Fourth annual Titan Night Market shared food and music

In Arts & Entertainment, Features, Lifestyle
This is a photo of Melissa Polinar performing at the fourth annual Titan Night Market.
(Baylee Maust / Daily Titan)

Rain or shine, the Asian Pacific American Resource Center’s Titan Night Market continued on for its fourth year in a row on Thursday.

The annual event at the Engineering and Computer Science lawn featured fusion food trucks, game booths and musical performances.

Inderpal Dhindsa, student leader for the Asian Pacific American Resource Center, said he hoped Titans would get a chance to engage with student organizations through the 10 different tabling activities and to try some cultural food.

“I hope that students get to take away all the exposure of the different communities that are part of the resource center that are also part of Asia. A lot of times people just say Asia and they think of community as one identity, but there’s multiple. It’s a very diverse community,” Dhindsa said.

Seth Deitz, a business administration major, was particularly attracted to a booth’s puzzle games that measured balance.

This booth belonged to the Nikkei Student Union, a Japanese-American club that participates in community service.

Justin Fujii, the club’s vice president, said they were teaching students the history behind the kendama, a Japanese skill toy.

The kendama is in the shape of a double-sided hammer the goal of the game is to get the ball, which is attached to the toy by a string, into one of the sides of the hammer.

Fujii said what was once meant for children’s entertainment is now regarded as a very serious pastime.

“They’ve gone above and beyond, done crazy weird tricks and have had tournaments and competitions all over the world,” Fujii said.

Deitz said engaging in the activities made him more aware of Asian-American culture.

“For those who aren’t in the community, like myself, I guess it makes me more aware of the culture. It gives me the opportunity to inform myself and experience what they like and what the culture’s like so it’s a good opportunity for someone like me,” Deitz said.

In addition to food and games, student performers provided a show.

The main event featured a performance by singer and songwriter Melissa Polinar.

Polinar said she has been writing original songs since she was signed by Warner Chappell, a music publishing company, when she was 17 years old.

Despite growing up in Texas and being surrounded by music, Polinar said she never considered pursuing it as a career when she was younger.

“Being from an Asian family, they don’t really encourage being a musician as a career path. They’d rather you be in the medical field or engineering,” Polinar said.

Students sang along to one of her most popular songs, “Meant to Be,” which Polinar said she wrote for a friend’s wedding.

Vivian Ho, a fourth-year business major, attended a previous Titan Night Market, and was excited to hear from new performers. She said events such as this one bring positive exposure to Asian communities.

“In media, Asian-Americans don’t necessarily have a lot of exposure. Bringing an event like this and allowing the whole campus community to come out to this, I think it’s a really great opportunity for people to be more exposed to different cultures,” Ho said.

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