Binghamton University students celebrate Vietnamese culture

21st annual Vietnam Night features authentic fashion, entertainment and cuisine

Close to 200 Binghamton University students came out to celebrate the 21st annual Vietnam Night.

On Sunday, tables were set up in front of the stage in the Mandela Room, where the audience was served authentic Vietnamese food cooked by members of the Vietnamese Student Association’s (VSA) E-Board. The dishes included cabbage salad, a traditional Vietnamese soup, chicken and rice and Vietnamese coffee.

The theme of the night was “high school,” and members of the VSA played video skits to take the audience through various aspects of Vietnamese culture, such as how students in Vietnam get into high school and college and the tests they have to take.

Eric Dinh, the president of the VSA and a junior majoring in biology, said the event was designed to educate.

“It’s informative for Vietnamese culture,” Dinh said. “That’s the main purpose of the Vietnamese Student Association.”

A fashion show was one of the main attractions of the night; students modeled ao dai dresses, which are traditional Vietnamese uniforms that women wear for special occasions such as weddings.

There were also authentic Vietnamese hat dances, a summer roll-making contest and other singing and dancing performances.

The audience cheered on friends and fellow club members as they performed on stage. Clara Chang, a sophomore majoring in biology, was there to support her friends.

“It opens up different aspects of Vietnamese culture to everybody,” Chang said. “It’s very educational too, and the food is all good.”

Max Ngo, a junior double-majoring in accounting and biology and a member of the VSA’s E-Board, said that exhibiting Vietnamese culture through the performances and the cuisine was the idea behind the event.

“This is a little bit different than our other events,” Ngo said. “Our events are usually centered around food, so this is a better way for us to also showcase our music, our dance, how the lifestyle is over there.”

Yoon Sun Na, a junior majoring in sociology, attended to cheer on her friends who were modeling.

“It brings a lot of people from different cultures together,” Na said. “It’s not only going to be Vietnamese students attending, it definitely brings the whole Asian community on campus together. That’s the greatest aspect of events like this.”