Lamar University students celebrate Asian, Pacific Islander culture at Asian Night Market

If you had a craving for steak kabobs, ube brownies or pandan desserts, then you probably found yourself at the Lamar University Asian Night Market on Tuesday, Feb. 8.

Hosted by five LU student organizations –– the Vietnamese Student Association, Society of Asian Students and Engineers, Indian Student Association, Pakistani Student Association and the Muslim Student Association –– the LU Asian Night Market allowed the LU campus community to immerse themselves in Asian culture through authentic Asian street foods, music and live performances.

Traditionally, an Asian Night Market is a walk-around event that celebrates the rich culture across the continent of Asia. In preparation for the event, Dion Tran, VSA president, told University Press, “All across Asia (specifically Vietnam), there are markets rather than grocery stores and the atmosphere is just unbelievable. I wanted to replicate that the best we could through promoting small business vendors, food trucks, and live dancers and performers.”

The LU Asian Night Market featured a traditional dragon dance and live performance by the Indian Student Association, vendor booths showcasing cultural decorations, tufted items, grilled kabobs, ube and pandan flavored cupcakes, brownies and cakesicles. Student-owned and business vendors included Rudy’s Kabob, Sachi’s Cakes and Desserts Lab, k.CreatesbyKrystal, BitesizedbyBritt, Midnight Run, 2ooweird and Samina Shaikh.

Krystal Le, volunteer chair of VSA and owner of k.CreatesbyKrystal, said that not only did the LU Asian Night Market coincide with the celebration of the Lunar New Year, which began on Feb. 1, but it also served as a way to help small student-owned businesses. “Being a full-time student along with being involved on campus is a hard feat and having a small business on a side, is truly inspiring,” Le said. “These student-owned businesses are such hard-workers and their work and determination are motivational –– I’m thankful that our student vendors were able to participate and come out to the Asian Night Market.”