ASiA hosts Lunar New Year event after school


Kriste An/Chronicle

Danny Liu ’24, Matteo Dall’Olmo ’22, Ethan Joie ’22 and Josh Barnavon ’23 look on as Nicole Lee ’24 and Nilufer Mistry-Sheasby ’24 compete in a chopsticks race at ASiA’s Lunar New Year Event. Lee won by moving all her M&Ms from one bowl to the other first.

Kriste An

Asian Students in Action (ASiA) hosted a Lunar New Year Festival on Feb. 1. The festival featured a variety of booths filled with games, crafts and traditional foods.

ASiA leader Avery Kim ’23 said the celebration was a meaningful event for club members and community members, given the importance of the holiday among Asian communities.

“We’ve been planning the Lunar New Year Festival for a couple of months,” Kim said. “We wanted the event to be ASiA’s biggest event of the year, given the cultural significance [the holiday] bears within Asian families and communities. We’ve asked club members regarding [their thoughts and] took [their opinions] into account as we planned the [festival]. We wanted to make the festival a fun and easy opportunity for students to take a glimpse into Asian traditions.”

ASiA member Natalie Lim ’24 said she is glad students of various cultural backgrounds were able to connect with Asian culture and traditions through the variety of activities featured at the festival.

“The Lunar New Year Festival was amazing,” Lim said. “It was incredible to see students and teachers of all backgrounds take a genuine interest in Asian foods, traditions and games. Witnessing students’ eyes light up after winning rounds of ddak-ji and mi-bao, for example, was an enlightening experience. Seeing students’ and faculty members’ enthusiasm for the games I had grown up with is a memory that is definitely going to stick with me for a lifetime.”

Club member Ryan Cheng ’24 said he appreciates the welcoming atmosphere that the leaders fostered.

“The festival was an amazing experience that brought students and faculty members around campus together to celebrate the new year,” Cheng said. “The food and fun games allowed people to enjoy Asian culture with their friends in a welcoming and approachable way. Growing up, I viewed Lunar New Year as a family tradition, so being able to celebrate the holiday with others at the school was a unique experience. The school community felt like a giant family in a lot of ways.”

The Lunar New Year Festival welcomed around 500 students and faculty members from both the Middle and Upper School, according to Kim. Kim said she is proud of the festival’s successful turnout.

“The Lunar New Year Festival was a great opportunity to unite with other members of ASiA as well as with the rest of the Harvard-Westlake community,” Kim said. “It was an exciting and beautiful experience, witnessing students from the Middle and Upper School, as well as teachers, come together to enjoy Asian culture. I am truly impressed with the turnout of students and faculty members we had.”