SASU Shines Bright: Celebrating a Year of Success


Article by Arnab Karmokar, Writer

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The South Asian Student Union (SASU) at ASIJ is making a significant impact in the school community, promoting inclusivity and celebrating South Asia’s rich and vibrant cultural heritage. I recently sat down with senior Ananya Srinivasan, one of the founders and the current leader, to gain insights into the organization’s remarkable achievements and future plans.

One standout accomplishment of SASU during the 2022-2023 school year was the High School Holi Celebration. Holi is a vibrant and joyous Hindu festival celebrated in India and other parts of the world. It is known as the “Festival of Colors” as people playfully throw vibrant colored powders and water at each other, symbolizing the arrival of spring and the triumph of good over evil.?

Ananya and I delved into the meticulous planning of the event, including the preparation of nearly 200 organic Holi packets imported from India. Ananya shared, “Holi is a joyful celebration for everyone, regardless of their background, and we wanted to emphasize that.” Students from all grades and backgrounds, along with a group of faculty members, came together to partake in the festivities.

The success of the High School Holi Celebration sparked a notion that Holi should become an enduring ASIJ tradition involving the entire school. “Now that we’ve established it, we hope SASU becomes a space where anyone can express their love for culture and have fun,” Ananya said.

Another notable initiative spearheaded by SASU was the Holi ES Art Collaboration. SASU scheduled sessions during which ES students could unleash their creativity by splattering paint on a large poster. The result was a collection of colorful artworks that adorned the school, commemorating the experience and spreading awareness of the Holi Celebration. “Now that the students have a better understanding of Holi and have actively participated in its celebration, we can create more engaging activities to raise awareness in the future,” Ananya explained.

SASU also organized a screening of the Indian film RRR in the Multi-Purpose Room. “Naatu Naatu,” a song from the movie, for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards, a momentous victory for the South Asian film industry. As we spoke about the success and critical acclaim of the movie, Ananya discussed how the movie’s popularity and captivating storyline attracted a large audience. “The turnout at the screening gave me goosebumps,” Ananya recalled. “Every seat was filled, and the audience shared collective reactions of awe, laughter, and surprise, just like in a movie theater!”Ananya expressed her hope that future SASU movie screenings would continue to be as enjoyable and engaging, if not more.

During our conversation, Ananya candidly shared the challenges SASU encountered. As a founder of the club, she initially juggled multiple responsibilities on her own. She revealed, “Being a first-time leader presented difficulties in finding the right balance—how much should I handle independently, and when should I seek help from others?”

However, through the collective efforts of SASU members, she overcame these challenges and established a strong team of supportive leaders. Ananya stressed the importance of collaboration, sacrifice, and effective planning to achieve the group’s goals.

Looking ahead, Ananya shared that the club’s vision extends beyond ASIJ, aiming to collaborate with other divisions within the school and forge partnerships with international and public schools in Tokyo. She discussed the potential for larger celebrations, music showcases, guest speakers, and a diverse range of activities that celebrate South Asian culture. Additionally, she emphasized the importance of continuing SASU’s Chai Chats, providing a platform for students to engage in meaningful discussions on topics relevant to the South Asian experience.?

SASU’s commitment to fostering inclusivity, celebrating culture, and creating a sense of belonging resonates deeply with Ananya. As we concluded our conversation, she told me she felt confident that SASU’s legacy will thrive, leaving an indelible mark on the school and enriching the lives of all students, irrespective of their cultural backgrounds.