Students start Asian Appreciation Association to spread awareness for the Asian culture

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Students start Asian Appreciation Association to spread awareness for the Asian culture

Senior Yasmine Abdulla talks to senior Vannia Ung about future plans for the Asian Appreciation Association. AAA celebrates the different holidays that its members are familiar with. “Surprisingly most of these holidays fall on the day of the meeting,” Abdulla said. “The plan is to bring food related to that [holiday].”

Senior Yasmine Abdulla talks to senior Vannia Ung about future plans for the Asian Appreciation Association. AAA celebrates the different holidays that its members are familiar with. “Surprisingly most of these holidays fall on the day of the meeting,” Abdulla said. “The plan is to bring food related to that [holiday].”

Peyton Gaskill

Senior Yasmine Abdulla talks to senior Vannia Ung about future plans for the Asian Appreciation Association. AAA celebrates the different holidays that its members are familiar with. “Surprisingly most of these holidays fall on the day of the meeting,” Abdulla said. “The plan is to bring food related to that [holiday].”

Peyton Gaskill

Peyton Gaskill

Senior Yasmine Abdulla talks to senior Vannia Ung about future plans for the Asian Appreciation Association. AAA celebrates the different holidays that its members are familiar with. “Surprisingly most of these holidays fall on the day of the meeting,” Abdulla said. “The plan is to bring food related to that [holiday].”

Peyton Gaskill, Staff Writer

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The Asian Appreciation Association brings together a group of students every other Wednesday to celebrate Asian food, holidays and culture. Founded by seniors Sianna Xu, Vannia Ung and Maddie Cooke, the club was created after they were inspired by a recent cultural trend to celebrate their Asian roots.

“We were just talking during French class,” Ung said.  “Sianna was saying, ‘Oh I wish we had a place where we could just chill out and eat Asian food.’ And that’s basically how it started. I was like ‘why don’t we actually do it?’”

The founders of AAA did not start from scratch. While they still had to fill out a club sign-up sheet and get a teacher to sponsor the club, the association was more or less a rebranding and revitalization of a previously existing but abandoned Asian club. This time, they hope the club will stay around.

You can just listen and try to understand other perspectives, cultures and backgrounds. Our club stands for Asian Appreciation, we’re not going to say ‘wow, you’re white, you can’t join.’ Just listen, that’s the only thing you need to do really, is just listen and learn.”

— senior Sianna Xu

“We definitely want it to last after we are gone, because we are seniors,” Ung said. “We are going to be leaving in a year, so we are really hoping we can get younger members who can take over when we’re gone. We just want people to learn more about culture.”

One of the core parts of the AAA is the sharing of food and drink from different Asian cultures. Members bring in a variety of homemade dishes and packaged snacks including fried seaweed and poke, rice crackers wrapped in nori, kiwi drinks and homemade Arab dishes.

“My mom usually doesn’t make phyllo meat pies that often,” Abdulla said. “Which is why I told her to make it because I  wanted it. It’s a pretty standard party dish, you use phyllo dough, meat, potatoes and seasoning.”

Peyton Gaskill
Members of the Asian Appreciation Association pass food around a table.

The club also has hopes to bring their celebration of culture to the school as a whole through both community service and planned events.

“It would be a Chinese or Asian culture day at school,” Xu said. “We were also thinking about doing community service, but incorporating the cultures into that. Making lanterns to decorate the hallways, or tying wish ribbons onto the tree.”

To help their cause of spreading Asian culture, Xu encourages people of all backgrounds to come to AAA, regardless of whether or not they are Asian.

“You can just listen and try to understand other perspectives, cultures and backgrounds,” Xu said. “Our club stands for Asian Appreciation, we’re not going to say ‘wow, you’re white, you can’t join.’ Just listen, that’s the only thing you need to do really, is just listen and learn.”

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