Uptown festival showcases many Asian cultures

A poster promoting Friday’s Asian Cultural Festival. Photo courtesy of the Asian American Association

A poster promoting Friday’s Asian Cultural Festival. Photo courtesy of the Asian American Association

By Marla Chavez Garcia

The annual Asian Cultural Festival takes over Uptown Park Friday, Oct. 18. The fest will be hosted by the Asian American Association (AAA) and the Bangladesh Student Association, showcasing a variety of Asian cultures, performances and cuisines.

The two student organizations at Miami aspire to promote and provide opportunities to the communities of Miami and Oxford for education and discussion regarding Asian-American and Bangladesh culture.

The AAA comprises of a diverse group of students from all parts of Asia including, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines.

According to Diwen Chen, president of the AAA, the goal of this event is to celebrate cultural diversity and spread knowledge of a unique Asian culture.

“This kind of event always has the best feedback,” he said. “People who attend are having fun, but it is also fun for us organizers because it makes us happy to see our cultures being appreciated.”

The fest will begin at 5 p.m. and run until 8 p.m., featuring live performances by student organizations and free, authentic food.

Elena Arduin, a Miami senior, has been a part of the Asian Cultural Festival for all her four years at Miami. This year, she was in charge of planning the event.

“The thing I enjoy most about it, is the community it fosters,” Arduin said.

“I think representation, especially at Miami is so important and this festival is a great way to showcase the diverse Asian community we have here.”

In previous years, the fest has been hosted during the Spring. This year, it is being hosted during family weekend making the planning process much shorter than usual.

“We’re hoping to get a good turnout with all the families in town,” Arduin said.

The festival includes a raffle with prizes from local businesses such as Skippers, Bagel & Deli, Skyline Chili, SoHi and more.

The event is open and free to the public. Arduin emphasized the festival targets the community as well as the students at Miami.

“Learning about and interacting with other cultures is something that I encourage everyone to do regardless of age. There are people in the community who are interested in certain countries and the festival is a great way to make connections and develop a community,” she said.  

According to the state’s website, Ohio.gov, there are 324,000 Asian Americans in Ohio. Many in the Oxford and Miami communities have ties to these cultures making the Asian Cultural Festival a good way to appreciate the different customs of some of our neighbors.