Community life awakens at Night Market

The APIDA Night Market presented multiple stalls with student organizations selling food and drinks on Thursday, Oct. 28.

San Diego State University’s highly anticipated annual Night Market was back in-person at the Conrad Prebys Courtyard on Oct. 28. 

Hosted by Asian Pacific Student Alliances, One SDSU, and Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Resource Center for the eighth year, campus organizations set up shops selling cultural foods which were accompanied by lively student performances. 

Last year, the event was held virtually, showcasing cooking videos, acapella, and animated shorts from various AAPI organizations. 

Students from the Pacific Islander Student Association (PISA) performing a "haka."
Students from the Pacific Islander Student Association (PISA) perform a “haka.” (Brittany Cruz-Fejeran)

The goal of the event, according to APSA’s website, is to serve as a “gateway for APSA to share the Asian and Pacific Islander cultures with the SDSU community.” With October being Filipino American history month, Night Market commemorated and celebrated Filipino heritage, culture, and achievements through delicious food and cheerful performances. 

Dr. Virginia Loh-Hagan, director of SDSU APIDA Center, said attendance this year exceeded expectations with over 500 people dropping by to enjoy the exciting atmosphere. 

“We are highlighting and exemplifying Filipino talent,“ Loh-Hagan said. “It is so important to be able to celebrate APIDA talent, APIDA joy, and APIDA accomplishments especially at this time of anti-Asian hate.”

While enjoying food such as spam musubi, rice balls, Thai tea, and vegetable lumpia from various Asian regions, students were entertained by numerous singers and dancers who graced the stage. Sara Rose Fausto, a third year integrated marketing communications major, blissfully performed “Good Days” by SZA.

Korean American Student Association (KASA) Ignite dance team performing their routine influenced by K-pop choreography.
Korean American Student Association (KASA) Ignite dance team performing their routine influenced by K-pop choreography. (Brittany Cruz-Fejeran)

“This was my second performance on a stage in public,” Fausto said. “My favorite part is getting to meet new people. I think the goal of the event is to bring people together and learn about each other’s culture.”

Another student, singer/songwriter Bryant Jordan who is a second year SDSU environmental sustainability major, performed his original track “Soulmate,” and a collaboration with South Bay Collective, “Make U Mine”’ in front of the delighted crowd. 

“It was a mix of nervousness and excitement,” Jordan said. “I have been manifesting this moment to be able to share whatever I need to share with the community. Being Filipino, there aren’t many holidays or times when we can really share our culture. The fact that we are able to make this community thing happen is big.”

After another successful year, the Night Market at SDSU displayed a beautiful celebration of Asian culture thanks to AAPI organizations and students on campus. For future events, visit the APIDA Center’s page.