Asian Street Market opens minds, mouths to culture

The event was part of the first Asian American Awareness Month.

As students lined up on Lowry Mall for the Asian Street Market on Monday, they opened their minds to new facts about Asian countries and their mouths to new Asian delicacies.

“We just wanted to spread awareness,” event organizer Sarah Trapp said. “It seem like when you ask a lot of people around campus if they like Asian food, they’re like, ‘Oh, yeah! I like orange chicken!’”

Orange chicken isn’t really Chinese at all, she said. Panda Express isn’t either. And for these reasons, she said the fair is important to dispel the ignorance surrounding Asian food.

“We tried to keep the foods away from stereotypes,” Trapp said. “We tried to think of things like not crab rangoon, not spring rolls and what they’ve done in the past.”

Trapp planned the fair with fellow freshman Danny Poon. Poon said the two have been texting constantly the past week in preparation for the event, which they both thought went exceptionally well.

“I was actually not sure how many people would come, but it turned out to be a lot of people,” Poon said.

Trapp said the location of the event might have helped increase the number of participants.

“At one point, there was a line that went all the way down Lowry,” Trapp said. “We knew a lot of people would pass by here, and it’s kind of tradition too.”

Asian American Association President Christyona Pham said not only the fair’s location, but also the fair itself is a tradition.

“This is one of our annual events,” Pham said. “For our AAA weeks in the past, we’ve always continued our more successful events. We didn’t really question whether or not to do this event, because it’s been so successful in the past. It’s been one of our traditional events where we always get a ton of people.”

The market had Poon quite stressed, he said. First, he worried that not enough volunteers would show up to the event. But too many volunteers ended up showing up.

He also said he didn’t think many people would stop and wait for the food because they had to fill out a quiz beforehand, which consisted of questions about the countries that were represented at the fair. This didn’t pose to be a problem, as students lined up all afternoon to wait for food.

“I guess neither were actually a problem,” he said with a laugh. “We didn’t want people to just come for the food.”

Food from India, the Philippines, China, Japan and Taiwan were available at the fair. The food, which was free, was either donated or prepared by members of AAA.

As the first AAA Month comes to a close next week, Pham said she is very happy with how it has gone thus far.

“I think it’s been going great,” she said. “I thought maybe having so many events would stress people out, but people keep coming. We have regular faces and new faces almost every time.”

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