From companions to club creators: Friends form Asia Club to celebrate cultures


Priya Maraliga

Asia Club leaders juniors Aimee Yu and Brianna Tang joined by club member junior Robert Kebartas Zoomed at a recent meeting with fellow club leaders juniors Claire Bai, Srishti Kaushik, and Tisya Singh. The club seeks to explore various Asian countries and their cultures while participating in raising awareness for AAPI issues.

Sarah Boush and Melissa Dai

A group of friends, all of Asian descent, collectively founded Asia Club in November 2020 to celebrate the diversity and beauty of Asian cultures.

Juniors Claire Bai, Aimee Yu, Tisya Singh, Brianna Tang, and Srishti Kaushik were texting in a group chat in the spring of 2020 when they came up with the idea for the new club. They noticed that many surrounding schools had culture clubs, but Algonquin did not. 

“We wanted to share the different cultures that Asia has because it’s not just the monolith of China, Japan, Korea,” Tang said. “There’s a lot of different cultures [many people] don’t really know about.” 

The Asia Club, which now meets in person every Tuesday in H207 at 2:10, does a variety of activities. Club members choose a country of focus every two or three weeks and do presentations, movie viewings and activities surrounding that country’s culture and traditions. The five friends lead Asia Club as a group with English teacher Lauren Frantz as their advisor. This way, if any one of the leaders cannot attend a meeting, everything will still be able to run smoothly. 

Aside from these cultural activities, the Asia Club has also spent time addressing the recent rise of hate crimes against Asian Americans. 

“We made a slideshow with some Asian American hate crime cases that have happened recently and in the past to acknowledge what the issue is, then we discussed what we planned to do about it,” Kaushik said. “All the club members have already taken the initiative to make a couple of flyers to post on the Internet to spread awareness. We are also hoping to hold a fundraiser sometime in the near future because we feel so connected to the cause.”

Like many school organizations, the club leaders and members have had to persevere through being completely virtual this year.

“Especially with things being virtual, I think it’s really easy for people to just not want to attend clubs and activities,” Tang said. 

Despite this challenge, the group has around 15 regularly attending members.

“It is more difficult to have people talk and engage, but a lot of people do talk to each other in the chat function of the Zoom call, which is really good to see,” Tang said.

 The club leaders feel that the club has provided a sense of community for those involved. 

“My favorite thing about the club would probably be building that sort of community, and we can all learn about the different cultures together,” Bai said.

According to Tang, the club has a relaxed atmosphere. The leaders have created a welcoming and safe space for people to learn about topics they would not normally learn about in school, and also see people they would not normally see in school.

“It’s just a fun place to see your friends and just do an activity for a little while, and it’s not super stressful or super structured,” Tang said.

If you are interested in joining and/or have any specific questions about the club, contact the leaders at

[email protected].