Asian Allure aims to debunk conceptions about culture
Thomas Murphy | Friday, November 2, 2018
The Asian American Association of Notre Dame will host Asian Allure, its annual showcase celebrating Asian culture and heritage, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. in Washington Hall. This year’s show includes traditional songs, dances and a fashion show.
“Asian Allure is a multicultural performance where we gather and unite all of the Asian cultural clubs together to perform different acts — whether it’s a dance or a song — that highlight unique elements about their culture,” senior and president of the Asian American Association Sid Magdaong said.
While there are several, more specific cultural clubs, the Asian American Association (AAA) is a conglomerate of all of these clubs. Senior Alyssa Ngo, director of the show, said Asian Allure is an opportunity for the cultural clubs to come together and celebrate Asian culture in general.
“There’s a number of different clubs [within the Asian American Association],” Ngo said. “Most of the clubs, since they’re more specific to their student demographic, they do most of their own events. … A lot of the events that [the Asian American Association] usually puts on are mostly social events or events for us like a movie watch or food or things like that. So there’s not that many events that the clubs put on for not just us. … In terms of events that we put on that wider campus audience and other people can come see what AAA is about — this is it.”
This year’s theme is “Behind the Curtain,” which seeks to dispel common misconceptions about Asian culture, Ngo said.
“Behind the Curtain is a play on the show theme — we’re all on stage behind the curtain,” she said. “The reason why Asian Allure is called ‘Asian Allure’ is because we recognize that to a Western audience the Asian continent is kind of mysterious — it’s mystery, it’s exotic, it’s foreign — this is allure. I wanted to express the show is this demystification of Asian culture, to kind of pull back the curtain and say, ‘This is what we’re really about and here are some things that you didn’t know about Asian culture, here are some things that maybe you thought you knew but you actually didn’t.’”
Ngo said Asian Allure provides members with the opportunity to share their culture with their non-Asian friends.
“A lot of people really look forward to it every year,” she said. “It’s meant a lot to a lot of people as the thing to invite other friends who are outside of the [Asian] community to say, ‘This is what I do, these are my people, this is my culture.’”
For many members of the Asian American Association, sharing Asian culture with the campus through Asian Allure is one of the best parts of their year, Magdaong said.
“Asian Allure is one of my favorite events that our organization puts on every year,” he said. “It’s really amazing to see all these different clubs gather for two nights this week where they can just showcase these parts of their culture that are very important to them and letting the audience and the broader Notre Dame community know more about that. I just think that’s fantastic.”