ASIA Lotus Night blooms in celebration

The Asian Students in America organization held a Lotus Night Market in the CSU ballroom Saturday with handmade crafts, cookies, boba tea, raffle, noodle-eating contest and entertainment by students and visitors.

ASIA President Alene Sengpanya the event took a lot of preparation. 

“It took a lot of teamwork and help from not only just the board members but general members, and Pakou, she was a big support. We did a lot of decorations … it was very eye-opening because we got to see a lot of the behind the scenes stuff that we don’t really know about,” Sengpanya said. “I did come to this event last year, and I didn’t realize how much work you have to put in, and luckily with all that work we did, the turnout was amazing.”

Alex Vang, one of the MC’s for the event and the future ASIA vice-president, said “As one of the MC’s or one of the performers on the stage, it was, again, a lot of work because there’s a lot of communications between not only the board members but also my other MC partner, as well as trying to put together all the performers to see how we’re going to make it flow and transition to one another.”

ASIA is an on-campus organization dedicated to recruiting and retaining Asian students by promoting, educating, and focusing on Asian and Asian American topics or issues in America. The Lotus Night Market is one of the events held by the organization, and is put on every year.

Sengpanya said the group’s goal is to share the culture with everyone. And even though she’s  the one sharing, she says she’s still learning. 

“It’s very eye-opening to meet new students and I feel like, with Mankato, it’s not a very populated Asian area, so with this it kinda feels like a home and it feels welcome, because that’s the whole reason why I joined ASIA; because it was kind of scary going into a new city or town where I didn’t know anyone, and I saw this as an opportunity to meet new friends, and with that, it really helped. It’s kind of a safe environment where you can learn and also expand on other cultures and play fun games.”

“It really provides a safe space to students,” Vang added. “This is my first year coming to Mankato, so joining ASIA has really allowed me to grow as a person, make new friends, and just really enjoy my time here at the college.” If you’d like to know more about ASIA, contact Pakou Lee at pakou.lee@mnsu.edu, or take a look at the school website for more information.

Write to Ellie Meschke at eleanor.meschke@my.normandale.edu

Header Photo: Asian Students in America held a Lotus Night Market with crafts, treats, contests, and entertainment Saturday evening. (Alexis Darkow/The Reporter)

One thought on “ASIA Lotus Night blooms in celebration

  • danielsebold

    What I would do for some Korean Kimchee right now as Mumbai’s Indian paneer has spiced my palate into the ground two many times now on this six month romp around India, a country I run to for the sublime mind crash between the beauty and truth of walking through endless slum neighborhoods only to come out onto a market full of women in flowery saris sifting through piles of verdant vegetables.

    Bombay, where I can feel like I am Bond, James Bond waiting for my girl down on Bander beach. At any rate, I am really homesick for my apartment back in Cambodia and those wonderful coconut curries and those silly little children scampering through the jungles of those ancient khmer temples.

    Bombay is so steamy hot like Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh, but is much more overwhelming with its endless crowds of swarthhy impovished yet energetic and harmless folk coming at you on the sidewalks heading for the subway trains. Where are they going at dusk and how can the station handle them as you are pushed to the edge what with rickshaws rushing down the streets with pedestrians desperately trying to get out of the way

    I spent two years in Vietnam, stuck there during Covid bicycling the back streets taking eighty thousand photos of mostly women pulling huge loads down the streets on their bicycles but nothing can touch Bombay, not even Calcutta from back in the nineties when you could see people living in apartment buildings in Howrah with no walls and you could watch them ten stories up in their living rooms. Bombay is still that way.

    All of south and Southeast Asia–Myanmar’s two thousand sandstone pagodas blazing in the sunset, the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra with their probodis monkeys and orangs swinging through the trees, and Java’s Borodurdur, the largest Buddhist pagoda, and the sweet lovely folk of that little island east of Java–I can’t remember it’s name–getting old–none of them can touch Bombay. I mean Mumbai.

    MSU English/Spanish lumnus


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.