Asian American Affairs hosts electrifying event, entertaining and educating
Minnesota State University, Mankato held Asian American night to celebrate and commemorate Asian American history with a diverse set of speakers and performances.
MC’ed by Daneng Hang and Bla Yang who introduced the performances, with the first performance from Cher Vang who sang a Mandarin/Hmong rendition of “Yellow/Meteors”.
Dr. Pao Lee Vue, the Director of Asian American Affairs, gave a welcoming speech as he thanked the student organizations, workers, and team who helped make the event possible. He also gave a speech about American popular culture, “yellow face”, and white washing in the media.
Dr. Henry Morris, Dean of Institutional Diversity followed suit as he asked the crowd for a moment of silence, “I’d like us to take a 10 second moment of silence for the 50 people killed in New Zealand just because of immigrant status. It’s just a shame that we have to keep having people killed because other people are afraid of people who look different, so I just want you to stand up and take a moment of silence for the people in New Zealand and all over the world who suffer because of the color of their skin.”
Admission tickets were used in a raffle as the MC’s gave out prizes to the winner. The audience was served bahn mi sandwiches and boba tea as they enjoyed the live entertainment.
The next performance to hit the stage was a performance by the Kinsmen, who gave a stellar dance performance to popular Asian music.
Mouachoua Lor, who’s been singing since he was young, sang a cover of “Four Years Ago” by FBI. Following his performance, another student dance group, the Rouge Dolls performed a k-pop dance routine.
The event wasn’t only entertaining, but also educational, as they welcomed the Hmong Museum to showcase two of their short films about Hmong veterans and their experiences in the Vietnam War as well as a panel where guests were given the opportunity to ask questions.
Veterans Ly Vang, Thong Vang, and Neng Xiang gave insight on their experiences. Ly Vang, in particular, spoke about her experiences as a nurse in the war and her time in America as she started her organization for Hmong women. Neng Xiang talked about his time as a 2nd Bureau officer for region two and his recruitment.
Next to grace the stage was the Vietnamese Buddhist Association of Minnesota who performed the lion dance, as they had four full sized lions who danced around the stage and engaged with the audience as they pranced around the CSU ballroom.
Another dance group took the stage, named 21.9. The women are students at MNSU and are a Korean dance group. They got their name by combining their ages, with the average being 21.9.
Ending the event was keynote speaker, Dr. Lu (Wendy) Yan, an Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies as she talked about diversity, immigration, Asian American history, and the hardships faced by immigrants.
After the event was the after party as they welcomed live performances from local Minnesotan rappers and singers. DJ Travis Chen handled the music as he helped out rap group Rhyme Recordz who rapped in the Hmong language. Mouachoua Lor sang more songs as the audience did the line dance.
Other performances included Panhia Vang and Mai Yia Vue, as they slowed down the songs as couples, friends, and groups slow danced with one another.
Tou Saik continued to rap as he pumped the stage with his smooth lyrics and sick bars. Lil Crazed ended the party as he sang popular songs from his albums.
Bla Yang, one of the MC’s of the night, thinks multicultural events are a great way for students to learn about other cultures.
Yang said, “I just think it’s great to give a multicultural view of a lot of different cultures that we have here, and it’s really nice to experience that with everyone and not just a particular group like for example Asians. I was really glad to see everyone attend from Caucasians to different kinds of Asians to African Americans. I just think it’s really important to go to these events because you don’t know what you’re going to experience and you don’t know what kind of event it’s going to be.”
Header photo by Maria Ly | MSU Reporter.