On Campus, Arts

Korean and Chinese Student Associations Bring Students Back To Their Roots

As the lights dimmed in Robsham Theater, the crowd’s applause reverberated off the walls for an engaging show put on by the Korean Student Association (KSA) and the Chinese Student Association (CSA) on Friday. 

The audience roared as Heidi Yun, KSA Culture Chair and MCAS ’24, and Joyce Wu, CSA Culture Chair and MCAS ’24, took the stage. The chairs elevated the crowd’s excitement as they discussed the theme for the 22nd Annual Culture Show, titled ROOTS. Yun and Wu said that the goal of the show is to encourage students to “return to their roots” and remember their heritage and traditions.  

In line with the night’s theme, the group performed a skit in which Joshua Chang, CSOM ’23, portrayed Andrew Kim, a fictional Boston College student who reflected on his cultural heritage during his first year at college. In his opening monologue, Chang asked the crowd a series of thought-provoking questions. 

“Who feels in touch with their culture?” Chang said. “Have you ever sacrificed a bit of yourself just to feel like you belong?” 

Throughout the fictional story, the audience learned that there were places at BC where students from underrepresented communities found their home. The show demonstrated that there are opportunities at BC for students to connect with their cultural heritage. 

The lights went down, and the Samulnori percussion group walked on stage to perform a genre of percussion music that originated in Korea. With a vibrant backdrop illuminated in red, the group kept the audience enraptured with distinctive rhythms and captivating body movements. Sana Shahab, MCAS ‘22, and Chang arranged the enchanting performance. 

A group of students mesmerized the audience with a fan dance. The group graced the stage wearing bright pink traditional Korean hanboks and matching feathered fans. As they danced together, their fans merged to create beautiful, natural shapes that captivated the audience. 

When the Chinese yo-yo performers ran onto the stage, the audience’s cheers swelled. Every time the performers completed a complicated trick—such as passing the yo-yo to one another from across the stage or synchronizing yo-yo flips—the audience went wild. At one point, Justin Cheung, a choreographer for the Chinese yoyo dancers and CSOM ’23, completed a particularly difficult trick, causing several members of the audience to jump up out of their seats and cheer. 

When a group of ribbon dancers graced the stage, the theater was instantly filled with bright colors. Each dancer carried two ribbons, which symbolize the sleeves of old heroes in the Chinese tradition. In keeping with the night’s theme, the dancers performed to both traditional Chinese music and contemporary songs. Choreographers Brian Cheng, CSOM ’24, and Claire Huang, CSOM ’24, showcased how two cultures can thrive together. 

As the performers darted onto the stage to take their bows, the crowd rose to its feet. As the audience members called out and cheered for their friends, energy coursed throughout the theater. 

Featured Images by Stephen Mooney / Heights Editor

February 13, 2022