Students perform in the Lunar New Year Festival, as photographed on February 26, 2022 (Hustler Multimedia/Geena Han). (Geena Han)
Students perform in the Lunar New Year Festival, as photographed on February 26, 2022 (Hustler Multimedia/Geena Han).

Geena Han

IN PHOTOS: The Lunar New Year Festival 2022

After a short hiatus due to the pandemic, the Lunar New Year Festival (LNYF) returned to honor the year of the Tiger.

March 17, 2022

The Asian American Student Association (AASA) presented their annual showcase at Langford Auditorium on Saturday, February 26. This year’s presentation revolved around familial expectations and the pressure the children of immigrant parents feel to both honor their parents’ struggles but still live their own lives. The theme for the showcase was “Through the Looking Glass” and the organizers drew inspiration from classic fairy tales such as Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella.

The skit this year focused on the struggle that many Asian Americans face: personal aspiration vs. parental sacrifice. “Your parents immigrated, so you have this burden to live up to their expectations,” explained Sunny Chun (‘24), who played Kevin Nguyen.

This struggle seemed to resonate with many students in the crowd, including me. Growing up with parents who had immigrated from South Korea, I always felt a pressure to honor their sacrifice through my achievements. They had left their entire support system behind to provide me with opportunities here in the United States, the least I could do was try, right? 

As many first-generation immigrants know, however, this means making sacrifices of our own. For some, it means sacrificing your own dreams to fulfill your parents’ hope for your future. The stereotype that all Asian American students will become either a doctor, lawyer or engineer stems from this pressure. There is a pressure to succeed so your parents’ sacrifices do not go to waste.

The showcase featured 16 acts and over 300 performers, including Chinese Ribbon and Fan, Wushu, Martial Arts, and many more. With a year lost to COVID-19, the in-person showcase was a wonderful opportunity for students of all backgrounds at Vanderbilt to come together and create new bonds.

“LNYF was an experience that has helped me meet so many amazing people. I enjoyed the positive impact that AASA has on our campus as a whole and just from this experience alone, I began to enjoy the campus involvement aspect and I already made the decision to join LNYF next year as well!” Chun said.

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