Drums boom, feet shuffle, and colors fill every corner of your vision. It is the time of year when students, teachers, and parents gather to watch Ridgewood High School’s annual Asian Fest, featuring a diverse collection of memorable performances and delicious food from China, India, Japan, the Philippines, and South Korea. To gain more insight into this popular event, I interviewed one of the leaders: Hannah Lee.
Having participated in Asian Fest for three years, she had much to offer for curious minds. Ever since freshman year, she has been a part of the following performances: Taekwondo, K-Modern, and Samulnori. This year, she joined as a leader for Taekwondo. As a leader, she told me she struggled most with a “difference in opinion with [her] other leaders.” Her solution was to “find that middle point and accept everyone’s opinion in some type of way.” She learned much about compromise and cooperation during her time this year. Another challenge she faced was the date change. Normally, Asian Fest occurs in February, but because of COVID-19, the date was moved to Friday, April 8 this year, with the benefit happening on the following day. Hannah liked that “performances got more time to practice” but noted that “a lot of attendance issues were happening” as they overlapped with the spring sports season.
Despite such obstacles, she found herself greatly enjoying Asian Fest; after all, she returned every year. She noted that the best part of Asian Fest is the people: “You get to spend time with other people who share the same culture with you. They are all so supportive and nice.” She also finds it very fun to perform and looks most forward to the in-school performance. “As a Taekwondo leader, I hope my performance will look awesome,” she said. Considering the effort and time that students have poured into their performances, there seems to be no need for such worries.
Graphic: Asian Fest