San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

APIDA Center hosts Pop Expo with K-pop, mochinuts, anime and more

Students gathered to participate in a wide range of activities to celebrate Asian culture
Huy Huynh
Students play an Avatar: The Last Airbender-themed Monopoly game.

Aztec Nights and the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Resource Center co-hosted a Pop Expo at the Tula Community Center on Oct. 21. 

This Expo showcased Asian culture in the San Diego State University community. 

“It’s Filipino American history month, so we wanted to highlight that because APIDA makes up about 14% of SDSU,” Virginia Loh-Hagan, APIDA director, said. “We want people to know that we’re here and there’s lots of joy.”

Students dance to Bollywood music. (Ricky De Leon)
Sailor Moon Crystal Die Challenge board game was played by students during the expo. (Ricky De Leon)

At the event, hundreds of students were treated to various activities, including partaking in anime-themed sketching tutorials, playing APIDA-themed board and video games and participating in a Bollywood dancing workshop. 

A student participates in a drawing workshop. (Huy Huynh)

Students were also able to sample a range of Asian snacks, such as spam musubi and mochinuts.

The night’s highlight was the Korean American Student Association’s (KASA) K-pop random dance play, where many students participated and found their spots for the challenge. 

Joshua Dumaua, KASA’s president and senior kinesiology major, spoke about the importance of KASA at SDSU and discussed K-pop random dance plays, which feature choreographies of various K-pop songs from the early generations to the new generation of today.

Duama also emphasized that apart from K-pop, Korean culture can also be shown through games, dance, music, food and other aspects.

Sophomore Miya Domingo, KASA co-coordinator and biology major, said the growing popularity of Korean media in Western pop culture and the matter of tabling at APIDA’s Pop Expo. 

“With Korean culture influences such as Bong Joon-Ho’s ‘Parasite,’ BTS’s K-pop, and Netflix’s ‘Squid Game,’ it’s important to have our presence here, especially with the Hollywood expansion of Korean media,” Domingo said. “Being here is important because it distinguishes us between the different cultures.” 

SDSU’s Asian Pacific Student Alliance, Anime and Manga Club and the Vietnamese Student Association were among the student organizations tabled at the APIDA’s Pop Expo.

Students playing NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 during the APIDA Expo. (Ricky De Leon)

Senior Austin Mrsny, graphic design major and president of the SDSU Anime and Manga Club, discussed the club’s presence at the Expo and the club’s no-longer-so-niche anime genre.

“Our organization is for anyone who wants to meet new people and share an interest in anime, comics, video games or anything else,” Mrsny said. “It’s more of a safe space because anime used to be a source of ridicule for those who felt they had to hide it. Anyone you meet now is a Pokémon, Dragon Ball, Naruto, or One Piece fan or has at least heard of them.”

Mrsny also discussed the club’s openness to anime newcomers who may have wanted to watch anime but didn’t know where to begin.

“Every Friday from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at the Pride Suite of the Student Union Center we meet,” Mrsny said. “The theme is different every week and we try to mix it up to make people more social.” 

Aly Maclennan cosplays as Wei Wuxian from Mo Dao Zu Shin while attending the event. (Huy Huynh )

SDSU’s APIDA Center opened in July 2020, at the height of the pandemic. Since then, APIDA has continually produced programs and engaged with many students on campus and in the SDSU community.

For more information on upcoming APIDA Center events, visit @sdsuapidacenter on Instagram.

About the Contributor
Huy Huynh, Staff Writer
Huy Huynh was born and raised in San Diego, California and attended Patrick Henry High School in Del Cerro. After graduating, he studied at Grossmont College, right before transferring to San Diego State University as a psychology major with a minor in Digital and Social Media Studies. In his free time, he enjoys reading, making music, or creating videos, which he also does for work as a freelance videographer/editor. He is currently a staff writer for the Daily Aztec, working in multiple sections such as Arts and Culture as well as the News section. Huy is also bilingual in Vietnamese.
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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
APIDA Center hosts Pop Expo with K-pop, mochinuts, anime and more