By Ainsley Wang and Hannah Mu
On January 22, AsIAm presented its annual Lunar New Year Assembly, where Upper School AsIAm members performed K-pop dances and presented a video discussing their favorite New Year’s traditions. In the video, members elaborated on their favorite Lunar New Year’s dishes (such as dumplings and hotpot), traditions (such as a house-wide cleanup), and their own unique family customs. Additionally, Lower School students prepared presentations of their own, including satirical skits highlighting harmful East Asian stereotypes. Through this assembly students were able to learn more about the importance of celebrating the Lunar New Year and how these customs vary from culture to culture and from family to family.
When preparing for the assembly, the heads of AsIAm had to consider many different factors. In particular, the club’s head Caroline Bae ‘24, “one of the biggest challenges we faced when organizing this assembly [was] showcasing the various traditions within different Asian cultures. Asia as a whole is incredibly vast, and we have realized that it is practically impossible to highlight every culture. That being said, we try our best to represent different cultures, especially the ones that our affinity group members connect to the most.”
Other than showcasing this diversity, AsIAm also aimed to leave a lasting impression on the Winsor student body. They hope that students left the Lunar New Year’s assembly with a more refined understanding of cultures that they may not have known much about before. Bae furthermore hopes that “this assembly will promote reflection about the importance of showcasing cultural diversity as well as personal traditions.” To make sure that this goal was met, AsIAm presented the aforementioned video and made sure to display aspects of modern East Asian culture, such as the K-pop dances, to highlight the joy and artistry within celebrating the Lunar New Year.
The impact of past AsIAm Lunar New Year’s assemblies is clear: just a couple weeks prior, Mr. Johnson’s Class Is performed a rendition of the Great Race, the famous fable telling the origins of the Chinese zodiac. In Mr. Johnson’s introduction of the play, he mentioned that he was actually inspired by the 2022 Lunar New Year’s assembly. The Lunar New Year’s assembly this year exceeded the Winsor community’s expectations in presentation, content, and fun! In years to come, AsIAm plans to continue to spread the knowledge of this significant holiday and the myriad of cultures that celebrate it.