CelebrAsian Food Bazaar and Talent Show

With Korean Pop music blasting from the speakers, students jostled around Elson Courtyard, moving from table to table to buy student-made Asian food. The CelebrAsian Bazaar and Talent Show took place last Saturday and fea- tured student performanc- es and student-made food, from mango lassi to vegetable dumplings.

Philip Koh ’18, a member of Andover Korean Society, said, “CelebrAsian is a good op- portunity for many students to experience different Asian cultures through food, talent shows, so I think it’s one of the most effective ways of spread- ing and helping many students embrace the Asian culture [at Andover].”

The Bazaar and Talent Show were two of the events of this year’s CelebrAsian festival, which also included speakers, alumni panels, and a comedy show. Several clubs dedicated to Asian culture came together to run the Bazaar, selling vari- ous Asian foods.

“I think it’s important for all of the different groups under Asian Society to get together as one body, and also to introduce their different cultures and different foods to the broader Andover public and commu- nity,” said Adrian Khactu, In- structor in English and Faculty Advisor to Asian Society.

This year, the CelebrAsian food bazaar took place out- doors for the first time in El-

son Courtyard. In the past, it has been located indoors in George Washington Hall.

“We did things a little dif- ferently from previous years; we had the food outside rath- er than inside, we had perfor- mances in more of a casual manner during the food rather than having a separate talent show, but at the end of the day, I think everyone enjoyed it just as much if not more. We had a lot of people come and just re- laxing and enjoying the food, and just allowing the Asian and Asian-American students on campus to share a part of their culture,” said Sharan Gill ’16, President of Asian Society.

One of the more popular dishes was the soba noodles, thin Japanese noodles made of buckwheat, served by An- dover Japanese Connection. The noodles were served with broth, green onions, and dried seaweed sprinkled on top.

“[My favorite dish was] defi- nitely the soba,” said Dakoury Godo-Solo ’17. “I don’t know if they had it last year, but soba is the jam, and they have some really great soba sauce with it, and nori, [dried seaweed], and it’s super authentic. I went to Japan and I just had it a lot, and it was one of my favor- ite things. I have a lot of good memories connected to soba, and it’s delicious.”

IndoPak sold samosas and mango lassi, two of its most popular dishes. A samosa is a fried flaky pastry, which In- doPak chose to fill with pota- toes and peas. A mango lassi is a yogurt based drink similar to a milkshake.

Rohan Lewis ’17, a board member of IndoPak, said, “Sa- mosas are always very popu- lar food items. Last year [In- doPak] sold them in front of commons, and they were gone within fourth lunch, so we de- cided that this year we were going to go big, so we ordered two huge containers, a hun- dred samosas total, and we’re almost sold out.”

In addition to the Bazaar, several students performed in a talent show in the Under- wood Room. Alex Ma ’17 per- formed “Dong Ting Xin Ge” on the guzheng, a traditional Chi- nese instrument. The piece be-

gan with a cascade of descend- ing notes that increased in volume. Ma then transitioned into a simpler melody and end- ed with several soft, plucked notes.

“[‘Dong Ting Xin Ge’] was a piece that I haven’t played in awhile, but I thought it was just a really pretty song, and it really reminded me of back home because that was one of the first intense, long-length songs that I performed as a kid,” said Ma.

Richard Shim ’16 performed “Little Star,” a Korean song by Standing Egg. The piece fea- tured a gentle melody reminis- cent of a lullaby. Rather than

singing the lullaby to a baby, though, the lyrics show that song is actually a serenade to the singer’s girlfriend.

“I couldn’t sing a song that I had to belt out, because there was only one, small speaker, so I was looking for song that was more soft and subtle with more falsettos if anything else. [‘Little Star’] reminds me of my childhood… One of the lyr- ics is “Little star, tonight, I will protect you through the night,” so the lyrics are really poetic, and that’s what I like about it,” said Shim.

After the Bazaar and Talent Show, Hari Kondabolu gave a comedy show in Kemper Au- ditorium. Kondabolu is Brook- lyn-based comedian and has performed on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Conan,” and Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham.” In 2014, Kondabolu released his standup album called “Waiting for 2042.”

“What I liked about it was that it was a personal moment in between people only in that room,” said Kondabolu in an interview with The Phillipian. “Like, I can’t do that joke in another school or anywhere else, it was really unique to the space. And it is fun to impro- vise, like I love what I write but when you can do what you write plus great things on the spot, those are the best shows. That means you’re really into it. And I mean, you all came through and I felt that every- one was attentive and thought- ful.”

Contributed reporting by Andi Cheng and Alice Tang.