The University of Memphis has many organizations and programs for its students, created by students. One such organization is the VSA (Vietnamese Student Association). However, like this organization, information about various activities, volunteer opportunities, and cultural enlightenment are cast in the shadows.
So what exactly is VSA and what does it aim to achieve? In short, it is an association created by students who want to share Vietnamese holidays, language and culture with other students, with the ultimate goal of inviting people into the community, whether you are a member or a simple visitor.
Lysa Lin – VSA member and student at the University of Memphis – said: “We are doing our best to show people more of our culture, Vietnamese culture, because we are proud of it and want to share it with as many people as possible. people as possible. we can and to those who want to know more.
Some of these activities include bonding and learning little things about yourself. At a meeting on February 2, the members asked the public to label themselves according to their Chinese zodiac sign and find others to match with them. The spin had the audience facing a wall, only turning around when they looked for your partner or group. It was a room filled with footsteps, laughter and a tree.
Even VSA’s origami classes can provide an interesting learning experience. But the spring semester has been a struggle for the group so far. Between COVID-19 and the ice storm that caused power outages, the VSA had to postpone its 2022 Lunar New Year celebration to February 22.
According to a Powerpoint VSA Meeting on the holiday, the event is essentially a time when Vietnamese families “offer gifts in the form of food, flowers and incense. On New Year’s Eve, families perform a ritual where sticks of incense are burned inviting the spirits of their ancestors to join them in celebration. It is also a time to bid farewell to the family’s kitchen god (Ong Tao), who then returns to heaven to report of the family’s behavior over the past year to the Jade Emperor.
This event gives meaning to the aforementioned tree. With the plastic tree, the association asked its guest to make an origami flower containing a wish inside and place it on the branches. This tree will be displayed during the Lunar New Year event.
Lin wants to continue breaking down barriers with the organization and encourage students to experience new cultures.
“[I hope this helps] breaking the stigma that you can only join a minority club if you are that minority.”