Asian Fest is an annual event at Ridgewood High School that many students look forward to. It provides the opportunity for everyone to experience a taste of various Asian cultures whether it be through witnessing traditional performances, or trying the food from these countries. But what really makes Asian Fest special is that it’s entirely student led and performed. There are several student leaders and participants who try their best to perfect their performances for months on end. Performing in front of classmates is something that can be exciting and extremely nerve wrecking simultaneously. However, due to Covid-19, many changes have taken place for this year’s Asian Fest.
Now, we won’t be able to see the lengthy line of students spiraling out from the Campus Center to fill their plate with food from multiple Asian countries. There are no usual fundraisers like the bake sales at the football field entrance either. And most importantly, there will be no live performances in front of classmates. In fact, the performances for this year will all be pre-recorded without an audience to cheer the performers on. As a performer for Asian Fest myself, I can confirm these drastic changes. The first few practices for the India performance were all virtual. Because of this, the moves were harder to learn and practice along with others since everything was through a screen. Despite these difficulties, the groups that are still performing have been working hard to make things work. Saachi, one of the leaders representing India, stated that “Asian Fest has definitely been much different and it’s been harder to meet with everyone and make the same memories as we usually do.” She then went on to discuss that there are still positives to the changes as well: “We have been able to do everything we usually do and most of our participants seem excited for in person practices which has been nice, hope everyone is looking forward to the video coming soon!”
Overall, Asian Fest this year has definitely been more of a struggle compared to previous years, but members are determined to present the best quality performances to the rest of the school. To support the efforts of all the students involved with Asian Fest, make sure to stay tuned for the Asian Fest performance compilation video when it releases in May!
Photo: Sam Cohen