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Asian Heritage Month Closes With Festival

Students+from+the+Red+Dragon+Dojo+demonstrate+their+moves+at+Asian+Fest+on+April+20%2C+2017.
Students from the Red Dragon Dojo demonstrate their moves at Asian Fest on April 20, 2017.

Students from the Red Dragon Dojo demonstrate their moves at Asian Fest on April 20, 2017.

Photo by: Marco Rosas

Photo by: Marco Rosas

Students from the Red Dragon Dojo demonstrate their moves at Asian Fest on April 20, 2017.

Story By: Marco Rosas, Reporter

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Asian Fest is the largest cultural event that can be found at Fresno City College. It is a celebration of various Asian cultures and has been at FCC for nearly 19 years.

Asian Fest incorporates a wide variety of Asian performances, food and booths that attendees can enjoy. This year’s Asian Fest took place April 29.

This year, Asian Fest celebrated the Year of the Rooster by bringing FCC student and non-student performers and vendors together for a day of cultural appreciation.

The day began with a martial arts demonstration by several martial arts dojos, each showing off their martial arts prowess.

A kata, or practice movements, demonstration in FCC’s gymnasium was originally scheduled to preface the martial arts performance but it was cancelled due to the gym being used by a class at the time.

John Cho’s Kung Fu School was the first to perform. Cho is a professor of Asian-American Studies at FCC and one of the main coordinators of Asian Fest.

Cho’s Kung Fu performers varied from children displaying basic kata to men waving razor sharp blades around in the air.

The martial arts demonstration also featured students from the Red Dragon dojo in Fresno’s Tower District.

After the martial arts performances on the main stage, a cultural fashion show was held at the fountain stage.

Ladies in traditional clothing from their respective Asian countries including Vietnam, The Philippines, India, China and Japan walked in front of a large crowd on fountain stage.

The main show, which took place in the free speech area from noon to 2 p.m., displayed the widest variety of performances.

From young male Indian dancers to Polynesian dancers of all ages, the audience enjoyed diverse performances on the stage while surrounded by diverse culinary options.

The booths near the stage in the free speech area offered a selection of Asian foods to try ranging from Panda Express to Indian Market and New China Cafe.

After the main show, the fountain stage hosted a few youth performances, including a Cambodian dance group and child Hula group.

The fountain stage was also where the dragon dancers presented an interpretive dance. The performers, who made up the body of the dragon, portrayed a dragon playing with a toy ball and interacted with children and ran through the campus.

The final performances were held in the free speech area and consisted of choreographed dances to popular anime music during a segment known as Anime Hour.

The scheduled performances offered a variety of cultural experiences for audiences to watch and appreciate but audiences were free to interact with the booths at Asian Fest all day.

The kids activities area near the main stage offered face painting, origami and paper lantern making lessons, among other things.

Booths scattered throughout the campus offered education on individual Asian cultures by members of the community.

The Hmong Student Association participated in Asian Fest for the first time this year. “Everyone can stop by and learn about our culture,” said Vietnamese booth representative Mary Ann Lee.

The university mall also had booths people could visit to purchase original art, quirky gifts, and Anime memorabilia.

A car show was also in the university mall. Cars were adorned with superhero art and colors.

The cafeteria was filled with anime booths and cosplayers interacting with one another. The cosplayers competed in a friendly competition for best cosplay on the main stage during anime hour.

The final attraction offered by Asian Fest was a recycled fashion exhibit in the library. The clothing in the exhibit was meant to simulate traditional Asian clothing but was made of completely recycled material.

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Asian Heritage Month Closes With Festival