Traditionally, Asian Nite is held at the Jorgenson Center for the Performing Arts during spring semesters. This year’s event, however, could be watched from anywhere as long as you have Wi-Fi. Organized by the Pan Asian Council, the event showcases the talents of Asian and Asian Americans at the University of Connecticut. Asian Nite was live-streamed through YouTube on Wednesday, March 9 at 7 p.m. featuring dances, songs and a skit.
The event was hosted by PAC coordinator Ethan Kimaru and featured UConn ThundeRaas, Riyaaz, FASA, Husky Hungama, and Husky Bhangra. The virtual event also highlighted commercial ads from many of the Asian and Asian American organizations on campus.
“This year’s Asian Nite is going to be a little different for us all,” Kimaru said. “Tonight’s show has been previously filmed at various locations by our talented performers, edited by a truly amazing support crew and we will be broadcasting this all to you right in your living room, your desk, your bed, your couch and maybe even your car.”
UConn ThundeRaas uses dance to spread Gujarati culture. UConn ThundeRaas narrated that Raas is a form of Gujarati folk dance used to celebrate Goddess Durga and good over evil during holidays. UConn ThundeRaas’s performance featured dancers dancing separately but edited into one performance.
“This dance has spread around the world and can be seen on college campuses all around the U.S. UConn ThundeRaas celebrates Raas and competes at a national level. It celebrates the art of Raas and pursues perfection through every step, beat, songs that it practices,” narrated a member from ThundeRaas in the Asian Nite Livestream.
Ever wondered what are some common stereotypes about Filipino culture? The Filipino American Student Organization performed a skit about Filipino culture. Basketball, propping their legs up when sitting, becoming a nursing major, eating spam and being late were some of the traits mentioned in their short skit during Asian Nite.
“Himagiri Thanaye depicts powerful women seen in a variety of roles … Mother, to a teacher to a healer, it is deeply rooted in the Carnatic community that women are given the primary role of passing down this story-like art form.”MEMBER OF UCONN RIYAAZ IN THE ASIAN NITE LIVE STREAM
Asian Nite would not be complete without singing. UConn Riyaaz performed “Himagiri Thanaye,” a song performed to empower women according to UConn Riyaaz. UConn Riyaaz is an organization that hopes to shed light on Hindustani, Carnatic and Sufi culture with traditional instruments and singing.
“Himagiri Thanaye depicts powerful women seen in a variety of roles,” said a member of UConn Riyaaz in the Asian Nite live stream. “Mother, to a teacher to a healer, it is deeply rooted in the Carnatic community that women are given the primary role of passing down this story-like art form.”
Husky Hungama and Husky Bhangra ended Asian Nite with singing and dancing. Husky Hungama is an acapella group that fuses South
–Asian and Western music. During the Livestream, Husky Hungama performed a fusion of Billie Eilish’s “When The Party’s Over” and a classical Indian song. Husky Bhangra, a competitive dance team that performs Bhangra, a traditional folk dance from the Punjabi states of India and Pakistan. Husky Bhangra also shed light on a reform passed in 2020 that was meant to ensure fair prices for farmers. However, it has created more disparities in Punjab, kickstarting a massive and enduring protest. Husky Bhangra performed a dance to not only advocate for that issue but also to showcase Punjab society and culture.
“Throughout this year we learned that a community isn’t always composed with the people you’re in direct contact with every day, but the people that will support you through thick and thin, no matter the distance that separates you,” Kimaru said in the Asian Nite Livestream. “Despite all the challenges that we faced recently, we are still able to connect and create something truly remarkable.”