Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Celebrating Vietnamese Culture at Quê

Ngan Vu
Attendees participate in a fortune-telling game during Quê, the Vietnamese Student Association annual event on April 12 at the Gavle Rooms.

Augustana’s Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) hosted Quê as their annual event for the year, a tradition that goes back to 2017. On April 12, the focus of the evening was the folk culture and cuisine of Vietnam, bringing a small piece back to Augustana for all students to enjoy. Students were invited for an evening of entertainment, games and delicious food, with all proceeds going to financially helping the disadvantaged children of Vietnam. 

Junior Hana Bui is VSA’s public relations leader. Bui said that Quê is the Vietnamese word for “home” and was chosen as the theme for the event this year because VSA wanted to bring a small piece of their home to share with campus.

“This year the theme is about home,” Bui said. “In VSA, we are trying to make Vietnamese students feel like they have their place here. They have a home here, and we want to also introduce our home to everyone in the college.”

To start the event, VSA prepared two stations for guests to enjoy: a calligraphy station where guests could request words written in a traditional Vietnamese style and fortune stick draws where guests could pick a stick and go to a beautifully decorated display to see what fortune they’d selected. 

The main event of the evening was the food. The main dish of the event was called dirty rice. This is a savory meal, made of primarily rice with meat, vegetables, eggs and a wide variety of other toppings you can add to your dish to meet your desires. Students eagerly lined up to get their plates and left happily, complimenting the food. 

Along with the food, VSA was proud to present several performances, including a dance from UNYK Multicultural Dance Troupe and performances by VSA members including a traditional Vietnamese contemporary dance and a song sung about the love of the country. 

First-Year Mai Nguyen took part in the performances as a singer and said that she enjoyed the opportunity to share her culture with an audience.

“It was so fun performing a Vietnamese song for a lot of people,” Nguyen said. “When we were performing this Vietnamese song, we felt like we were preserving our culture and getting to let others know about Vietnamese culture as well.”

After these performances, two gambling games were set up called Three Cards and Big and Small. In Three Cards, players won by getting the cards that totalled the lowest score. In Big and Small, a player must guess if the sum of the dice will be big or small. Guessing correctly meant a win!

First-Year Monica Mawi, an attendee of the event, said that she enjoys going to cultural events around campus because of opportunities to learn hands-on about her fellow students. 

“It’s always just a lot of fun to participate in these kinds of events and go as an activity to do with friends,” Mawi said. “They’re always a lot of fun, and I constantly find myself learning new things.”

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