Written by Praveen Sundar
2018. What a year. Many events have happened this year, ranging from the good, the bad, and the ugly. Yet there is one positive that came out of 2018: Asian representation.
2018 has been the biggest year in terms of Asian representation, representation in all mediums. From BTS paving the way in the music industry by winning Billboard’s Favorite Social Artist, to Chloe Kim in sports by winning a gold medal in women’s halfpipe in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. As well as most recently Catriona Gray winning Miss Universe for the Philippines. Yet Asian representation arguably reached its peak in the film industry this year.
With the release of films and TV shows such as: Killing Eve, Patriot Act,and To All the I’ve Loved Before Asian culture has finally made its way into pop culture. But the biggest movement in pop culture of Asian culture was made by the movie Crazy Rich Asians. Crazy Rich Asians, the first major movie with an all Asian cast in 25 years, since the Joy Luck Club. This movie was not only a breakthrough in Asian representation, but also a hit, with a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Personally this movie was one of my favorites of 2018 because of the cultural significance. Being a Malaysian, I was instantly drawn to a movie set in Singapore. One specific scene in the movie struck a major chord, the scene involved the main characters Nick and Rachel and their friends going to a night market and buying food. This scene made me nostalgic of the times I used to do the same with my family, one of the few times I resonated with an American film culturally. Yet the ethnic background of the characters played a small role in the actual plot of the story, making the movie simply a rom com with a full Asian cast.
With 2019 just around the corner the opportunities for Asians to breakthrough on the silver screen are only increasing. Such as the upcoming live action Mulan and Aladdin along with a plethora of other movies and TV shows. In the future we also have the sequel to Crazy Rich Asians: China Rich Girlfriend to look forward to. 2018 has only been the start of major Asian representation.
Written By Alex Tao
This year was the second year that myself and REACH participated in the UAP Christmas Mall event. For those who don't know what the Christmas Mall is, every year, United Against Poverty, an Orlando-based organization that fights poverty, holds a mall where parents can shop for Christmas presents at an affordable price. This event always happens on the second Saturday of December and requires many volunteers and donations. This is where REACH is involved in the process. REACH officers from different schools collect toys from ASA's, honor societies, and other clubs that they are associated with. These brand new toys are then sold in the mall at either $1, $3, or $5. In addition to supplying toys, REACH officers and volunteers also help out on the day of the event. This year, we were able to have around 50+ volunteers show up and help around the center. One of our main focuses this year was in the recruitment of Spanish speaking volunteers, since many of the families shopping at the mall are of Hispanic origin. We were able to get around 8 volunteers from different schools by contacting Spanish Honor Societies and offering hours for their members if they came to the event. This year, I worked in the parking lot and I can definitely say that it was a lot more smoother than last year. UAP was able to assign families specific time slots, so, this year, there wasn't any congestion in the parking lot. My second shift was working in the grocery program, where I stocked and cleaned the shelves with a couple other volunteers. Overall, the event was a success, and we were even able to finish cleaning up ahead of schedule.
Written by Jiselle Lee
REACH volunteered at United Against Poverty (UAP) Christmas Mall for the second time on Saturday, December 8th, 2018. At this event, I was an in-charge of the grocery market volunteers. It was my first experience as an in-charge, so I learned a lot about my leadership abilities. Stepping out of my comfort zone, I directed the large group of REACH volunteers by separating them into smaller groups, and I managed their workload by assigning them specific jobs to do. Together, we were able to finish cleaning and sorting through all of the shelves in the grocery market in under eight hours, as well as help out some of the customers along the way. This was an exciting experience of self-discovery for me; we achieved such great success from our hard work. The UAP Christmas Mall is a great event to practice taking initiative and team building. Future REACH officers and volunteers should keep an eye out for this event because it is a great opportunity to exercise these fundamental life skills.
If you are interested in United Against Poverty and want to learn more about how you can help their cause, visit their website: https://uporlando.org/get-involved/volunteer/
If you want to volunteer for the REACH in the near future, look out for the volunteer registration sheet for our next event, the 2019 Dragon Parade Lunar New Year Festival.
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