CSUN community celebrates culture talent show with other CSUs

Mercedes Ortiz

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More than 150 students and members of the CSUN community attended the Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) talent show “Northridge by Night” on Sunday.

Students from UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, UCLA, UC Riverside, and CSUN gathered together to show their talent and to support One Body Village, a non-profit organization that seeks to combat trafficking women and children for sex slavery.

There were 17 scheduled performers from the collective schools who went through auditions to get an opportunity to perform on stage.

With the purpose of promoting cultural interaction, VSA plans to make the talent show an annual tradition.

Helen Luong, executive vice president of CSUN VSA and co-director of the event said that the club is fairly new but they want to grow and hope this talent show will help them do so.

“If you are interested in the culture, learning about it, going to certain cultural events, like this one in particular, this is an open talent show,” Luong said.

Those in attendance were given the opportunity to witness cultural dances like the butterfly dance, a poetry show about ethnicity and singers perform their songs.

Attendees were charged $5 at the door, and all of the proceeds were donated to the One Body Village. This non-profit organization, headquartered in Atlanta, GA, began in 2008 and has fought to help rescue numerous children and women in countries such as Vietnam and Cambodia from sex-trafficking. The organization, according to the website, also aims to assist women in these countries in receiving health and educational assistance as well as vocational training to help them attain a job in order to improve their futures.

Vy Tran from UC San Diego said she likes these events because they help her stay in-tune with her culture.

“I think (this) is a good way for our younger generation to preserve our culture especially because all of our parents have come over here around the same time, and I feel like the more we are here the less our culture is shared so we join VSA in order to preserve it,” Tran said.

In between performances the master of ceremonies made Vietnamese jokes. The audience laughed and asked for more.

Anthony Holden, CSUN student and performer, said even though he is not Vietnamese he felt welcomed and that’s why he participated.

“When I go to any type of cultural event I feel out of place but at the same time it’s nice to be out of your element. It’s nice to step in this room and say ‘I know nothing here and I’m gonna go and learn something. I’m gonna meet a bunch of new people because I don’t know anyone here,’” Holden said.  “It’s like you are constantly seeking equilibrium.”