“Visibility matters,” said Sukanya Shukla ’20 of Dehradun, India. “Visibility validates our presence on this campus. That’s really important, for people of color to come forward and show their talents.”

Bates students’ talent and creativity were on full display at Sangai Asia Night, an annual celebration of the multitude of Asian and Asian American cultures represented at Bates.


Video by Theophil Syslo.

On Jan. 25 in the Schaeffer Theatre, students drew from Indian, Indonesian, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean cultures, with performances ranging from songs by college’s taiko and gamelan ensembles to a hip hop dance number.

Shukla was part of a group that performed a Bollywood-inspired dance. She said performers can be nervous before the show, but “once it starts we all lose that fear, and we’re just dancing and enjoying it. I think that’s the reason why our performances every year go so well.”

Mark Su ’22, Wanyi Lu ’19, and Yichun Liu ’21 performed the instrumental song “Laputa: Castle in the Sky,” from the Japanese film of the same name.

“Seeing all the Asian cultures come together and celebrate each other’s art was an amazing experience,” Su, of Beijing, said. “I’m just excited to do my part in making this already amazing repertoire even better.”

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