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Nearly 400 students attend Asian Pacific American Coalition’s first Lantern Festival

The Stetson Green lit up as Asian Pacific American Coalition (APAC) held their first-ever Lantern Festival event last week.

Nearly 400 students were present to participate and engage in this cultural fest on Tuesday, Nov. 14. Students were able to try Asian food, snacks and drinks, and also get Cultural Credit after making their own lanterns, writing and hanging their wishes, and listening to a presentation about the lantern festivals that several different Asian countries hold every year.

Traditionally, in the Asian culture, the lanterns symbolize people letting go of their past selves and creating new beginnings. The lanterns also symbolize luck and good fortune. 

This isn’t the first time that APAC has held a large scale event. Last spring, they organized the Indian Festival of Colors, “Holi,” and the Thai New Year Water Festival “Songkran,” both of which garnered over 200 attendees. This is, however, the first time that APAC has seen as many as 400 students attending.

The increasing popularity of this student organization is undeniable, and their events are only expected to grow more popular over the next few years. In line with Stetson’s mission, APAC seeks to dare students to be significant, and we’re doing this through hosting events that promote diversity on campus and educating other students about different Asian cultures. 

APAC usually holds one or two big events every semester, all of which showcase different cultures within several Asian countries. We are unlikely to re-do events because the Asian culture is incredibly diverse and there are so many other aspects of it that we would like to bring to Stetson and share with the community. You can expect, however, that we will have another type of Asian festival every semester!

The Lantern Festival was made possible by the whole APAC team and volunteers, and was organized mainly by APAC President and sophomore Thiri Yadana; Vice President and sophomore Tam Pham; and executive board members, Giang Trinh, a senior and event coordinator; Marybel Ho Li, a sophomore and the secretary; Tram Nguyen, a junior and the finance officer; and promotions and public relations by myself — Erica Kok, a junior. 

Anyone interested in participating in APAC and learning more about the Asian culture can attend our meetings every Mondays in the Cross-Cultural Center (Tri-C) at 5:30 p.m., or e-mail apac@stetson.edu for more information.

-Erica Marie S. Kok
APAC Promotions and Public Relations
B.S., Computer Science
Stetson University ’19

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