CSA showcases cultural performances

By Julia Ahart
Correspondent

As tables filled quickly, students found themselves scrambling to find a seat in the T/W Lounge, which was decorated in a sea of red and gold. Eager to enjoy cultural performances, singing and dancing, students attended the Chinese Student Association’s annual Teahouse event on Saturday, Nov. 11.

One by one, each performer took the stage to showcase their talent. There was also a brief intermission, which gave students a taste of Chinese cuisine, and a chance to take photos in an area equipped with hand-made props that students could pose with.

Two performers organized a cooking contest, humorously commentated by members of CSA, and left the audience roaring in laughter.

Aretha Zhu, a freshman biology major and the CSA historian, was one of the night’s performers. Zhu and her dance partner, Joseph Ballesteros, a junior nursing major, filled the space with exuberant energy as they performed a hip-hop dance.

Teahouse allowed students to connect with their peers while also experiencing Chinese culture. Zhu and Ballesteros felt the event helped them to embrace their culture.

Students perform at CSA’s annual Teahouse. (Emily Lo / Staff Photographer)

“We love to perform and we wanted to represent our culture,” Zhu said.

From planning each performance and ordering the food to decorating the space and advertising the event, MacDougall and the other CSA members worked hard to organize every aspect of the event.

“It’s our biggest event (for the) fall semester,” said Stephanie MacDougall, a sophomore international studies major and the president of CSA. “We put a lot of effort into it so hopefully people enjoy it.”

As performers congratulated each other after each performance, the connection and friendship between the members of CSA was evident. MacDougall feels that being a part of CSA is like having a second family on campus.

“CSA not only brings me closer to the Chinese community, but also the Asian community,” MacDougall said.

CSA strives to bring students with Chinese backgrounds together, but anyone can join the organization who is interested, regardless of nationality.

“We do a fairly good job with bringing a cultured experience to TCNJ,” MacDougall said. “Even if you aren’t Chinese-American or Asian-American, it’s still a good way to get involved and get involved with culture on campus.”