Stanley Luu, Joseph To, Dan Ha, Thuy-Tien Nguyen Seniors at McKay High School
Project Goal: We plan to organize a Lunar New Year show for a school assembly to celebrate Asian culture. It will include lion dancing, drumming, and runners passing red envelopes containing candy and positive messages out to the audience. With this performance, we hope to get the McKay community more interested in (or at least more aware of) Asian culture and to draw more members to our budding Asian Student Union.
Project Description: The four of us founded the Asian Student Union (ASU) at McKay High School just last month. Many of its current members (including us) joined because we felt out of touch with our cultural roots, and we also felt that the Asian students in our community lacked an outlet to speak up about Asian or Asian-American issues (unlike various other ethnic minority groups at McKay). Many of us hope to learn more or share information about our cultures in the club. ASU is intended to be a place where members can connect with others over a shared background and similar struggles and serve as a platform to help break the stereotypes associated with Asian and Asian-American people. As a club, we want to use the grant to help put together a Lunar New Year show. The performance will be on February 14th, 2020 in McKay’s main gym, and we may perform it again at McKay’s Multicultural Night on March 11th, 2020 as well. We will need to practice the lion dance and drumming routines and plan where people will run to throw out red envelopes to the crowd. Rehearsals will be scheduled over winter break and on weekends leading up to each event. We have access to a lion head and a drum that we are allowed to borrow, but we are working to raise money to buy our own as both items are quite expensive. This project will help spread awareness of Asian culture in a school where it is not very prominent; it is hardly mentioned (let alone celebrated) at all. ASU members can also feel more connected with their cultural identities by participating in a dance that is very central to backgrounds that most of us share. Besides helping participants feel more connected with and take more pride in their heritage, the dance practices will also help build and strengthen community within the club. As many sports teams and musical groups can attest, rehearsals and working together toward a common goal is a great way to build bonds. With those stronger bonds, members will be more comfortable with sharing ideas with each other and working more closely together toward other club goals. Ideally, this will carry on in future years, and projects like these can continue to motivate the club members while drawing in new ones as well.
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