The following is written by Abigayle Lista, the 2016 – 2017 ICC Rep from the Loyola Asian Student Organization.
Fashion, food, and performances to never forget, UVSA Gulf Coast did it again with their annual cultural event this time celebrating a Cultural Night. The event was open to all UVSA Gulf Coast schools and anyone from the church or in the surrounding neighborhood, and all Louisiana schools and University of Southern Alabama had booths of food and an activity, as well as performances.
Internal Vice President and leader of UVSA Gulf Coast’s Intercollegiate Council Mitchell Nguyen was in charge of getting the event together along with the other ICC representatives. “I honestly believe it got bigger and better. We had a change in location, which gave us more room for booths and a bigger focus on entertainment with a stage.”
This year ICC representatives chose graduating Loyola senior Quyen Nguyen and VSA-LSU’s representative Kim-Nam Le to host the night. The two kept the event flowing with ease and Kim-Nam could not withhold his “world famous” puns between performances.
The night started with UVSA Gulf Coast eboard singing the national anthem of Vietnam, and then a performance of the American national anthem by Loyola Asian Student Organization’s own Que Nguyen. The rest of the night followed with many performances both modern and reflective of Vietnamese culture, such as VSA-LSU’s Hat Girls, a performance by UNO VASA’s WOES, and many covers, dances, and poetry made by VSA members from every school. There was also a fashion show which included both traditional dress wear and street fashion.
Mitchell reflected on what he admired most of the night. “My favorite part of the evening would definitely be the Ao Dai Fashion Show because I love seeing our generation rocking outfits reflecting our Vietnamese culture.”
If guests were not sitting down and enjoying the entertainment, guests were treated to the various activities and foods hosted and made by each participating VSA. University South Alabama VSA sold Musubi & Chè Thai and allowed guests to play roulette and pong, their new “Salt Bae” tank tops being the top prize for winning. VSA-LSU sold crowd favorite Bo Luc Lac with rice and vegetables, and one could enjoy UNO VASA’s pandan waffles while playing Bo Cua. LASO sold chicken wings and had a photo booth open for anyone photo ready. XULAVA hosted a fishbowl game, and TUVA was ready with their Strawberry, Honeydew, and Mango Boba tea and gave their customers the chance to play Boba Blackjack. And finally, VSOUL had an assortment of foods, which were Viet meatballs, papaya salad, and fried rice along with a Nerf gun shooting range in the back.
UVSA Gulf Coast’s goal for this event is to get the organizations all together for one more time after their other big event Date Auction in the fall and for everyone to have something to look forward to in the spring semester.
Nancy Nguyen, former President of LASO and a guest to the event was thrilled to see UVSA Gulf Coast host the event again this year. “It was great seeing the Vietnamese communities from Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama come together for a rich cultural event giving me a huge sense of pride of being a Vietnamese-American.”