TCSA’s Annual Cultural Night

A night to remember for all


Dylan Nguyen/ Daily Collegian (2023)

By Kaviya Raja, Collegian Staff

The Taiwanese and Chinese Student Association’s, TCSA, annual Cultural Night Market (CNM) took place on Saturday, April 8, and was a spectacular night for all involved. The event included a range of activities and performances that highlighted the distinctive qualities of different cultures, such as traditional dances, music, food, and games.

This event, an excellent chance for people from many backgrounds to get together and learn more about these vibrant cultures, offered an entertaining and instructive experience. The event allowed guests to immerse themselves in Asia’s rich traditions and cultures.

Seniors Jenny Ngo and Lindsay Vuong were both part of TCSA’s E-board.

“It was so rewarding to see how much this club has grown throughout the years,” Vuong said.  She then emphasized that “this year in particular, [they] made an effort to open up collaborations with the Asian community and being able to work with other cultural RSOs to put this event together was a lot of fun.”

Vuong explains that the event took almost a year in planning and it certainly paid off.

The first part of CNM was staged in the style of a night market, a type of street market prevalent in Taiwan and other areas of Asia. While enjoying the bustling ambiance of the market, visitors browsed among stalls, selling various sorts of food, beverages, and souvenirs.

Next, there were a multitude of student performers from Amherst. There were dance groups, a Chinese yo-yo performance, acapella groups, and a cultural fashion show displaying the rich fabrics of various cultures from Asia.

The much-anticipated guest artist, Laufey, made her appearance at the end of the night. Ngo stated that tickets were sold out to the event before announcing the guest artist. Ngo detailed that  it was a lot of work to get Laufey to perform, but stated that ,that she was “very highly anticipated” and she emphasized that they “wanted to end the show with a big bang.”

Laufey is a gifted vocalist noted for her distinct voice and enthralling performances. Laufey’s music is inspired by her Icelandic heritage and combines elements of jazz, soul, and pop. Her debut EP, “Typical of Me,” was released in 2020 and features five tracks that highlight her exceptional voice range and compositional ability.

Laufey is certainly a musician to watch in the future of music industry because of her unique style and vocal range. She has also performed at several festivals and venues in Iceland and beyond, acquiring a reputation as one of the country’s most promising new performers.

She sang her popular songs such as “Valentine,” “Street by Street,” and “Falling Behind” as well as two unreleased songs. The performance was very intimate, with most of the crowd standing up close to see her. After her set, the crowd was left cheering, in awe of her soothing voice and melodic vocals.

By displaying traditional dances, music, food, and games, the festival helps to conserve and promote Taiwanese and Chinese cultural history, and helps visitors of all races, religions, and cultures to learn about these countries’ traditions and appreciate their rich history.

Cultural Night Market also provided a venue for people to engage with one another and share their stories and allowed guests to learn from one another and form connections. CNM offered guests the opportunity to learn more about Taiwan and China, including its culture and improved cross-cultural understanding. The event drew in people from all backgrounds together and fostered a feeling of a tight-knit community within the larger institution of UMass.

Kaviya Raja can be reached at [email protected].