Cultural Formal Showcases Diversity

Mahi Patel, Soham Agrawal, and Sravya Sankisa pose for a photo in front of the festival’s beautiful decorations.


            The Asian American Club’s (AAC’s) first ever Cultural Formal took place on March 25., and about 180 students attended. At the event, guests took part in many different activities such as open floor dancing, cultural games, and more. The food offerings consisted of a variety of different South Asian dishes, and students in the AAC performed throughout the entire night.

            The idea of holding a Cultural Formal was a long time in the making, but COVID caused a delay. “When we finally got back to school in person, I felt that our school needed some more positivity and school spirit, so I came up with the idea of a cultural formal, since we have such a diverse student body,” said Farhana Momo, one of the Presidents of the AAC.

            The entire night was styled after a mock Shaadi, or a fake wedding, with Harin Mistry and Ashley Chan crowned the king and queen. To kick things off, members of the AAC entered the room and the marriage took place. Then, students performed solos, duets, and partner dances. “I loved performing for K-pop and Bollywood. It’s a step out of my comfort zone to perform in front of so many people, but dancing with my friends took all my worries away. I had a lot of fun,” said Alisha Wasim, a Vice President of the AAC.

Harin Mistry and Ashley Chan watch the student performances after being crowned king and queen of the Cultural Formal.

            Students and staff in the crowd cheered for every performance and showed support for familiar faces. “They hyped up all the performances, which was very comforting to know that our hard work for the past couple months paid off. Performing in front of such a great crowd made the entire experience for me better as they were very involved,” said Soham Agrawal, the AAC’s freshman representative.

            Most of the performers wore clothing that pertained to their culture, and many guests did the same. Momo said, “Everyone is allowed to wear whatever they are comfortable in, but generally speaking it’s formal-wear, and then of course cultural clothing is heavily encouraged!”

Kavya Venkatesan performs a solo dance in front of the audience at the formal.

              South Asian cuisine made up the majority of the food served at the formal, and in order to ensure that all attendees enjoyed their meal, the AAC offered vegetarian and halal food options. Dishes, such as samosas, chicken tikka masala, and palak paneer made up the selection that the attendees chose from. For dessert, guests were served Gulab jamun, sweet dough balls bathed in sweet syrup, along with vanilla ice cream. Tej Mistry, a performer, said, “My favorite was dessert. There was vanilla ice cream from Friendly’s, and I had it with Gulab jamun. It tasted so good together!”

            After dessert, the night ended with open floor dancing, when all the attendees joined each other in the center of the cafeteria and danced to Bollywood music. Sravya Sankisa, one of the freshman performers, shared, “I would say that my favorite part of the whole event was when everyone got on the dance floor and started dancing to the Bollywood music! It was so fun and great to see everyone having a good time.”

Ashley Chan performs a K-Pop dance alongside Tiffany Li and Tiffany Yang.

            The Cultural Formal’s success could very well result in it becoming an annual event for students and staff to attend each year. Rithvik Rajesh, a freshman, expressed, “It certainly surpassed my expectations. The performances were beautifully executed and the music was energetic and lively. I absolutely loved the decorations and all in all, I think the event was put together amazingly.”

Posted on 4/5/22

Photos by Hayat Aydin, Natalie Goldberg, and Gabriella Master

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