Vietnam Time

5/13/2019 7:54:24 AM

Vietnamese students in Georgia host “Night in Saigon” to promote traditional culture

 As a friendly welcome back event to the spring semester, the University of Georgia Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) hosted a “Night in Saigon.” The annual event rallies together VSA groups from universities all across the southeast to showcase the rich, diverse culture of Vietnam and teach a lesson through skits and musical performances.

Event-goers received a plate full of Vietnamese food — including a spring roll, banh mi, and a salad — students and parents of VSA students entered a crowded Tate Grand Hall.

The skit featured two ancient star-crossed lovers from the popular Vietnamese legend “The Dragon and the Fairy,” which told the tale of Au Co and Lac Long Quan, a peasant girl and a rich king, who existed long before Vietnam became a country. 

For many students, this event represents an opportunity for Vietnamese students to celebrate their culture. However many other Asian-Americans attended also attended because they said they related to the issues expressed through the heart-wrenching lessons demonstrated through the performance.

Night in Saigon is a student-organized show dedicated to promoting Vietnam culture put on by the Vietnamese Student Association at the Tate Student Center in Athens, Ga. on Jan. 12, 2019. The club served dinner and put on skits, dances, and ended the night with a fashion show of traditional attire

“It really helps the Asian-American community have something to identify with,” Elyssa Junio, a junior biology major at UGA, said. “You don't really realize how big the community is until you have events like this and you realize how supportive the community is. Everyone is here for each other.”

Most students attend the event after hearing about it from peers or through VSA.

“I am in VSA and I am part of the food committee,” Kimberly Nguyen, a sophomore computer science major at UGA said. “I helped serve food and that's pretty much how I heard about it, as part of VSA.”

Even for people who don’t identify with the Vietnamese or Asian community, this night is a great learning opportunity for them.

“It's definitely good for people to see other people's cultures,” Junio said. “It’s a great chance to experience Viet culture, food, music and language.”

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