University High School Asian Night 2023

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UHS Asian Night 2023

On February 10 2023, the University High School Asian Student Association hosted the community for Asian Night an annual display of talent and culture organized by high school volunteers as a celebration of diversity.

The event featured performances traditional and contemporary with many doing a fusion of both from a wide range of cultures from India to Vietnam. Performances included some clever-mashups including the History of K-Pop and Iconic Moments in Bollywood Dance with lighthearted trivia games being interspersed between performances and even a guest appearance from the Dynamics Lion Dance Team, one of Orlando’s youngest lion dance troupes that was founded in 2017 and has recently been busy performing at weddings and Lunar New Year celebrations across town.

Following a night of performances, the event concluded with closing remarks by the organizations’ senior officers including 2022-23 President Siya Patel and 2021-22 President Ibrahim Itani where they reflected on their terms and the importance of events like this in spite of the fears surrounding the recent Lunar New Year shootings and the Anti-Asian xenophobia surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is always work to be done regarding making a society that works, and there is a world of misinformation to combat in doing so. Work in this avenue manifests in many forms and includes advocacy at the legislative level just like that of the Make Us Visible Campaign Florida who for the second year is continuing their fight to bring Asian American History to FL K-12 education with HB287 and SB294, it can also manifest as neighbors banding together for a supply drive in support of the victims of the earthquakes in Syria & Turkey hosted by the Islamic Society of Central Florida last weekend, and it also manifests through local celebrations seen in the weeks prior at UHS ASA’s Asian Night and Lunar New Year festivities across town including the Avalon SpringFest where communities came together to share their culture, food, music, dance and narratives with their neighbors here in Orlando.

The beauty of a community is that everyone can find a place, everyone can lend themselves to a greater cause with whichever unique contributions they can bring to the table, and events like Asian Night are a testimony to the fact that it is never too early to start being part of a community, working for a greater cause that benefits everyone.

On a personal note, I would like to commend the high school students of today on their perseverance – many of us remember the stress of school, but to think this upcoming generation did it with a heavy sociopolitical atmosphere in the background relating to gun violence, censorship of education and the COVID-19 pandemic while still motivating themselves to persist and even plan events like this on top, one cannot help but admire their resilience. Having been part of the planning committee of Asian Night back when I was in high school, it was heartwarming to see my younger brother Ibrahim stand before his school in our traditional Lebanese clothing that I had donned several years prior and express gratitude to our community for the privilege to serve, time really does go by fast, a humbling reminder that helps motivate us for the continual changes that life inherently entails.

We at AsiaTrend thank University High School Asian Student Association for their warm invite and continuous efforts to plan this event and allow their members to share their cultures and talents. And we wish the Class of 2023 all the best into their graduations, and pray they continue their quests for community involvement and living by the principle of unity in diversity into their college years and well beyond.

For more details of University High School Asian Student Association, please visit https://www.instagram.com/uhsasa/