Music blared from speakers, and lanterns were strung around the room as students came together to party at Night Market on Monday night at the Wonders Hall Kiva.
Night Market is an event hosted by MSU’s Asian Pacific American Student Organization, or APASO, as a way to introduce students to the organization’s 10 small affiliated groups, APASO co-president and supply chain management senior Steve Tzeng said.
This year’s Night Market featured free Asian American food, a performance from Lansing-based rapper Wayne “The Amature” Weigel and informational booths for each of the smaller groups, including the Chinese Student Coalition and the Korean Student Association. It was the third annual Night Market hosted by the organization.
Tzeng said night markets are common in China and Vietnam and compared it to a flea market where people circulate through different booths.
“We just want to be able to expose the general public to the culture and history of our organizations,” Tzeng said. “Night Market is a great way for them to express themselves, whether it’s through food or games.”
The diversity of the affiliated groups is one of the reasons Night Market serves as an appropriate first event for the year, APASO Co-president and hospitality business senior Brieanne Mirjah said.
Food industry management senior Scott Rasho said he attended the event because of the experiences he’s gained from being roommates with a Vietnamese student the past two years.
The friendship with his roommate has helped Rasho learn about different types of food, which he said has been valuable to him because of his major.
“I’m just trying to step out of my comfort zone and try new foods, cultures and traditions,” he said. “It’s about learning about other people’s culture’s and just trying to get the word out there.”
Aside from introducing students to the MSU Asian American student groups, Night Market also served a greater purpose.
Both Tzeng and Mirjah said they have noticed Asian American stereotypes across campus, such as a belief that Asian Americans are seclusive, and they both hope events such as Night Market can help change the perception.
“I don’t think people realize all the different cultures that make up the Asian population,” Mirjah said. “They think most people are Chinese and eat with chopsticks and do origami. I think it’s important to not just sit and learn about it but participate and experience it.”
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