“Food really fulfills a sensory experience,” Pei continued. “The smell. The taste. The general atmosphere. It's just so homey and comforting, and especially during a time when we think of race and culture, we think of a lot of tragic and very political things. It's also good to remind ourselves that there's more to race and culture than tragedies. There's also food, and that's something that's just inherently heartwarming and brings a smile to people's faces.”
Inbaayini Anbarasan ’24, who is currently taking courses remotely in India, still attends AAA meetings remotely. Anbarasan said food has been an important and formative aspect in her life. At the event, she and other members discussed “lunchbox trauma” — a phenomenon that she said many Asian people in the United States experience. This phrase refers to the ridicule some Asian students face when they bring Asian food to school and are mocked by non-Asian students.
“Asian food is so incredibly diverse and rich, and it felt so nice to just have an event dedicated to Asian food, celebrating how there’s food from Central Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Eastern Asia,” Anbarasan said. “Everyone could share their experiences and celebrate food, and it was really nice.”