Multicultural Buffet celebrates Asian culture

By Ariel Steinsaltz
Staff Writer

Members serve bubble tea to attendees (Julia Meehan / Photo Editor).

Students lined up from one end of the Brower Student Center to the other. Some waited in line for up to an hour, but all of them were anticipating the smorgasbord that awaited them at the Asian American Association’s Multicultural Buffet on Thursday, Nov. 14.

The buffet had food from different Asian countries, while performances showcased various aspects of the culture. Among the food served was pork fried rice, beef with broccoli, calamari barbecued chicken, vegetable samosas, kimchi pancakes, different types of sushi and bubble tea.

“The reason why we host the multicultural buffet is to … bring the community together, and … showcase the different cultures and cuisines at TCNJ,” said Kim Tang, a senior communication studies major and the president of AAA. “So we have performances and we have food, so that people can be exposed to new things that they may not have gotten to try before.”

Tang explained that the event was one of the organization’s most collaborative, as it involved many co-sponsors who brought food and performances, some of which included a yo-yo act and various dances from campus groups.

“We want to reach out to different communities at TCNJ to make sure that we can try to showcase as many different areas and sectors of TCNJ as we can,” Tang said.

Many organizations and people helped out with the buffet. Among those serving food was Janeel Corpuz, a freshman history major and member of the Japanese Student Association, which co-sponsored the event. Of the performances, Corpuz especially enjoyed the Chinese yo-yo act, which he felt was exciting and upbeat. 

Another guest at the event was Lauren Bragat, who came to see her sister Katrina, a senior communication studies major, perform with the DragonFlies, which perform types of cultural dancing.

Tyler Collins, a junior Spanish major and one of the event’s performers, choreographed a dance to a song called “Love Swing” by Japanese pop rock duo GARNiDELiA, which he said is about love and rejection.

“(The dance is) a battle back and forth between guys and girls,” Collins said.

Though the song is Japanese, the dance is a traditional Chinese fan dance that incorporates modern elements, which Collins said were added to keep the performance modern with the times. 

Rohith Vasa, a junior English major, admired the organizations’ efforts to emphasize diversity at the buffet. 

“I really like diversity, and there’s a lot of diversity at this event,” Vasa said. “It’s really cool to try out different foods and have a good time with my friends.” 

He said that his favorite performance of the night was TCNJ Sher Bhangra, which performed a Punjabi dance. Vasa said he appreciated the performance, as he is Punjabi himself. 

“I was really seeing what I saw as a kid, performed at a really high level by college kids, so I really appreciate that,” he said. 

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