Exploring Asian Societies Together (EAST) held an Asian feast in front of Seaver Gallery on Feb. 28, 2011, around lunchtime. The club raises money every year for a different cause, and last year raised over $1,100 to donate to Haiti and books to Asia. This year they are raising money to donate to a non-profit organization called LINK (Liberty in North Korea) that is dedicated to helping North Korean refugees.
Two people set up a table selling tickets that cost one dollar each. The food cost one or two tickets. One girl gave a teacher a ticket and got a mountain of Chap-chae in return.
They were plenty of foods to choose, varying from sushi to mochi (an Asian dessert: rice pastry consisting of sweet red bean paste inside). People tended to flood toward the fried dumplings, sea food and beef sushi, and Chap-chae (clear noodles mixed with spinach, mushrooms, carrots, and soy sauce with spices). EAST organized the feast with support from the Marlborough parents, after sending out an e-mail asking for donations.
Sam ’15 said she was excited about the EAST Feast even though she didn’t eat or buy anything.
“I didn’t eat anything, because I didn’t have any money. It looked really good, and it made me wish I had brought some,” she said enthusiastically.
Lots of students said they didn’t even know what most of the foods were. Throughout the food line, “What is this called, what is that, and what is in this?” could be heard.
Some people said they didn’t like the food. Laura’15 explained why she didn’t even get near the food.
“Even though I didn’t eat anything, I didn’t want to. It smelled really bad. I was just satisfied that I had my lunch pail, but I guess I found it a little intriguing,” she said.
Someone brought up a comparison with other clubs’ (OLE and AACE) festivals.
“They should have dancers like OLE,” one girl said. “Oh yeah, and brought a singer like AACE did,” another said.
“Why did they only bring food? I mean I love Asian food and all, but they should have done more, you know.”
My aunt’s friend, an expert in party planning and catering, said that many people don’t often get to try out new foods.
“It’s sad. Most people don’t get to try out new foods, because they are brought up only eating a certain kind of food, and will only eat that kind of food. You guys are lucky to have a feast that brings others culture’s food techniques into your life,” my aunt’s friend said.
After I explained the situation to my mom, she said something similar.
“I think it’s a good idea to do this feast because it gives a sneak peek about Asians and their culture. You get to enjoy cultural food while indirectly helping people. I loved their enthusiasm when they called me and e-mailed me to donate,” she said.
I’m really glad EAST Feast was such a success thanks to everyone’s enthusiasm and parents’ generous food donations!
In reponse to students’ ideas about EAST bringing a performer, EAST Feast is always just a food fundraiser. However, we brought in speakers from LiNK last February and hope to bring more guest visitors next year– maybe even an Asian-American performer. Look forward to it! 🙂
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