Tag: VSA

New Years Celebration: Year of the Dog

New Years Celebration: Year of the Dog

New Years, again? In many parts of Asia, New Years is celebrated based on the Lunar calendar rather than the traditional Gregorian calendar starting on January 1st. This year, New Years falls on February 16, 2018 and it so happens to be the year of the dog (based on the 12-year zodiac cycle). Those who are are born during the year of the dog are known to be communicative, serious, and responsible in work!


Here at Loyola University, the Vietnamese and Chinese Student Association (VSA & CSA) have put together an event to celebrate this fun and joyous holiday. Our event will take place on Tuesday, February 13 at Sr. Jean Dolores Schmidt Multipurpose Room (North and South) from 6:00pm to 9:00pm.

VSA & CSA have been planning for 3 months to bring to the Loyola community a wonderful cultural experience of New Years. We will feature cultural and study abroad presentations, a lot of Asian-based organizations, traditional games, and a prize booth. Nevertheless, it will be an event in which offers inclusiveness, educational components, and tons of fun for everyone.

In addition to all of this, VSA & CSA have worked hard to bring in traditional lion dancing for entertainment! The event will comprise of 2 performances. The first performance will open up with lion dancing. As customary, they will wake up from a slumber and dance to the sounds of the drums and symbols. To bring good luck to this event, they will perform the “Choy Cheng ” ceremony in which they will receive their lucky money. After, the students may even get to interact with them, as they are playful and social! Their second performance will be focus on-stage with many tricks as people sit and enjoy their food.

In terms of food, we have a variety of Vietnamese and Chinese options. As learned from VSA’s recent Cuisine Night event, we have ordered sufficient food to accommodate the large expected attendance and considered many vegetarian options. On top of all this, we have dessert! We will have traditional New Years cake, known as Nian Gao, cuties, fortune cookies, Vietnamese Banh Cam, and an assortment of candies. For Loyola students, this is free admission and with free food, so we hope to see many LUC students attend!

New Years is primarily a time for celebration with friends and family. It is a perfect time to get together and have fun with each other. We hope that the Year of the Dog brings you luck, happiness, and prosperity to you and success will happen throughout the year!

See YOU at our event on Tuesday, February 13 6pm at Damen MPR!

Cuisine Night

Cuisine Night

One of the many things that makes Loyola so awesome is the fact that many registered student organizations create and plan fun events for everyone to enjoy! Just about every day, students have the option of attending organizational meetings, listen in on speaker events, doing activities, and so much more. I am a part of the Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) and we have been planning for months to bring to the Loyola community, our biggest and most anticipated event scheduled for this Thursday (tomorrow)- Cuisine Night! 


This event consists of several popular Vietnamese dishes, including an array of banh mi, spring rolls, egg rolls, fried rice, tofu, noodles, and so much more. VSA hopes to bring the Loyola community a different and tasty experience of Vietnamese cuisine and though you could visit any of the restaurants on Argyle (Viet Town), this event allows you to sample everything, not just one dish alone!

In addition to food, we will have a main presentation to talk about Vietnamese foods, their origins, literal translations, and also feature fun and interesting facts. In the later half of the event, we will have an interactive game of Kahoot with our awesome interns to test people’s learnt knowledge from the presentations.

Altogether, this event is one our most anticipated events as we have planned so extensively for. Why, you may ask? During our student organization fair back in September, we asked students to fill out a short survey and vote for events they were most interested in. Cuisine Night was the most popular and understandably so- who doesn’t like a food-focused event?!

With that being said, this event is TOMORROW, Thursday, November 30 from 6pm-7:30pm. It is a free event for current Loyola students and for non-Loyola students, it is simply $2 for admittance. I hope to see all of you there and if you see me, don’t forget to say hi!

Vietnamese Student Association

Vietnamese Student Association


The Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) at Loyola University is about to have an awesome event called VSA Meet and Greet! It is a fantastic group for students to want to explore Vietnamese culture and socialize with other students! I am a part of EBoard of VSA and wanted to take this opportunity to share some info about this event as well as acknowledge Vietnamese participation we have at our university!

VSA Meet and Greet will be from 6:00PM-7:30PM at Cuneo 002 and it is a open invite to all Loyola students! 


VSA is one out of a few Asian organizations we have on our Loyola campus. This organization allows for the celebration and awareness to Vietnamese culture (open to other Asian cultures too!) through the leadership of current students such as myself and others. Unlike other organizations, our meetings and events are often known for having good food! We try our best to promote our Viet culture by bringing to the community a taste of Vietnam; whether it is spring rolls or eggs rolls, you are assured to have fun exploring the cuisines at every meeting.

Our group is open to everyone, not only those of Asian ethnicity. We encourage culture mixing and embrace people of all backgrounds! VSA is one easy method for people to come together to socialize, celebrate Asian culture, and bring the community together. Fortunately, LUC VSA is not just a university group, but a nationwide group. With that being said, we do have affiliations and partnerships with other VSA’s. Currently, we are interacting with UIC’s VSA and hope to have many good and beneficial connections with them for this academic term!

Obligations for membership into this club are quite relaxed as we try to make this organization more manageable and easy for all students to be a part of. With that being said, VSA EBoard strives to create and plan events that can really highlight Vietnamese culture and draw people in through engaging and interactive methods, such as DIY Spring Rolls and DIY Che (popular dessert). With exciting events, we hope to serve the greater community of Loyola with an awareness to Vietnam in terms of traditions, culture, language, and cuisine.

VSA Meet and Greet is the chance for YOU to finally join an organization that requires little obligations yet you still get a full experience of the group through the events.

At this event, you will get to meet other excited students such as yourself and meet the Executive Board members, which I personally believe are very amicable, down-to-earth, wise, and helpful people. Meeting E-Board is awesome because you get to see the people who get to plan these fun VSA events coming up! Internships to our club is available to anyone as well! You will work alongside us and get a full view of how event planning is done as well provide inputs and creativity along the way.

Besides meeting and greeting, we will go into depth about our VSA group and the future events we are considering doing. Best part is, you get free pizza too! Please consider attending this NEXT THURSDAY at Cuneo 002 at 6PM. You’ll get to see me too and we can talk more in person with any questions you may have about anything related to VSA (or even admissions)!

Mid-Autumn Festival

Mid-Autumn Festival


If you are in Chicago, you can definitely feel the change in season right now. Especially around the first and second week of September, the cool breeze swept in and sweaters were brought out to wear. My instincts told me otherwise through seasonal allergies- yes, I am sick.

With the changing of the season, the Asian culture celebrates this transition with a Mid-Autumn Festival, or more commonly for me (since I am Vietnamese), Tet Trung Thu.

This holiday was a fun one especially when I was a kid. At my church, I was given a lantern with colorful pictures with a lit candle and tassel at the bottom. I, among other kids my age, would walk around the parking lot in the evening with our lanterns listening to Tet Trung Thu Ruoc Den Di Choi song blasting on the speakers. After our little march, full-sized moon cakes were distributed to everyone and then we got to play games and earn prizes afterwards. The grown-ups would get cakes too and would socialize with one another. Imagine this memory with the full-moon so big and bright, and you’ve got a classic vision of what my Mid-Autumn festival was like when I was younger.

VLS Trung Thu12-564be

In high school and in the beginning of college, I strayed away from those “childish” things because I had other things I could be doing- schoolwork, watching TV, etc. Fortunately, Loyola gave me the opportunity to reach back to my roots and let me re-experience those nostalgic moments.

TOMORROW, September 29, CSA/VSA (Chinese Student Association/ Vietnamese Student Association), will host their annual MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL in Damen MPR North at 7pm.

Here, you will be able to immerse yourself into the Asian culture through learning the history of the mid-autumn festival, playing traditional games, and tasting different yummy food of Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine! As tradition with this holiday, you will be able to try out a moon cake, which is always a favorite and interesting thing to try out among people.

Here’s the promo flyer:


For a more interesting take on how people celebrate Tet Trung Thu, watch Kyle Le’s video of his time in Vietnam! It’s a really good and NEW video! Instead of individual lanterns that children traditionally walk around with, students are shown with massive, handmade float-like lanterns!

Take a look:


Spring Break Nostalgia

Spring Break Nostalgia


Spring break was last week, and for the first time ever, I made the decision to travel away from home and do something productive and meaningful during that time. With everything that has happened throughout my life, I desperately needed a break to let loose and reflect- something I rarely have time to do. For some people at Loyola, they go on community service retreat centers throughout the U.S; I went in a different direction and went to Texas for training for the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Movement (VEYM) (mentioned in previous posts).

I have only joined this movement for seven months, and what a journey it has been. Besides being a part of Loyola’s VSA, I did not have many opportunities to interact with other Vietnamese people. Until I joined VEYM last August, things changed. I finally found people who shared same values, people who came from similar backgrounds, and people who could completely empathize (not just simply sympathize).

To be leaders of VEYM, I had to attend training- a four day religious camping event composed of lectures, singing, and learning about each other (similar to a retreat). Pre-camp homework was tedious, but I was assigned into a group of people, and we all were able to keep in contact frequently and manage to make the homework less stressful. Some of the things we had to do include: teach a lesson, learn the morse code, learn semaphore, memorize prayers, know formations, read biblical passages, essay writing, and more.


Everyone in my team is an essential member with a personality unlike any other. We have people who are so outgoing, spirited, and energetic, and we have those who are compassionate, prepared, and so heart-felt. Despite that I came late (my flight got delayed), being the last person to meet all of them was not so intimidating as I initially assumed. Through time (a couple hours), I felt like I found myself a second family I could genuinely comfortable around.

One of my better qualities are my writing skills, and so that compensated for my shyness when they met me in-person. I may be introverted, but through these people and VEYM, I believe I can transform into a better image of myself and carry on the qualities of my team as a whole. Things will get better.

Going to Texas and attending this training session last week was memorable. Reflecting back, I wish I could have done more for the team and be more open. Either way, I have grown in faith and I am honored and blessed to have made the decision to go down this route. My journey with VEYM has only begun, and possibly, there will be other things to look forward to in the future.

I may be over my head in regards to this topic, but since this happened so recently, I still remember everything clearly.

I digress, it is good to do something meaningful and productive over spring break. It is the only full week where you have off from school during the semester. Do something that is fun. Do something that makes you happy. Do something that will make a difference. Sitting at home and “doing nothing” can be good and relaxing, however there are more things you can do with your free time such as community service, camps, visiting family, etc.

Be like these amazing people you see in this picture. Get active. Be compassionate. Be kind. Learn to work together and it won’t take long to realize that there are so many things to do during break and meet people you may consider life-long companions.

Trust me, it is worth it.




2016: Year of the Monkey

2016: Year of the Monkey



Happy New Year! If you already broke your new year resolutions, now’s a good time to start over again!

I’m talking about the Lunar New Year (February 8th, 2016)! Personally, I enjoy this New Year better than the January 1st New Year celebrations. The majority of the Asian countries celebrate the Lunar New Year in spectacular

and cultural style. But for now, since I am Vietnamese, I’ll focus on Viet tradition. To make it easy and simple, I have narrowed it down to two things you cannot have without for this joyous occasion.

Red envelopes. Money. You simply cannot forget this essential aspect when celebrating the New Year. It is customary to wish the older person something very thoughtful such as good health or success in the future. In return, you receive ‘lucky’ money. The more family members you have, the more wealthy you will become!

Lion Dancing & Firecrackers. I personally think the lions are amazing- so fluffy, energetic, and colorful. A couple of train stops from Loyola, Argyle Red Line Station, Argyle St. has annual lion dancing with real firecrackers. The lions go to every store and bring in luck to the businesses. Chinatown can be a little far from LUC, but there’s no excuse not to come to Argyle St. and immerse yourself in Asian culture.

Here’s a good video from Argyle St.:

PLUS! Loyola’s VSA & CSA are doing a New Year party next Monday, February 22, in Regis MPR at 6:30pm! Come check it out!