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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.

IN PHOTOS: AASA hosts 37th annual Lunar New Year Festival

This year’s rendition of the festival centered on the theme “Winds of Change” and included 17 main acts.
Miguel Beristain
Group poses for a picture at the conclusion of their dance, as photographed on Feb. 24, 2024. (Hustler Multimedia/Miguel Beristain)

The Asian American Student Association hosted its 37th annual Lunar New Year Festival in front of an almost-full Langford Auditorium on the night of Feb. 24. Themed “Winds of Change,” this year’s showcase featured 17 different performances, including guest performances by a cappella groups The Melodores and Spectrum. 

The event included performances showcasing several different Asian cultures, including Chinese, Korean and Filipino dances as well as a Hmong song. The opening act was a performance by The Deltamen, Vanderbilt’s first all-Asian band, and the showcase closed with a senior dance and video.

Senior Mikaya Kim, AASA LNYF vice president, spoke to the effort required to organize the showcase, citing communication across the large team as a major challenge.

“I think just organizing with a bunch of different people because everyone has different communication styles [was difficult], and it’s hard to keep track of everyone. You have to make sure to get emails out too,” Mikaya Kim said.

Junior Maria Manabat, another AASA LNYF vice president, added that communication was not limited to performers and the LNYF organizational team.

“We also have to communicate with students, Vanderbilt, faculty, even organizations outside of Nashville — like restaurants as we’re doing dinner as well,” Manabat said 

Rebecca Pan, a senior, said she enjoyed seeing the performance come together. 

“It’s definitely very rewarding to see how much fun both the audience and the performers get to have with the showcase,” Pan said. “So I think that’s been one of the most rewarding parts.”

Claire Im, a senior who performed in the Taekwondo display, said she had always wanted the opportunity to perform in LNYF before graduating.

“It was the perfect opportunity because I’m a senior and I’ve done Taekwondo for my whole life, so I auditioned for it! It was also a lot of fun to have friends in different acts,” Im said.

Im added that the Taekwondo performers averaged two practices a week and rehearsed five dances, but added extra rehearsals during the week before the performance.

“The hardest part for me was constantly practicing to make sure we were as in sync and strong as possible,” Im said. “I’m so proud of my team for all of our hard work and felt so excited to show everyone what we’ve been working on! I also felt so supported and loved to have my friends cheer for me in the audience.”

Lamiya Adri, a junior who performed in Múa, a Vietnamese dance, expressed appreciation for the energy of the crowd, calling them the “highlight of the show.”

Junior Sarah Kim said this was her first time spectating LNYF as she has performed in the showcase for the past two years. She echoed Adri’s appreciation for the “lively” crowd and praised the skill of the performers.

“I enjoyed how the audience responded to the performances in a lively way, such as in Chinese yoyo where the audience cheered the performers as they engaged in their stunts,” Sarah Kim said. “I also particularly enjoyed Buchaechum, a Korean fan dance with a special Korean attire called hanbok — it was excellently executed.”

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About the Contributors
Gabe Loewenson
Gabe Loewenson, Staff Writer
Gabe Loewenson ('24) is majoring in economics and history in the College of Arts and Science. He is from Marlboro, New Jersey. In his spare time, Gabe likes playing the piano, chatting with friends and keeping up with news about events in the world.
Miguel Beristain
Miguel Beristain, Senior Staff Photographer
Miguel Beristain (’24) is a philosophy and cellular and molecular biology double major in the College of Arts and Science from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. When not shooting for The Hustler, he can usually be found playing Magic the Gathering, exploring new restaurants or practicing guitar. He can be reached at .
Urmika Nandwani
Urmika Nandwani, Staff Photographer
Urmika Nandwani (‘26) is from South Jordan, Utah and studies biology and anthropology in the College of Arts and Science. When not taking pictures for The Hustler, she can be found cozied up with a good book or out and about on a run. She can be reached at [email protected].
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