The Vietnamese Cultural Association hosts the second annual Asian Night Market


GVL / Annabelle Robinson

Isabelle England, Staff Writer

The Vietnamese Cultural Association (VCA) held its 2nd Annual Asian Night Market in collaboration with other Asian student organizations. The event was held in the Niemeyer Multipurpose Room and showcased several cultural organizations selling a variety of dishes.

Along with the Vietnamese Cultural Association, the Asian Student Union, the Filipinx American Student Association, the Nepali Student Association and Grand Valley State University’s Asian-interest Sorority, Delta Phi Lambda, attended and brought food to sell.

“We are the first and only Asian-interest Sorority on the GVSU campus,” said Vice-President of Delta Phi Lambda Kristin Swisher. “Our mission is to spread Asian awareness, empower women leaders and forge everlasting sisterhood.” 

Delta Phi Lambda brought several Asian and Chinese-inspired dishes to the event like mapo tofu, egg tarts and Vietnamese coffee with the goal of bringing people together through food and new experiences. 

“I believe these events are important for the campus because they showcase a variety of different Asian cultures in a positive light,” Swisher said. “Food is an amazing bridge to connect people and this event will display that.”  

Along with Delta Phi Lambda, the Filipinx American Student Association offered unique dishes. They wanted to showcase both savory and sweet dishes. They served Filipino spaghetti, mango floats and ube crinkle cookies. 

“For Filipino spaghetti specifically, we thought it would be an interesting way to introduce the common produce in the Philippines,” said Kelsey Marquez, a spokesperson for the Filipinx American Student Association. “It is hard to find tomatoes, therefore tomato sauce is hard to find or is too expensive. Instead, Filipinos have adapted by making banana sauce, a sweeter variation of the beloved tomato sauce.”

GVL / Annabelle Robinson

The Nepali Student organization featured veggie and chicken Mo:Mo, samosas and Nepali Chiga, which is a common Nepali spiced milk tea. The Vietnamese Cultural Association brought dishes like soy milk, bánh paté so and a pandan waffle a la mode dessert. The dessert is green in color and flavored with pandan extract. Pandan, which is naturally sweet, has a light grassy almond and vanilla flavor reminiscent of coconut and pairs well with the ice cream on top. The flavor is one found in Southeast Asia and the Philippines. 

Aside from new foods, the event also featured music and karaoke. During the event, students were able to walk around to each booth and select what they would like to try while talking with the organizations about their missions and what the student groups do here on campus. 

“Our mission is to spread awareness about issues relevant to the Philippines in communities on a local, statewide and national level by providing opportunities for volunteering and connection-building within the Filipino community,” Marquez said.