Asian Media Access has teamed up with area AAPI community based agencies – Chinese Community Center, Chinese American Chamber of Commerce – MN, and MN Hmong Chamber of Commerce to hosted the 1st ever – Taste of Asia. The event was hosted on Oct. 23 from 11am – 7pm at the St. Paul Union Depot Station.
With more than 41 Asian food vendors, 38 cultural booths, and 60 non-stop cultural performances, the event has attracted more than 10,000+ festival goers, people sampled authentic food from various Asian cultures while enjoying cultural performances throughout the day.
Celebrating MN AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) community, Taste of Asia allowed guests to sample Asian-inspired bites from the participating restaurants in the beautiful Depot station as a way to honor the AAPI community at a time when anti-Asian hate is rising. The all-day schedule for the Taste of Asian event ranges from traditional Chinese, Indian, Cambodian and Vietnamese dances to a Hmong fashion show to Japanese taiko drumming. Plus, plenty of food is on offer from vendors such as Indonesian Street Food, Master Noodle, Gorkha Palace and Taiwanese Sausages of South St. Paul, to name a few.
Besides the delicious Asian street food, the most impressed performance of the day came from the Pan Asian Arts Alliance’s “Project Resonance” Dance Drama to portray the pandemic impacts on BIPOC communities. This is a new project from Pan Asian Arts Alliance and is collaborated between African and Asian American artists to jointly create/present a new dance drama – “Resonance,” with Producer/Director Ange Hwang from Asian Media Access (Chinese American), Composer/Lead Musician Jarrelle Barton (African American), Choreographer/Xuefeng Lee (Hmong American), Lighting Director Stephen Lu (Taiwanese American).
Project Resonance orchestrates new creations of music and dances to serve as a communication bridge across cultural/racial lines, to mitigate racial tensions between African and Asian communities, to illustrate the cross-cultural experience, and eventually promote Intercultural Harmony. Resonance inspires inner/outer connections to reflect the pandemic impacts among BIPOCs. Total 17 dances are created to portray the virus originated; people were afraid to help others; people trying to use ritual ceremonies to stop the virus; virus multiplied and mutated; people seeking balance between Ying and Yang to regain health; virus spreading globally to many countries and cultures through few solo dances; along with a final finale to showcase the strengths of unity and working to gather to combat the virus.
Throughout the whole performance, dancers not only needed to showcase the techniques of Asian fusion dances, but also to perfect their moral characters and willpower in order to portray the fundamental inner meaning of “Resonance,” to appreciate the collective power working together to fight the pandemic and bring a better tomorrow.
After the show, audience has opportunities to share their reflections and appreciation of such high quality show, truly reflect everyone’s journey through the pandemic. Please enjoy these beautiful photos and festival video by Jania Xiong – https://youtu.be/JB_nOIamglA