On February 8th, I attended the ASEAN culture night held in Meacham auditorium. ASEAN is the Association of South East Asian Nations and is an entity created to help bring together students from Southeastern Asian nations such as the Philippines, Vietnam, and Cambodia. The night consisted of a fashion show of traditional clothing worn in each of the ASEAN countries. Next, traditional dances from each of the nations were performed. My favorite dance was the Filipino dance. In it, two performers held long wooden poles on the ground that they hit on the ground and slid while two other performers hopped back and forth over the poles as they moved. It was mesmerizing to watch and impressive that the dancers did not get hit by the poles. The dance reminded me of jump rope. Another cool dance was the Cambodian dance. In it, the performers held coconut shells and tapped them against other people’s shells while dancing around. I also really liked seeing the special clothing of the fashion show. Some of the clothes had very vibrant colors and complex patterns.

I normally am not as interested by Asian culture as I am by other cultures, so I have not attended many events related to Asian culture here at OU. However, my roommate is from Cambodia and is very involved in ASEAN, so I decided to attend. I am really glad that I did! My roommate had a very big role in the night as one of the MC’s, and it was cool getting to learn more about his culture while supporting him in an activity that was important to him. I realized that even though I have many international friends here at OU, I have not taken much opportunity to talk to my roommate about Cambodia and his experiences. It is something I hope to do before the end of the year.