The Asian American Association hosted their largest event of the year on Feb. 25. Hall Auditorium was filled with eager friends, family and other Miami University students there to experience one of the largest cultural events on campus.
Fusion 2023 featured a mix of modern and traditional performances from various Asian countries including Japan, Thailand, South Korea and India. Amongst the 17 performances, watchers experienced traditional Japanese fisherman routines, Bollywood dancing, martial arts, modern pop and even a cello and violin duet.
The event was organized to showcase the various and often underrepresented cultures at Miami.
First-year history and fashion design major Marie Spruance enjoyed the event and the various performances from Miami’s extensive list of participating clubs. She thought the organizers, Mia Baker and Amber Atkinson, did an excellent job organizing the event.
“You were able to see so many events in such a short time,” Spruance said. “I really enjoyed how they collaborated and put on a modern performance and then a more traditional one. I thought it was really interesting to see Western and Asian cultures colliding and forming such a meaningful interaction.”
Spruance appreciated the display of various Asian cultures throughout the two-hour performance.
“Being a predominately white institution, it’s nice to see other cultures and that a place can be created for those who aren’t in the majority,” Spruance said.
Anastasija Mladenovska, a first-year political science and Russian, East Europe and Eurasian Studies major, attended as part of the Diversity Affairs Council. Being an international student herself, Mladenovska feels passionate about the importance of events like this on campus.
“I know a lot of those people that were on stage, and it’s important to support our community here, especially at Miami, because there aren't a lot of international students,” Mladenovska said. “We need to have a supportive network.”
Mladenovska also talked about the impactful message cultural events on campus send to students and the community.
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“The act of it is very powerful to say, ‘Hey. We’re here and we are proud of it,’ Mladenovska said. “I think there’s a lot of power in taking what you are and owning it.”
The performers practiced months in advance of the event. Daniella Morales danced with the group Seoul in Miami (SeMi), who performed K-pop at the event. Morales was excited to see a large turnout for the event and felt they put on a great performance.
“We practiced and practiced,” Morales said. “We even practiced from 4-10 p.m. [the night before], but I think it was worth it. I think it went really smooth.”
Morales even went so far as to say she felt they “slayed the performance.”
“It’s really important to have events like this,” Morales said. “To have diversity at a mostly white institution it’s important to incorporate every little aspect of diversity we can. It showed something new not only to the performers who prepared it, but to everyone that came to the show too.”