Asian Culture Club unites Okemos High, community

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Group photo of the Organization, Asian Culture Club. Photo By- Gaelin Zhao

 

The ACC is the Asian Culture Club at Okemos High School. The organization brings all races together and volunteered in the Chinese New Year celebration at Meridian Mall.

Although the organization’s members are just high schoolers, they bring positive energy to their high school and to the community by welcoming everyone together for equality, and learning about one another.

Gaelin Zhao is the president of the Asian Culture Club and is currently a junior at Okemos High School. Since joining ACC his freshman year, he’s enjoying being a part of the organization.

“I love all the new things we can learn and share with one another, plus it’s a place where I can relate with my peers and freely express my Asian background,” Zhao said. “Our club brings cultural diversity and offers various new perspectives on things we would find normal in western society, aka schools and family lives. Everyone is free to come to a meeting and learn more about the world.”

Zhao said sometimes the ACC organizes bake sales but currently they do not do fundraisers. There are currently no freshmen in the organization.

“We include everyone and although our organization focuses on Asian culture, we welcome everyone to share their culture,” Zhao said.

Sovann Hyde is a  junior in the Asian Culture Club at Okemos High School. She just joined this school year.

“What I really like about the ACC is it lets me learn more about the continent that I care about,” Hyde said.

“We even learned about my birth country, Cambodia, but we cover a lot of other countries. In class we may learn a bit about Asia, but in ACC we can go much deeper than in class, which is one of the main reasons I joined. We learn about the different holidays, foods, cultures, countries, languages etc. which is much more interesting than what we learn in class.”

“ACC lets students in Okemos High School learn a lot more about the Asian cultures. It gives the school a more diverse set of clubs and helps students learn about a different continent. Also due to Okemos High School size, it can be hard to meet other Asians so this is a good way to do that. Though ACC really operates to accept everyone and teach all more about Asia.” Hyde said.

The ACC  go to events like the Chinese New Year Gala at the Meridian Mall and set up booths.

They also have posters on the information board at their school. Though not many freshmen or sophomores participate whether due to disinterest or not knowing about the club, Hyde said.

“There are only a few different races such as white, black, and Asian in the organization, but we make it known that everyone is welcome.” Hyde said.

Hyde said the ACC also talk to other culture clubs like the Black Student Union and the Muslim Association to advertise each other and help each other out occasionally.

“There is really only one teacher who is involved and she is our adviser,” Hyde said.

“She lets us run our own show which is really nice. We can decide what to do and what topics to learn about. Occasionally other teachers help us if Ms. Dockus, our adviser, isn’t available, but administration and other teachers generally let us be independent.”

Occasionally the ACC does food days. They either bring Asian food to share or go cook Asian dishes.

“We’ve learned about different holidays from different Asian countries and how they compare to American holidays,” Hyde said.

“Culture appropriation and costumes that are racist were also very interesting topics. Another time we learned about illegal animal trade in Asia. Our captains, two out of three are Chinese, taught us a bit of Chinese and some of the games they play with their families.”

The ACC plans to go on a trip to Detroit, to bond more throughout the trip with a little Asian Culture.