Annual Tour of Asia event hosted by AASA

Members of Tekstyles show off their skills. Groups prepare for months for their moment at the big event. // Photo by Tyler Parker Student Publications

Tech’s Asian American Student Association (AASA) is an organization that is dedicated to three core values: community, social change and cultural awareness. Being one of the largest multicultural groups on Tech’s campus, they are successful in being drivers of change as they promote awareness through different events, projects and collaborations.

AASA unites various clubs and programs across campus and provides students with chances to learn about networking, leadership, engagement at Tech and more. They hold meetings along with workshops where students can hear more about Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) culture. 

Throughout these workshops, students also learn about the AAPI history, identity and issues.

The organization has multiple committees that students at Tech can get involved with. These include Activism, Photography, Design and Marketing.

AASA has several ways one can get engaged with the organization. If interested, all information can be found on their website at aasa.gatech.edu.

Each year, AASA holds three large events to promote social and cultural awareness on campus. 

The Tour of Asia is held in the fall, and Educational Summit along with AAPI Month are in the spring. The Tour of Asia took place this past weekend in the Exhibition Hall from 6-9 p.m.

It was a collaborative event held by all of the Asian-interest organizations on Tech’s campus.

In the main room of the Exhibition Hall, tables were spread throughout with QR codes taped on top that led students to a digital menu when scanned. 

The menu named each dish that was being served on the outskirts of the room along with the origin of the food items. Appetizers, entrées, desserts and drinks were all available for students to partake in to their liking. 

One could have papaya salad from Thailand as an appetizer or tofu and tempeh orek from Indonesia as an entrée. The desserts and drinks looked just as delicious, such as baklava from Western and Central Asia or the sweet rice drink, sikhye, from Korea.

While enjoying the food provided, students also had the opportunity to watch a Tech freestyle dance club, Tekstyles, perform on stage. Some club members spun on their heads while breakdancing and others indulged in classic hip-hop. 

While there were many other performances, such as Tech Tae Kwon Do and Seoulstice, there were sights to see upstairs as well.

On the second floor of the Exhibition Hall, other cultural organizations from Tech set up various activities and booths for students to visit. 

These included the Pakistani Student Association, Filipino Student Association, Chinese Student Association, Sikh Students, Seoulstice Kpop Club, Taiwanese American Student Association and Origami Club.

Rameez Raoof, first-year BMED, attended the Tour of Asia as a volunteer with the Pakistani Student Association.

When asked about his thoughts on the importance of cultural events like Tour of Asia, Raoof said, “Tech is a cultural hub in Atlanta, and we are a melting pot of all these different cultures. We need to promote awareness so people can be more understanding and capable of treating others respectfully.”

The turnout of the event was quite large as students enjoyed performances, food, games, photo booths and other fun activities throughout the three-hour event.

Students were able to make connections with others as they learned more about AAPI culture, and members of AASA were able to watch their hard work pay off.

If you did not get to attend the Tour of Asia, there is no need to fear. The Asian American Student Association will have two more large events before the school year is over. 

Educational Summit, an event full of workshops and speakers, will be held in the spring along with other social events throughout the month of April for AAPI Heritage Month.