Annual Asian Cultural Festival returns

Carmen Karsonovich, Social Media, Broadcasting, and Web Manager

On April 8 2023, LOHS’s Asian American Student Union held their annual Asian Cultural Festival. The festival was held throughout the halls of LOHS and featured booths and activities from collaborations with Lakeridge High School and many other community organizations. Along with booths and activities, the festival had food and performances. “Our main goal of the festival was to spread Asian culture and kind of show different aspects of Asian countries,” said senior leader Deeya Arora. Along with spreading culture, AASU also wanted to foster and nourish the Asian community within LO already, to “make sure everyone has a space to feel appreciated and concluded,” said sophomore leader Malika Saha. 

Although there were some challenges planning on the way, AASU was met with immense support from the community, club members and students. “The most difficult part, I would just say, is starting early, to make sure all of our sponsors, all of our food vendors, our booths and performers just respond in time and give them timely preparation and everything. I would say that would be what we spent the most time on; just emailing everyone and like giving them a lot of time in advance,” said senior leader Kyla Zhang. But this small hiccup didn’t compare to the mass success the club faced in every aspect of their festival. “This year our festival was more organized because we learned from last year,” said Arora. According to Saha, this year things were “a lot more efficient and organized, everything went a lot more smoothly and we planned everything out better. I think we had a better turnout with more vendors asking to come back and more media coverage.” 

The performances spanned for two and a half hours and were filled with a wide variety of performances. The festival included performances from Lee’s Association Lion Dance, Oregon Koto-Kaie, Paradise of Samoa, LOHS Students Arshia and Aanandi Sohal’s bharatanatyam dance, Portland Chinese Dance Troupe and many more. With the diverse performances, the show exhibited an array of different cultures and vibrant movements, mesmerizing the audience. 

Along with support from their community, the club received resounding support from LOSD community members. “We had all the administrators willing to give us spaces, we could use the school, we had the janitors there, a bunch of staff came and helped us out,  and people were advertising everywhere- all the shops let us put posters up,” said Saha. The club members feel the support from the school district and how they were “generous in letting us use the space. And Ms. Foster, she was definitely one of our biggest advocates. She let us do our own thing and then followed up with us and gave us all the help we needed. And the LO Review offered to advertise our event for us after interviewing us. Also, when we emailed teachers to advertise for us, they did it without any hesitation,” said Zhang.

Overall, the AASU’s Asian Cultural Festival was a huge success and they have hopes to continue the tradition of the annual festival. With such great results this year, they hope to put on a very similar event next year, except with a few tweaks. “Next time we would get more food, switch up the acts, maybe get a different DJ because we’ve had Prashant twice and get more diverse acts. I just want to make sure a lot of different cultures are covered. I feel like here, East Asian is very prominent when you go to find it, but I want to look into more for the show and vendors,” said Saha.