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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Asian American Student Association hosts ‘Taste of Asia’

The showcase celebrates Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Month, which occurs in May nationally but is observed in October at Vanderbilt when school is in session.
Vince Lin
‘Taste of Asia’ event hosted by the Asian American Student Association, as photographed on Oct. 8, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Vince Lin)

The Asian American Student Association commenced this year’s observance of Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Month with a “Taste of Asia” showcase on Oct. 8 at the SLC Ballroom. Tickets for the event sold out by Tuesday, Oct. 4.

APIDA Heritage Month is celebrated nationally in May, but AASA celebrates it annually in October since Vanderbilt is out of session in May. The event featured a diverse array of Asian cuisines from local APIDA restaurants in Nashville, including boba, banh mi, bulgogi, samosas, chicken adobo, mango sticky rice, sesame balls and more. 

In addition to the culinary offerings, the event included individual student performers on harp and flute, as well as student organization performances by Agni (South Asian classical dance), Múa (Vietnamese hat and fan dance), Chinese Yo-Yo, Lakshya (Bollywood fusion dance) and VIVID (K-pop dance).

Sophomore Anuka Naran-Ochir thanked AASA for celebrating the diversity within the Asian American community.

“My favorite part of the event was all the different options of food that were available. I’m very glad that many different cuisines from distinct cultures were represented,” Naran-Ochir said.

Junior Truong Nguyen called the evening “lovely” and was proud of the quality of both the food and the performances.

“Taste of Asia is an opportunity for me to show off my pride being Asian, and Vietnamese specifically. Nothing is better than being yourself!” Nguyen said. 

AASA Communications Chair Hanh Cao, a junior, believes that Taste of Asia is special because of the spread of food and cultures to which they cater. She spoke about how AASA incorporates more countries’ cuisines to the menu each year, including those that can be underrepresented.

“Many of our fellow Asian students may be missing home-cooked meals, so through Taste of Asia, we hope they are able to get a sense of it here as a community,” Cao said. “We are always open to suggestions for new foods and restaurants for future events!”

This event is just the beginning of AASA’s APIDAM festivities, with the grand finale being the Night Market on Oct. 29. The Night Market features various booths hosted by Vanderbilt’s cultural organizations and the greater Nashville community. Visitors will be able to sample Asian snacks alongside different performances and activities.

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About the Contributors
Jenny Yang
Jenny Yang, Staff Writer and Photographer
Jenny Yang (‘26) is from Colonial Heights, Va. She is majoring in economics and political science with a minor in business. In her free time, Jenny enjoys trying new food, learning about different cultures and spending quality time with loved ones. She can be reached at [email protected].
Vince Lin
Vince Lin, Deputy Videography Editor
Vince Lin (‘27) is from Zanesville, Ohio, and is majoring in computer science. Vince also serves as a graphics and photography staffer. Outside of school, you can find him at the gym, rowing, lifting weights, playing games with friends or sleeping. You can reach him at [email protected].
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