Asian-American culture fraternity Pi Delta Psi presented a lion dance and chopsticks workshop Wednesday afternoon. The recently established fraternity organized the event in order to spread awareness and educate students about Asian culture.
The event included the traditional lion dance, as well as a chopsticks workshop, where students could test their skills at handling the utensils in a competition. A race to move a handful of dry beans into a cup decided who won a serving of dumplings – a traditional Asian dish.
The cultural interest fraternity spent about $150 to host the event. Most of the costs went to preparing enough dumplings to serve two hours worth of winners.
"If we could just educate a couple of people about our customs and who we are, it will be worth everything we spend here," said Lap Nguyen, academic chair of Pi Delta Psi.
The lion dance is a traditional Chinese dance that is often mistaken for the dragon dance. The main difference between the two is the number of people in the costume, according to Sonny Nguyen, cultural chair of Pi Delta Psi. The lion dance involves two people, while the dragon dance requires many.
The fraternity used the costume to draw students to their table in an area with many advertisers, including Universal Studios and Busch Gardens.
"It's very enticing, with the lion and the drums. Definitely makes you want to come over," said Alayna Soriano, sophomore social science major.
The chopsticks workshop was intended to teach people how to better handle chopsticks. Many of the fraternity members worked with students and showed them the proper way to use the utensils.
Afterward, students competed against each other. The winner received the dumplings, the loser a piece of candy.
"It is a fun activity and shows people how to use what we use every day as our main utensil," Sonny Nguyen said.
With this combination of chopsticks and the lion dance, Pi Delta Psi also aims to disprove stereotypes about Asian-Americans.
"We want to break the stereotype of Asians being quiet and not outgoing," Lap Nguyen said. "It is the most entertaining part of our culture. Either that or bust out fireworks, which I don't think we can do."