Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Students explore new food at Pho-TASTIC

Sophomore Long Nguyen helps staff the Pho-Tastic event in Wallenburg Hall on Saturday night.

The Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) hosted the Pho-TASTIC event which shared Vietnamese culture with Augustana students, faculty and their families.

This event also helped raise money for a Vietnamese orphanage that is looking to build a poultry farm.

All of the proceeds are going directly to this cause. In the past, thus event had functioned as a fundraiser for people in Vietnam who needed cleft lip and palate surgury.

The event took place Saturday, Nov. 16 inside Wallenberg hall and those in attendance paid $5 to get in and got to enjoy Pho (beef noodle soup), Hu tieu (vegetarian option) and floating cakes.

Food is a way to connect cultural experiences and to raise cultural awareness. Pho-TASTIC is no exception.

The goal of the event was to allow students to come enjoy a bowl of authentic Pho and learn more about how it’s made.

Huy Ngheim, a sophomore and a member of the VSA, also saw the event as a way to celebrate friends and family and share stories.

Nghiem commented that “one tradition in Vietnam is that people eat as a group and listen to stories from the others.”

One of the easiest ways to acquaint a person with a different culture is introducing them to food of that culture. Ngheim believes that when you eat food from a different country or place, “you will feel like a tourist actually going to the country.”

The Vietnamese Student Association was originally founded three years ago and is now active again after a year of hiatus. Ngheim recognizes the importance of having an organization such as this one. Ngheim also believes these events allow the large number of Vietnamese students on campus a way to find a community and give them a sense of home.

Several other organizations on campus aim to do the same with other cultures around the world.

In addition to the Vietnamese Student Association, students felt inclined to start a Filipino Club to continue to promote Asian culture on campus. Founders Lyka May Canto, Jude Salazar and Lucas Simon have been working hard to get the club up and running.

In an email, the founders of the Filipino club stated that, similar to the goals of the Vietnamese Student Association, the goal is to “start this club in order to create an inclusive and welcoming family within Augie… and to educate and promote Filipino culture and Asian-American awareness to students across campus.”

They are very excited to start forming a presence on campus.

Augustana’s diversity rates increase every year and groups such as the new Filipino Club and the pre-existing Vietnamese Student Association work to provide welcoming ways to get involved and educated when it comes to experiencing culture whether you are of their ethnicities or not.

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Students explore new food at Pho-TASTIC