this is a good way to gain exposure and meet a lot of different people from different cultures.”

The event also featured musical performances from groups such as Northwestern’s Treblemakers and individual artists like Weinberg freshman Zhanran Shi, who played the electric guitar.

Treblemakers President and Bienen-Communication senior Sabrina Chen said the event was an opportunity for the a capella group to perform while enjoying a holiday most members celebrate.

“It’s just really fun to be able to perform for events like these because it’s just like a part of my childhood and a part of my culture that I really appreciate,” she said.

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