Wakefield’s Amazing Asian Club is Amazing

The Happiest Club on Earth

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Wakefield’s Amazing Asian Club is Amazing

A picture from the Lunar New Year celebration in February.

A picture from the Lunar New Year celebration in February.

Photo found @WHSAsianClub

A picture from the Lunar New Year celebration in February.

Photo found @WHSAsianClub

Photo found @WHSAsianClub

A picture from the Lunar New Year celebration in February.

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While May is Asian American and Pacific Islander month, Wakefield is fortunate enough to have a club which allows students to be exposed to the variety of beautiful cultures behind this broad label all year. Asian Club is one of Wakefield’s most popular clubs, and it’s the happiest, with about 38 dedicated members. The Club holds events that the whole school loves: the Cook Off, Lunar New Year, and most recently, Holi Fest.

This club made me love Wakefield more. From all the schools that I’ve been to, I’ve never seen a club with so many people with different identities form a group close to a family.”

— Sophomore Uyen Nguyen

Asian Club wasn’t always the Asian Club we know and love. Ms.Hsu, one of the sponsors of Asian Club, explained the rich history that Asian Club has, dating back to 1992. After the Vietnam War, a great population of Vietnamese students enrolled at Wakefield. In order to make them feel welcome, and a little more comfortable, Khiet Dang (a Wakefield teacher who retired in 2003) sponsored the Vietnamese Club. In 2003, Ms. Hsu took over the Club and the Vietnamese Club morphed into the Asian Club. Since then, it has evolved to such a well-known club that even students from HB and Washington-Lee venture to Wakefield in order to be members.

Unfortunately, many people tend to generalize Asia as a couple of countries, such as Japan, China, and maybe Korea. This leads to the generalization of people who identify as Asian. Some members of Asian Club have experienced this harmful generalization first hand. Junior Bilguun Galmunkh, one of the co-presidents of Asian Club said, “I’m Mongolian and not a lot of people know I’m from Mongolia, so they automatically assume I’m Japanese or Chinese.”

In reality, Asia is composed of 48 very different countries. All of these countries have their own set of societal norms, traditions, and cultural identities that they identify with. Because of this, people of all different ethnicities, including Asian, want to explore the complexity that is Asian culture. Junior Grace Kalfatovic, the other co-president of Asian Club said, “I didn’t really have that Asian community around me and I thought Asian Club was a really good place to connect with my Asian culture and learn more about others.”

Asian Club is not only a place where you can educate yourself about the diversity of Asian culture. It also allows people of all different kinds of backgrounds to interact with each other and be able to understand each other a little bit more. After all the main objective of Asian Club is to not only celebrate diversity, but also promote inclusion, which they continuously demonstrate in their inclusive and welcoming events throughout the year.

As for activities, Asian Club is known for having many exciting activities, like their famous Cook-Off event. Last month Asian club celebrated the Holi festival for the second year. Ms. Hsu said, “Whenever we have activities, the officers work hard to provide a fair game for everybody…we are not all the same, but we are here for the same purpose.”

The members of the Asian Club are a tight-knit group and are very welcoming to new members, whether they have an Asian background or not. Sophomore Uyen Nguyen, secretary of Asian Club, said, “It’s a fun club where you can have a lot of conversation with people of the same background and different backgrounds as you. This club made me love Wakefield more. From all the schools that I’ve been to, I’ve never seen a club with so many people with different identities form a group close to a family.”

While there are stereotypes that members of Asian Club have to deal with, they rise above them. Freshman Kim Nguyen said, “We put down stereotypes by showing we are more than what we are labeled as.” As another method to break free from the stereotypes, they produced an amazing video called My Asian American Story. Watch this beautiful video to learn about the inspiring stories of these wonderful Wakefield students and teachers.

“Asian Club is a space where students can feel loved and that they belong. No one is invisible in Asian Club” said Ms. Hsu. Wakefield is lucky to have a club like Asian Club, so make sure to go check it out! Their last meeting is on Thursday, June 7th in A-134. All are welcome!