Southeast Asian students have spent months preparing to showcase their cultures, but traditional-Asian costumes are not easy to come by in Norman, Oklahoma.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, represents ten different countries and has only been on campus since last spring. On Thursday night, Meacham Auditorium became the stage of the first ever ASEAN Night at OU.
Former Malaysian Student Association president, Eugenia Galan, and other international students have planned for ASEAN Night since before summer break.
“Before the summer started, we knew we were going to do some sort of cultural presentation with an ASEAN Night,” said Galan. “So, we went back to our own respective countries thinking about ASEAN Night. We got costumes, we got different kinds of clothing and every little bit helped for the preparations.”
Sou Hongchith, the only Laotian member in the association, was one of the students who returned to Norman with a traditional dress from her home country.
However, the Laotian dance included three other females and four males, so Hongchith spent her winter break in Norman borrowing a friend’s sewing machine and stitching together the outfits.
“Making the costumes was one of the main ideas that I decided to do because I wanted [people] to know more about Laos,” said Hongchith.
Hongchith and Galan agreed it has been hard work, but they look forward to giving advice to future committees on how to make the second ASEAN Night even better.