Asian Culture Night celebrates heritage through performances


Members of Asian Culture Club bow after the fashion show. Photo by David Kwartler.

The Newtonite

by David Kwartler

Asian Culture Night took place Saturday night in the auditorium, showcasing students’ Asian heritage. The event, which featured various musicians, was organized by this school’s Asian Culture Club.

To start the show off, freshman Ryan Lin and his brother, Justin, performed the “Flying Diablo Spectacular.” The group elegantly maneuvered colorful balls on string, tossing them between one another and spinning in every direction.

Senior Sydni Lockeby then took the stage in a flashy red dress with sparkling scales on it. She performed “The Little Fish,” a dance set to a relaxing instrumental with the sounds of the ocean in the background. Lockeby mimicked a fish in her movements by “swimming” on stage.

Then, junior Artem Aleksanyan performed. He played “House of Rising Sun” by The Animals, on his guitar and sang along as well. He continued to play “Hotel California” by the Eagles, ending with a lengthy guitar solo..

After discussing the effect of Japanese culture on American students, junior Coco Erickson sang along to the Pokemon theme song. She passionately went through the song while wearing a Pikachu character hat.

Seniors Calvin Kwong and Yongyi Zhao performed “Brick by Boring Brick” by Paramore. The two played acoustic guitars, and Zhao kept the rhythm while Kwong sang.

Next, the Melecotones, one of this school’s a cappella groups, gathered around the microphone for a musical number. First, they performed “Brave” by Sara Bareilles. As male members sang with a low pitch, females harmonized and others beatboxed. The group concluded the first act of the night by singing “Free Falling” by Tom Petty. Members took turns with solo renditions of each verse.

Following the intermission, freshmen Nick Scott and Elizabeth Wu performed the song “Dui Bu Qi” in Chinese. Afterwards, seniors Jennifer Chang and Andrew Larson sang “Once Upon in China” by Wong Fei-Hong.

Freshman Alex Chin, with a staff in his hand, performed a martial arts routine. He spun the staff above him and struck down with force. He moved across the stage with an array of intricate moves and menacing blows.

For the next presentation, seniors Islam Brox and Steven Haegen took the stage with Aleksanyan for a beatbox battle. The three took turns dropping impressive rhythms and concluded in a harmony of different beats.

As the event drew to a close, senior Sam Huang and his sister, sophomore Amy Huang, performed a crowd-pleasing martial arts routine. The group performed using traditional Asian weapons, such as staffs, swords and nunchuks.

To conclude, members of the Asian Culture Club put on a fashion show. As each new song played, two students walked across the stage. One student wore Asian attire, while the other wore modern dress clothes. As the trend continued, the juxtaposition of Asian heritage with current looks and fashion proved a point: even in the city of Newton in modern times, these students were proud and appreciative of their ancestry and traditional culture.

Following the event, an assortment of Asian food was served, and the officers of the Asian Culture Club thanked their advisers and the audience.