The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Japanese Cultural Association holds Karaoke-bonanza-zazana

GVL | Annabelle Robinson

The Japanese Cultural Association (JCA) held its Karaoke-bonanza-zana night in the Language Resource Center on Friday, Sept. 15. 

The JCA provided students with the opportunity to explore a bit of Japanese culture through music. A karaoke machine was set up along with traditional food and snacks. These snacks filled the tables and students lined up to further immerse themselves in the event.

Many students in attendance were experiencing an event put on by the JCA for the first time. Tyren Moore, a GVSU freshman got the opportunity to try something new during this event. 

“Usually, I karaoke with my friends and family, but getting to do this with people you don’t know is really eye-opening, you get to create new friendships and relationships,”  Moore said. 

Karaoke is a big part of Japan’s culture, as many use it as a form of entertainment and a way to have fun with friends and family. It is even used to celebrate different occasions such as birthdays. The club expressed the success of the event as a way to bring the taste of Japan to GVSU and gain a perspective of another culture without the travel. 

At the event, students gathered around as they ate and talked amongst themselves. A range of songs were sung from anime to pop culture like Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Even if students were nervous to sing, they were met with encouragement to keep going and cheering from their peers. For a few songs, everyone joined in singing the lyrics shown on the TV. Many students also danced along to the music as their voices filled the Language Resource Center.

One of the traditional foods the club provided was onigiri. Onigiri is a dish made of steamed rice shaped into a ball and wrapped in seaweed. The club also provided cookies, soda and other Japanese snacks for students to try. 

The JCA hoped to bring people with similar interests together. Additionally, the club aims to be a place for students to interact with others, explore their own culture or get in touch with a culture different than their own.

“We want to create a casual place for people to learn various aspects of Japanese Culture. Though there is a strong focus on language, this also includes ceremonies and entertainment as well,” said JCA President Alexandria Hartwood. 

Hartwood said events like these are important to advance the club’s goals of expanding the knowledge of Japanese culture to other students at GVSU who might have never experienced this type of culture. Additionally, Hartwood said how she hopes the club can be a place for students to take a break from their studies, get involved and have fun with their peers. 

“Even if it’s something small like doing a karaoke night or participating in a tea ceremony, it’s still a form of learning outside your own perspective,” Hartwood said.

Aja Simshaw, who serves as secretary for the club, joined the JCA this year and is excited to see what the organization does in the future. 

“I’m glad there are people here and I’m glad that we are getting attendance,” Simshaw said. “I hope the club continues to grow as the year goes on.”

Simshaw said they are excited for future events where members of the club could visit a café in Grand Haven that sells Japanese shaved ice. 

The Japanese Cultural Association holds many events similar to the Karaoke-bonanza-zuzana event, which can be found on their LakerLink page.

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