A dancing display of Asian cultures

Lexie Andrew

The Asian Student Involvement Association at Weber State University held an Asian Cultural Performance, which celebrated the different cultures in Asia, on Feb. 4 at the Browning Center as the final event of Asian Awareness Week.

With the music playing in the background, these performers enter the stage and start a traditional Chinese dragon dance. (Hannah Moore / The Signpost)
With the music playing in the background, these performers enter the stage and start a traditional Chinese dragon dance. Photo credit: Hannah Moore

“The purpose of this event is that we’re including, recognizing and celebrating the various countries that exist within Asia and trying to implement as many countries that exist in the five regions,” Lulu Faumui-Latu-Peters, ASIA adviser, said.

Asia is a big continent, and the people there often get grouped as one culture when that is not the case. Asia is full of countries with rich cultures and histories that shouldn’t be clumped into one.

The event was a celebration to showcase the rich cultures found in the Asian continent and to show how resilient and proud the Asian communities are.

While the event was in person, some groups performed virtually due to COVID-19. Regardless, they still brought the audience to life.

These Gental help set the mood for the Dragon Line dance about to take place. Playing tradtional drums, gongs, and symbols. (Hannah Moor / The Signpost)
Traditional drums, gongs and cymbals set the mood for the dragon dance. Photo credit: Hannah Moore
Here to discuss the traditional drum dance known as Taiko in Japenese culture is Franco Imperial, artistic director of San Jose Taiko. (Hannah Moore / The Signpost)
Here to discuss the traditional drum dance known as Taiko in Japanese culture is Franco Imperial, artistic director of San Jose Taiko. Photo credit: Hannah Moore

There were performers from many Asian countries, such as Japan, China, the Philippines and Laos. Audience members were included in the celebration by joining the Filipino and Lao dances.

The announcer, Brandon Flores, had audience members smiling and laughing during the event while learning about the various cultures.

Linda Oda, a former WSU professor who now volunteers with ASIA, said many of these people are third- or fourth-generation and might not know their heritage, and it’s a chance for them to learn about it as well.

Tininkling is a traditional folk dance from the Philippines. (Hannah Moore / The Signpost)
Tinikling is a traditional folk dance from the Philippines. Photo credit: Hannah Moore

The Asian Cultural Performance showed people there is a community on and off the WSU campus that can help build support for one other.

“It’s important — not just to the students on campus, but to the community — to see how we thrive,” Faumui-Latu-Peters said.

The pandemic has brought hate to Asian communities. The performances weren’t just a celebration of cultures but a showcase of how resilient and proud the people are of their heritage.

Dancing and learning brought smiles to the stage. (Hannah Moore / The Signpost)
Dancing and learning brought smiles to the stage. Photo credit: Hannah Moore

Christian Phomsouvanh, president of ASIA, said having this cultural performance shows how resilient Asians are, even through discrimination and oppression.

“We are proud to showcase our Asian culture, our heritage, our histories and our background,” Phomsouvanh said.

The audience was invited to participate in the traditional Filipino Tinikling dance. (Hannah Moore / The Signpost)
The audience was invited to participate in the traditional Filipino Tinikling dance. Photo credit: Hannah Moore

Through the music and dance, performers showed pride in their heritage and resilience throughout history.

Oda said she enjoyed that everyone came together, even in times like these.

A dancer performs the traditional Chinese dragon dance. (Hannah Moore / The Signpost)
A dancer performs the traditional Chinese dragon dance. Photo credit: Hannah Moore
Many pieces of art, such as this quilt depicting traditional gowns in Asian culture, were shown to the public at the Asian Cultural Performance. (Hannah Moore / The Signost)
Many pieces of art, such as this quilt depicting traditional gowns in Asian culture, were shown to the public at the Asian Cultural Performance. Photo credit: Hannah Moore

Taiko drumming consists of music, acivity, and dancing all in one performance. (Hannah Moore / The Signpost)
Taiko drumming consists of music, activity and dancing all in one performance. Photo credit: Hannah Moore