Modern hip-hop and a mixture of Asian culture collided in a celebration of cultural heritage presented by the Asian Pacific American Coalition (APAC) Saturday night.
About 200 guests came to see performances by 13 Asian organizations at Penn State celebrating the 10th annual Asian Awakenings.
APAC's goal is to educate the Penn State community about the diversity of Asian American heritage, mixing cultural and traditional performances with modern day rituals.
Performances ranged from comical cultural skits to more serious traditional Asian performances. Skits included hip-hop, fan, tribal, modern step and ribbon dances.
"We are Asians but at the same time, we are American. We are still keeping in touch with our traditions," APAC President Kei Wong (senior-premedicine and psychology said.
Khmer Students Society created a video showing the devastation of the refugee camps in Cambodia, resulting from the genocide that killed one-third of the population.
The video featured Penn State students who were born on refugee camps, or who are children and friends of refugees, while lyrics to Sarah McLachlan's "World on Fire" played in the background.
Pi Delta Psi and Lambda Phi Epsilon both performed traditional Asian Step performances, where dancer's feet drummed the stage and hands clapped, echoing throughout the auditorium. Some even performed blindfolded.
Teresa Nguyen (junior-biobehavioral health) said she enjoyed the stepping and shirtless guys.
"I like how they incorporated modern and cultural dances, which added flare to it," she said.
The Filipino Association performed a traditional Asian tribal dance dressed as warriors with spears and shields in hand.
Wong said APAC puts on the show every year in honor of Asian Heritage Month.
"It's great to have everyone coming together. We are very diverse as to where we participate and in our involvement, but this performance brings all Asian organizations together," she said.
Many agreed that they liked the mixing of cultures and participating in rituals from both Asian and American cultures.