Without the need to get on a flight across the globe, the Drew community was invited to attend A Night in Asia last Friday. The expert planning of the Asian Student Union and several other clubs, in collaboration with Drew Night Life, made it hard to believe that students were still on Drew’s campus.
Drew students eager to experience all the cultural offerings of the largest continent in the world flocked to the event in droves, creating a winding line inside the Ehinger Center. Students were excited about watching cultural performances, eating cultural foods and winning prizes.
The beginning of the night featured a series of performances by both students and non-students alike. The various performers—some dancers, some musicians—explained the cultural background of their acts to the audience, allowing for both an educational and entertaining experience. Singing, dancing and instrumentation from the pipa and piano accordion were all featured; all were amazing insights into what life is like in the various countries represented.
Visitors in The Space lined up for a culinary trip around the eastern continent, indulging in a buffet of Asian cuisines and cultural dishes with boba as the night’s highlight.
Students that were not enjoying the delicacies participated in traditional Asian games and activities, such as Chinese checkers, Jianzi and origami.
At the end of the night, there was also a game of team Jeopardy focused on Asian culture in Crawford Hall. The categories ranged from familiar topics like history to more niche ones like Bollywood. The winners of the intensely fought Jeopardy game, including Laya Ranganathan (‘26), won prizes like stickers and fidget toys.
“I think [this event is] important for people away from home,” Ranganathan said. “I spent most of my life in India. This helps me feel less homesick. Especially the clothing, the food, the smells—I’m vibing!”
Fellow event attendee Dee Cohen (‘26), who was also on the winning Jeopardy team, agreed: “I think it’s important to have events like this that can bring people from such widely diverse backgrounds and cultures together to celebrate their uniqueness. I really appreciate the attention they put towards making this event inclusive and fun for everyone. I’m really looking forward to more events like it.”
This event was made possible thanks to the collaboration of the Asian Student Union, the South Asian Student Association, the International Student Association, Drew’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Drew Night Life. Look out for more cultural events from any of these groups.
Annabelle Smith is a first year majoring in studio art.