Hundreds of students gathered in Chamber Hall in the Anderson Center to celebrate the dance, music and culture of Korean American identity at the Korean American Student Association’s (KASA) annual Korean Night on Saturday.
The event included performances by the Danciples, the Korean American Christian Fellowship’s dance group, the Tae Kwon Do Club and Sulpoong, the Korean percussion group.
The special guest for the evening was Korean American YouTube star Jung Sung Ahn — better known by his YouTube name Jun Curry Ahn — who currently has over a million subscribers. Ahn started his YouTube account in 2011 as a freshman at Northwestern University. He is best known for his popular violin covers ranging from contemporary radio hits to Korean pop, most of which have over a million views. When Ahn was a senior in college, his most popular video, a cover of Frozen’s “Let it Go,” amassed over 3.8 million hits and it now has over 7 million views. Before the show started, a meet and greet was held for students to get the chance to speak to and take pictures with the violinist.
Josh Shin, president of KASA and a junior majoring in integrative neuroscience, said the evening reflected the KASA Executive Board’s interest in celebrating the fusion of Korean and American cultures.
“It’s this idea of identity,” he said. “Being Korean American and balancing these different cultures that do share many similarities. It defines who you are. Learning to find what that means is something that resonates with me.”
The event also included the showing of a video made by the e-board in which members spoke about what aspects of their lives define them as Korean American.
“After the separation between Korea, many Koreans were poor,” said one board member featured in the video. “My parents worked hard for me to be successful. I’m usually stuck between happiness and money.”
Shin said the event made him optimistic about the future of the club.
“It’s hard to put into words, but this night made me excited about what the future holds for KASA, and what we’ll be able to do,” Shin said.