The Asian Student Union (ASU) and the Korean American Student Association (KASA) collaborated to host a dinner Jan. 31 celebrating the Lunar New Year.
The Lunar New Year dinner was held in the International Commons at 8 p.m. The event was open to all members of both organizations and featured various Asian games and food.
“Lunar New Year is a time of celebration and optimism,” ASU president Henry Trinh said. “In my culture, we often hand out red envelopes filled with money in order to wish the receiver luck for the new year. This is a tradition that I have practiced all my life.”
Lunar New Year is an important holiday and celebrates the beginning of the year based on the lunar calendar.
Hoping to work with other cultural organizations on campus, Trinh reached out to KASA president Sun Yoon to solidify the collaboration.
“In Korea, Lunar New Year is for family gathering, eating good food and receiving pocket money from elders,” Yoon said. “I was unable to attend my family celebration because I am abroad. This event allowed me to have a chance to celebrate with people who also appreciate this tradition.”
In the past, ASU has planned Asian Heritage Month with events such as the Asian Heritage Month dinner at the Heilman Dining Center and various speakers, Trinh said. This year, ASU will continue working with KASA and is looking to collaborate with the South Asian Student Alliance (SASA) now and in the future.
Since ASU is more of an established organization at University of Richmond, the club has received a greater amount of Student Organization Budget and Appropriations Committee (SOBAC) funding and provided 75 to 80 percent of the funds for this event.
Gift cards were rewarded to winners of the spicy food-eating contest, math contest and traditional Chinese and Korean game contests held throughout the night.
“The highlight of the night was a game called ‘chicken fight’ in which participants held one leg up while trying to knock others onto their two legs,” senior Nicole Stroner said.
To Stroner, the new year was a time for family and friends to come together and celebrate the past year. “Anyone can participate and share in the togetherness,” she said.
Catering for the event was provided by Korean Garden, a local restaurant.
“They prepared Bulgogi (Korean BBQ)and Japchae (Glass noodle),” Yoon said. “I presented the customs and traditions of Lunar New Year in Korea.”
Trinh said: “Ideally, we would love for this event to be for all Richmond students. However, we simply do not have the funding for that. Thus, both the ASU and KASA executives had decided to make the event only for dedicated members of each organization.”
Contact reporter Sheetal Babu at email@example.com