Suffolk University’s AAA hosts annual cultural show

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Eyoel Henok

Cola tells jokes for audience at AAA Cultural Show.

Suffolk University’s Asian American Association hosted its annual Cultural Show featuring comedian Sherry Cola.  

Announcements for AAA’s Cultural Show advertised a fun and social atmosphere – a promise the organization kept, even before attendees got in the door. Outside Sargent Hall’s main function room, AAA members greeted the audience, inviting them to take part in their show raffle and to enjoy refreshments before the show began.

“I’m most excited for the student performances, but also for Sherry Cola. I think she’s a great addition to the show and I can’t wait to see her performance,” said Suffolk student Shannon Rainville. 

AAA’s Cultural Show was a chance for Suffolk students to enjoy and learn about Asian culture and arts. 

“We want to be more inclusive and learn about other Asian cultures, not just Chinese, Japanese and Korean cultures,” said Matthew Deng, vice president of AAA. “We want to push for everyone to join, anyone who wants to learn about or appreciates different cultures.”

The show opened with Suffolk University dance teams Pasión Latina and Fusion Dhamaka. Both performances had their own collaboration of songs. For Pasión Latina, songs included “Break of Dawn” and “LA FAMA.” Fusion Dhamaka’s collaborations included “Nachle” and “Sheila’s Woman.”

The songs captured the audience’s attention, not to mention a fantastic display of moves. Fusion Dhamaka’s number was a mix of K-pop and Bollywood inspired dancing while Pasión Latina’s performances were based around Latin dance. Audience members were invited to learn the merengue during the event, taught by Pasión Latina.

The final act of the night was a standup performance by Sherry Cola, a comedian and actress who has had multiple roles in films and TV shows, including “Good Trouble” and “Turning Red.”

Cola’s performance was very audience-oriented; much of it included conversation, storytelling and jokes made between her and attendees. Cola poked fun at college life based on her own experiences, with ups and downs she remembers all too well from her college years. Cola had touching words for those in the room during the final Q&A portion of the show.

“Being an immigrant, being Queer, being a woman, being Chinese American, these are all things that society never rooted for, but now I just see it as a superpower. Your identity is not a weakness, it’s a superpower,” Cola said.

AAA prides itself on being a club of inclusion. While their main focus is to encourage diversity and embrace Asian American culture, they are also a social club where students can make friends and have fun.

The goal of the Cultural Show was to continue to promote inclusion in a fun space. They succeeded in doing so, with performances showcasing cultural education while also encouraging the audience to participate. 

Audience members stayed well after the show ended, socializing around the room and grabbing selfies with Cola, who was impressed with the performance AAA produced.

“I’m truly on cloud nine after performing here tonight,” Cola said. “You know we had real conversations and silly conversations and it really meant a lot to me that this is part of my journey.”