Spring Festival celebrates various AAPI cultures

Lexi Wicks , Staff Reporter

The Spring Festival brought some members of the CWU community together on April 28 as staff and students celebrated Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander culture.

Several students and staff attended the event, including many that watched from the Diversity and Equity Center’s (DEC) Instagram live.

Laughs and chatter filled SURC 137 Wednesday night. The room was lined with tables, each representing a different Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander culture. 

There were a total of five tables representing Japanese, Chinese, Filippino, Korean and Vietnamese cultures. Each table had information boards that included background on the culture as well as snacks, games, stories, clothing, photos and more.

Everyone in attendance had the opportunity to participate in traditional games where they could win prizes.

Kim Nguyen, event coordinator, attended virtually through Zoom to help introduce each part of the event including presentations and performances about each country.

The first activity was connection bingo. Attendees were given the chance to mingle and get to know each other by asking a series of questions related to the bingo board provided to them at the entrance of the event. The first three people with a full bingo sheet won a DEC tote bag. 

After the prizes were handed out, Nguyen started off the presentations by giving a slideshow on where she grew up, Vietnam. She spoke about the variety that Vietnam has in many aspects of its culture, traditions and landscape. 

Vietnam is home to cities, oceans, beaches, lakes, mountains and forests. Their cuisine is just as diverse. Nguyen made it a point to recommend Vietnamese coffee as a start, as she said she finds it to be amazing. 

Her presentation also highlighted traditional clothing, practices and celebrations such as Lunar New Year. She finished by playing a clip of her singing, making her Spring Festival’s first performer of the night.

Following Nguyen was student Koki Yoshizawa, who gave a presentation on his home, Japan.

Through his presentation, the audience learned everything from basic information about the country to cultural aspects he found were very different after moving to CWU as a foreign exchange student.

Along with some great stories, Yoshizawa finished his presentation with a video explaining the concept of Japanglish.

Next, Yuheng Changyun Chen shared his Chinese culture through poetry and song.

Following Chen, Gared Contawe presented the Philippines through videos of traditional dances and clothing.

Finally, the Spring Festival performances closed with Jennifer Rhee who talked about Korean culture and how it translates into the U.S.

Rhee also announced the new Korean Student Association (KSA) and said students should keep an eye out for upcoming events they will be hosting. These events include spicy noodle challenges, making Korean food and more.


Read more about Kim Nguyen’s story at PULSE magazine