Asian Student Association Hosts 2022 Asian Expo


Courtesy of Graydon Paul / Villanovan Photography

MCs Alex Whang and Isaac De Leon hosted the 2022 Asian Expo on Feb. 12.

Kai da Luz and Emily Dang

After an exciting victory for the Wildcats at the Wells Fargo Center, there was no better place to be than the 2022 Asian Student Association (ASA) Expo.

The event was held in the Villanova Room in the Connelly Center on Saturday, Feb. 12. The Expo is organized every year by the ASA, and this year’s theme was Pokémon.

Doors opened at 5:30 p.m., and students were welcomed with Pokémon decorations. At 6 p.m., everyone was encouraged to take a seat as the performances were about to begin.

MCs Alex Whang and Isaac De Leon kicked things off with some humorous remarks and set the stage for the first performance by VU Minor Problem, one of the three coed a cappella groups on campus. Minor Problem set the tone of the night, performing the national anthem and “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5. 

The next performance by the Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) was a story-telling dance split into three parts. The dance offered insight into three periods created by COVID-19: the past, the present and the future. While the pandemic interrupted the 2020 Lunar New Year, the performance was a story of resilience, friendship and adapting to the new norm of washing hands frequently and wearing masks.

Next up was a performance of the song “Guren-no Yumiya” from the anime series “Attack on Titan” in Japanese by students enrolled in Japanese language courses. The song was accompanied by a brief battle on stage. Many students who chose to participate in this performance found the experience beneficial for a multitude of reasons.

“Attending the Asian Expo made me feel better about my studies in Japanese class, which allowed me to learn about Japanese culture while diving into other cultures as well,” Aaliyah Abdelhadi said. “I was able to share and learn more about one of my closest friend’s culture and better prepare myself to study abroad.” 

The next group, The Superlative, lit up the stage with its electrifying choreography, as it took the floor in black and yellow. It is a multicultural dance group at the University. Its moves and music demanded applause and excitement from all those in the audience.

In contrast to The Superlative’s high energy, the Chinese Language courses then serenaded the crowd with “The Brightest Star in the Night Sky.” The melody was sung in Chinese and was accompanied by a student picking the guitar.

After almost being lulled to sleep, what better way to wake up than being hit by a piece of wood by Villanova Club Taekwondo. Not only did members show off their techniques and board breaking skills, but they also demonstrated their ability to dance, adapting their performance to accompany K-pop fan favorites like “Butter,” “Ddu-Du-Ddu-Du” and “Dynamite.” 

Following the magical performance by Villanova Club Taekwondo, Jeff Wang had several tricks up his sleeve. With a magic show, Wang demonstrated his skills with sleight of hand and a Pokémon-themed trick that kept the audience on the edge of their seats.

After all of these amazing performances, the audience was sure to work up an appetite. Thankfully, an intermission followed in which attendees were able to experience a variety of different cultural foods.

Once students returned to their seats from the intermission, the Pokémon battlefield came alive as people competed against one another in a cultural Kahoot.

The performances quickly picked up with a dance from Sigma Psi Zeta, a multicultural Asian-interest Greek Organization. It performed a dance to the K-pop song “WANNABE” by Itzy. 

Without skipping a beat, FASA, or Villanova’s Filipino American Student Association, performed a traditional Filipino dance called Tinikling. It brought some modern aspects to the dance alongside the traditional use of bamboo sticks.

To finish off the performances, the ASA dance group came to play, wearing jean jackets and jeans to set the crowd ablaze with “Permission to Dance” by BTS. 

After giving the audience “permission” to dance, the ASA Expo transitioned to a fashion show, in which traditional cultural garbs strutted down the runway, worn by some of the performers or members of ASA.

At the end, Whang and De Leon opened the floor for students to express their comments and questions regarding the expo.

Many expo performers expressed their love of this annual event. 

“Great friends, good food and a hell of a lot of fun,” Catherine Kim, President of the Taekwondo Villanova Club, said were her favorite things about the ASA Expo.

ASA President Peter Tran took time at the end of the event to thank all of the wonderful performers and the E-Board for putting together the event. 

The 2022 ASA Expo gave Villanova students an opportunity to experience Asian culture that they are not necessarily exposed to. It allowed many fantastic Asian clubs and organizations on campus to showcase their talents and appreciation for their culture. There is no doubt that the ASA Expo next year and for years to come will be a must-attend event.