Hundreds of students from all cultural backgrounds lined up to enter the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Night Market hosted by the University of Georgia Asian American Student Association on Saturday night.
The event took place on the Tate West Lawn and hosted booths from various Asian-based organizations and fraternities. Each table was sponsored by an organization and run by its student members.
Everyone who entered the market was given a bingo card to get stamped at each booth they purchased from. Once a person got four stamps in a row from different organizations, or “bingo,” they were eligible to participate in the event’s raffle.
The tables offered a variety of ethnic foods, games and activities such as henna painting to represent Pakistan and Bangladesh, mahjong to represent China, and Tinikling dance to represent the Philippines. Admission was free, however, to participate in the activities and purchase the food and beverages, students paid with tickets that they bought when checking in.
One of the organizations represented was the Sigma Sigma Rho sorority, which is a social and service based organization that is traditionally South Asian but non-exclusive. Sigma Sigma Rho’s Athens chapter was founded at UGA in 2007.
“A lot of girls that join usually have a really well connected background to their heritage and I like that we’re not just South Asian based,” Sigma Sigma Rho internal vice president, Niki Swamy, said. “I’m Gujarati, my parents are from India, but there’s someone in the sorority whose parents are from the Caribbean, so meeting people from different backgrounds that also have a similar value is nice.”
Sigma Sigma Rho served Jalebi, a sweet Indian street food that is similar to funnel cake but soaked in a sugar syrup and traditionally served warm.
“I transferred to UGA from Georgia State so meeting people from Sigma Sigma Rho really helped me foster new connections and helped me feel a lot closer to UGA itself,” vice president of finance of Sigma Sigma Rho, Vidhi Patel, said.
The other organizations represented at the event included Alpha Sigma Rho, the Pakistani Student Association, Delta Epsilon Psi, the Indian Cultural Exchange, the Korean Undergraduate Student Association, the Chinese Conversation Club, the APIDA Political Alliance, the Filipino Student Association, the Japanese Conversation Club, the Bengali Cultural Organization, Delta Phi Lambda, Alpha Kappa Delta Phi, the Vietnamese Student Association and Delta Phi Omega.
AASA hosted performers to present traditional cultural dances and songs for the crowd to enjoy. The show included performances by the DL_NO dance group, traditional Chinese umbrella dancers, songs sung by UGA student Sarah Colgan, and more.