Embracing Differences with the Asian Cultures Club

Sarah+Chen

Sarah Chen

Who Are We? ACC! 

Asian Cultures Club, which meets every B week in Room 253, is an open and inclusive community for students who have an interest, appreciation for, and unique background in Asian culture. Asian cultures have embedded core values, cultural aspects, and traditions that are often overlooked in the daily lives of students.Through engaging events, the Asian Cultures Club facilitates diverse cultural spaces to celebrate and educate each other. We hope to expand knowledge of Asian culture through a lens of fun and creative outlooks.

The Asian Cultures Club at Ludlowe has existed for an extensive period of time but has grown over the last year. As a freshman, I never even knew that such a club existed in our education facility. One day, I was walking in the hallway and I heard an anonymous student say, “Despite having a President, Vice President, and officers, we have never done anything. It’s so lenient that it almost doesn’t function as a club – more like a place where you can sit and listen to your own music.” I became quite interested after hearing this confession and wanted to learn more. I educated myself through conversations with my peers and it turned out this was the reality for the club. 

From my family history, ethnicity, and appearance, the club was an opportunity just waiting to be discovered! By the end of freshman year, I made the decision to join and take responsibility for this club.

ACC’s main focus is to use things that appeal to our generation of students and tie it in with the beautiful aspects of Asian culture. Throughout the course of the year and this summer, we have developed key goals and ideas which include an international and diversity night, after-school competitions, field trips, food, arts and crafts, and different hands-on activities. 

An international and diversity night would be school wide and involve coordination of student and parent volunteers, teachers and staff members, and the PTA. Future locations might be outside, in the gyms, or cafeteria. The event would have booths to represent each country. For example, the China booth would have red decorations and yellow stars to represent the flag, Chinese food, calligraphy, and artifacts open for families to learn about. 

After-school competitions would include trivia, sports, and games open to all grades. There will be an entry fee as well as a prize to the winner. Participants may pick or be put into a team. Additionally, we plan to go on field trips so that students are able to get first hand experience of being in a focused cultural environment. One example can be going to Chinatown for a day trip or watching a film, at theaters, that depicts a culture. There will be opportunities to make and eat delicious dishes from Asian countries along with arts and crafts during club meetings and field trips.

COVID-19 will present several challenges, however, we will try to accomplish some of these long and short term goals. 

The best way to retain and instill information is through physical encounter, interaction, and experience. One can read and take notes about the traditions and facts of different Asian countries, but when an individual travels to a country, they have the opportunity to “live the history” which is completely different from learning through textbooks. Asian Cultures Club strongly supports activities in which students are exposed to the reality of each culture and tradition. After we did calligraphy, incoming junior Kristina Yuan said, “It is an elegant way of expressing writing in a form of art. Encouraging more people to try it also helps to preserve history and culture.” Incoming junior Jessica Yu shared, “It was a great way to socialize and bond with each other.” Through one activity, each person had a unique take away and formed their own interpretations. 

JJ, an incoming junior, shares his perspective on learning Mandarin at FLHS and the Asian Cultures Club. I have always been surrounded by Asian culture, whether it’s eating the food, hearing the language, or buying items with ‘made in China’ or ‘manufactured in Bangladesh,’ it’s always there. I like learning about languages that surround Asian countries because of how different they are from English and Spanish. Many of my friends are Asian and when you understand their ethnicity and background, you not only develop a sense of awareness and respect, but also deepen your relationship.”

It is vital to know yourself, but also those who surround you. Our community is quite diverse, and when we take the first steps to initiate a conversation or politely ask questions, we are accepting and embracing new perspectives through a mutual cultural exchange. These small but meaningful actions are what make this world more connected and loving. As citizens, we should commit to being involved and educating ourselves about the world in which we live. People like JJ help to create a more accepting society. 

We are inspired and committed to creating a safer and inclusive community. Exploring the Asian culture through engaging activities allows club members to expand their knowledge, create new relationships, and appreciate differences. Join today!

Contact President Sarah Chen at [email protected] or Club Advisor Ms. Lin of the Chinese Language Department at [email protected]