Hello readers of the blog! My name is Teresa Pham, and I’m this year’s APASA Graphics Director! This is my first post on the blog, so I hope you enjoy this little recap. [huge_it_slider id="3"]

This past Friday, we held one of our biggest events of the fall semester—our long-awaited Night Market! APASA puts on a Night Market every fall in McCarthy Quad, which is open to all students to come by, munch on some delicious Asian good, watch stellar student performances, and play some traditional games! Modeled after the night markets common throughout East and Southeast Asia, APASA Night Market aims to offer USC students a similar experience where you can stroll through the “streets” at night, shop around, and (most importantly) eat. However, as this is geared towards the everyday college student, our Night Market takes a unique spin on the classic night market by substituting a ticket system in the place of money. So instead of paying actual money for food and merchandise, students were able to play games to earn tickets, which in turn could be used as payment for either food or prizes!

One of the best and most enticing parts of Night Market is that is, like all of APASA’s events, completely FREE! Wauw. You mean students get a night of free food, student performances, and entertainment all for $0.00 and $0.00 down? That’s right! I know that personally, as a college student experiencing #thestruggle myself, I appreciate any events involving the terms “free” and “food”. I mean, it’s not an APASA event if there’s no free food and boba, right?

Working at the prize booth the entire night, my partner Sarah Kim and I were a little concerned about pricing the coveted Tsum Tsums at 30 tickets each, but to our surprise, students were racking up tickets in no time. It sure was an intense, hard-fought battle for those adorable Tsum Tsums. “I will win that Winnie the Pooh Tsum Tsum if it’s the last thing I do,” sophomore Justin Bote vowed (he did not win it).

Teresa and her partner in crime, Sarah Kim

There’s never a moment to be bored at Night Market, as you’re either getting your game on at the booths trying to score some tickets, devouring your food/boba/shaved ice, admiring the performances onstage, or simply chillin’ with friends. You know as the popular saying goes, Night Market & Chill. The whole atmosphere of the event itself provides a much-needed relaxing break for students from the stress of midterms and deadlines. Students were treated to the wonderfully talented performances of Kazan Taiko, Traditional Chinese Dance, Haneulsori, Drishti, Hawaii Club, Leo Xia, and Carrie Zhang & Shawn Halim. With the clear night sky up overheard, the brightly lit lanterns adorning the quad, and music all around, it’s hard not to lose yourself in the magical energy of it all.

A lantern that was given out at the event

This year, Program Board kindly surprised us with beautiful paper lanterns to deck out McCarthy with (hey who designed that logo wow...LOL, totally kidding). I may or may not have seen a few students happily collecting lanterns to bring back and adorn their own rooms with ;) It’s great as someone on board to see all the interest from various students about the event, whether it’s students admiring the decorations, talking to and checking out community orgs, or asking us what the event is all about! APASA seeks to highlight the rich and diverse cultures of Asia on campus, so we’re always extremely excited seeing all the interest about Night Market. This year, there was an amazing turnout of over 700 students, so thank you if you were one of them! We hope you all enjoyed Night Market as much as we did, and we hope to see you next year!