‘Passport to Asia’ night market celebrates culture and cuisine | The Triangle

‘Passport to Asia’ night market celebrates culture and cuisine

Several of Drexel University’s Asian-related clubs hosted a night market May 20 in an event called “Passport to Asia: Night Market,” which featured food and activities from different parts of Asia.

The four clubs hosting the event were the Asian Student Association, Japanese Student Association, Korean Student Association and Taiwanese Student Association (of which the author of this article is a member). It was also sponsored by The Good Idea Fund.

“The purpose is to bring awareness to the unique differences of various Asian cultures. We wanted to celebrate our culture with the rest of Drexel University in a fun and welcoming event,” Sharron Chu, Taiwanese Student Association vice president, said.

“That is why we called the event ‘Passport to Asia: Night Market.’ We wanted students to feel as if they have visited all representing countries in one night,” she continued.

Night markets are street markets that operate at night where many vendors sell food, drinks and a variety of other items.

“[The night market] was really amazing. I really got to have a taste of home,” Jason Wong, a freshman product design major, said.

Many students like Wong found the Asian aspect of the night market to be appealing. Wong, who comes from Irvine, California (which has a rich Asian American culture), found it difficult to find authentic Asian food in Philadelphia.

“I felt like there was quite a diverse amount of food and cultures represented at the night market despite it being pretty low scale, which was really great,” Wong said.

The night market held last Saturday featured food from many different Asian restaurants, including Dan Dan Noodles, Koreana, Fuji Mountain and Vietnam Palace. Attendants also participated in many activities such as decorating paper fans and writing Chinese characters.

“It was great that many of the on-campus Asian-interest organizations banded together as a cohesive unit,” Dareus Chen, Asian Student Association vice president, said.

To participate in the event, students were required to show their Dragon Card. They were then given passport vouchers to redeem different items from the tables.

“The best part of the event was meeting the different people around campus that don’t usually participate in Asian-related events,” Chen said.

Because the entire event was free, most of the food that the clubs were supplying quickly ran out, as the organizers did not expect a large attendance.

“It was disappointing because it was advertised as a two-hour event but they only had enough food for half an hour,” freshman architecture major Cynthia Sze said.

Next year, the clubs plan on increasing their budget in order to account for more food and more participation amongst students.

“Now that we have a good handle on the process, we hope to come back next year with even more organizations participating. We want to go bigger and better,” Chu said.

Still, the students who attended early were able to try many different types of Asian food.

“I was really surprised that everything was free as well because I was expecting to have to buy everything, but I was able to get a taste of everything without spending any money,” Wong said.