UAA hosts lively Asian Expo

Ramapo’s United Asian Association (UAA) hosted its annual Asian Expo on Tuesday in Friends Hall. The walls were decorated with flags from various Asian countries and the room was illuminated with red lighting.

There were various booths including a henna stand where people could get small designs on their hands. One booth involved the Korean game ddakji, which involves a square, folded paper on the ground that players have to flip by throwing a second folded paper, a game from the beginning of the Netflix series, “Squid Game.” 

Near the entrance there were tables set up with TV screens so people could play various video games on the Nintendo Switch or the Meta Quest. 

One game that proved to be a hit was “Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum ‘n’ Fun!,” featuring colorful drums walking on four legs with faces similar to a cat’s and iconic songs ranging from anime themes to Japanese pop hits. 

The night started with people lining up for food hailing from various countries. There were Filipino egg/spring rolls called Lumpiang Shanghai, Korean veggie japchae (glass noodles with vegetables), Chinese veggie dumplings, Indian paneer tikka masala, Hainanese style vegan chicken and plenty more. One of the general attendees’ favorites was the Vietnamese honeycomb cake.

As people sat with their multicultural meals, the performances began with a dance originating from the state of Gujarat, India. The performer shuffled around as she hit two sticks together above her head intermittently. At one point, she started to kick her feet up as she hit the sticks, showing off the flow of her long black skirt with golden accents. 

Following was a classical Bollywood dance performed by biochemistry major Samikshya Pokharel. Her dance was made up of multiple parts that featured rolling her hips and, at one point, balancing a tealight candle in her palm.

Then, dancers from the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company took to the floor. Their first dance was the peacock dance, a performance meant to reflect on the livelihood of the majestic peacock. 

The lone performer wore a white dress with peacock feather accents on the skirt and a single feather that stood out of her bun. The dance featured smooth movements of the arms mimicking wings and various points in which the dancer lowered herself to the ground in a split.

The second dance was the lion dance that featured a lone man kicking and flipping through the air and a giant lion mascot following him. The performance involved a story unfolding between the man and the lion, making the audience laugh as the two dancers making up the lion perfectly coordinated their movements in order to resemble the animal. 

Up next was a 25-question trivia game that involved questions about UAA, Asian celebrities and geography. The first place winner received a small plushie of a cat dressed as a shark, the second place contestant received five tickets to put towards the raffle and the third place contestant received three tickets.

The final event before the raffle was a random dance party. Everyone gathered in the center of the room to follow a series of clips from various music videos of Asian groups, such as BLACKPINK and ILLIT. As they danced, tickets were thrown into the crowd.

The night ended with the anticipated raffle featuring prizes such as an Asian snack box, a mini Lego set, a rice cooker and an air fryer.

In the end, this was a fun, educational event that united students of various backgrounds as they learned more about different cultures.


Featured photo by Peyton Bortner