VSA, [email protected], PERMIAS to host virtual culture shows this month

Members of [email protected], a cultural student organization aiming to learn and raise awareness of Hmong culture at Oregon State University, meet for their bi-weekly general meeting on Jan. 27. [email protected] meets every other Thursday from 5-6 p.m.

Angela Tam, News Contributor

In the month of April, student-led organizations Vietnamese Student Association, [email protected] and the Persatuan Mahasiswa Indonesia di Amerika Serikat have scheduled virtual culture shows for the greater community at Oregon State University. 

Lyn Carson, campus outreach coordinator for VSA said via email that the organization’s 49th annual culture show will be held on April 17. Any updates will be available on the Vietnamese Student Association at Oregon State University Facebook page. 

Highlights of Vietnamese culture and community engagement has been the focus of VSA cultural events and will continue to be the focus of this annual event. 

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Suzie Cha, president of [email protected] said via email that culture shows are held in an attempt to capture the beauty of each culture. 

“With the diverse community we have here at OSU, I think that these shows are necessary to bring the community together, to embrace that diversity, and mostly learn about other cultures beside your own,” Cha said. “In a more personal aspect, I think that culture shows are a great way to learn about your culture as you actively take part and participate in the development of the event, whether or not you are part of the skit committee, food committee, or fashion show committee. 

[email protected] plans on hosting their culture show on April 17 via Facebook, pre-recording the event and streaming it online. 

[email protected] is back after their two-year hiatus and it’s a joy to be active and seeing the Hmong community come together as one again,” Cha said. “I grew up with my siblings each being members of [email protected] and I’ve attended as many Hmong Nights that I can remember, so I hope we can do alumni and the Hmong people in our community justice this year.” 

Cha said that planning for Hmong Night for the organization was new for her, but with the added challenges of the pandemic, communication aspects have been sources of difficulties. 

For VSA, Carson said that this is the first year for the association to plan a fully virtual culture show. 

“Last year when we found out we couldn’t have an in-person show, the eboard and media team created a short documentary about the behind the scenes of the show that was played for our member,” Carson said. “We decided to incorporate a few things from last year such as sending care packages to people at home.”

 This year, Carson said that the culture show will continue to have traditional aspects of the culture show such as multiple dances, a skit, a fashion show and food included in the experience — reworked to fit COVID-19 restrictions. 

“Instead of working together in-person, people have spent many hours in zoom calls together practicing dance moves and lines for their characters,” Carson said. “Despite having an online show, we hope to still present a memorable experience for everyone watching.”

The phrase “Persatuan Mahasiswa Indonesia di Amerika Serikat” translates to “Organization of the Indonesian Students in the United States,” and is typically shortened to PERMIAS. 

Chika Ronny, president of PERMIAS said via email that this year’s theme is Srikandi, which translates to heroine in Bahasa, the official language used in Indonesia. This theme presented three women from different islands within Indonesia to fight against the social stigma that says women should only work in the kitchen and cannot have a good education. 

“In this story, we [showed] their process of studying abroad at Oregon State University and  [showed] people that women also deserve that opportunity,” Ronny said. 

“The event [included] interactive drama, wherein a part of the drama, the audiences [got] a chance to decide how the drama is going to be, traditional dances performed by Indonesian Performing Arts at Oregon and traditional music by Gamelan Sari Pandhawa and El Michael, [an Indonesian student in Musician Institute at Los Angeles], along with talent performances from members of the Indonesian community and a talk show with a music performance with guest star: Tasya Kamila, an Indonesian public figure who got the scholarship from Indonesia’s government to Columbia University,” Ronny said.

Indonesian public figure, Tasya Kamila, was also featured in a talk show during the culture show. Kamila, scholarship awardee from Indonesia’s government and ambassador of the environment of Indonesia, graduated from Columbia University. 

An interactive drama performance similar to the Bandersnatch, one of the series of Black Mirror that allows the audience to make choices to determine how it is going to go, is written and performed by OSU students. 

PERMIAS’ cultural show was held on April 10 at 7 p.m. PST via Youtube Live Streaming.