CHUSA presents ninth annual Mr. Asia ASU

This year's contestants prepare for the upcoming pageant

Last year's Mr. Asia ASU is relinquishing his crown as The Chinese Undergraduate Student Association (CHUSA) will host its ninth annual Mr. Asia ASU pageant on Nov. 3. 

Every year, CHUSA hosts its Mr. Asia talent show and pageant, in which nine to 12 candidates compete for the Mr. Asia ASU title while celebrating the diversity within the Asian and Asian-Pacific American communities.

In the pageant, the contestants participate in a choreographed dance, split up for a talent segment and then present their best jokes and pick-up lines, model swim and formal wear and then answer questions from a panel of judges.

Computer information systems and supply chain management junior Kevin Bi was crowned Mr. Asia ASU in 2016.

“I really have been able to explore my own culture and other cultures as well," Bi said. "It’s been really fun to get to learn more about how certain cultures do certain things and how it relates to my own culture. It is something very unique, and I think it is really cool that I am able to experience it as well.”

Bi said that holding the title came with many perks, not least of which is the reputation that comes with it. He said once his term ends, it will make good cocktail conversation to say he won an Asian male beauty contest.

“You win Mr. Asia, and people ask, 'Did you win like a prize or anything?' I’m like, you get a crown and some bragging rights,” Bi said. 

The competitiveness around the title has made the pageant more interesting, he said. 

Bi urged this year's contestants to have fun and make the most out of this event. 

“Regardless of you winning or not, hopefully through experience, you were able to meet new people and build relationships," he said. "After Mr. Asia, that’s not the end; that’s the beginning of you and your opportunities."

Finance freshman Nomith Murari, a contestant in this year’s pageant, said he's most excited for the talent portion.

“I love putting myself out there, and just the fact that there is a stage and an audience and a new group of people to interact with was definitely a selling point for me,” Murari said. 

He said he believes he brings a different perspective and energy to the contest. With Halloween around the corner, Murari will practice magic for his talent, he said. 

“Right now I am just ready to have fun next Friday, but I feel like I will have more jitters come the actual day of the performance,” Murari said. 

Marketing and supply chain management senior Catalina Lee, the president of CHUSA, said that the event is more than just a talent show and pageant.

“It helps celebrate the diversity within our Asian Pacific American community here at ASU," Lee said. "We get representatives from the different (groups under the) Asian-Asian Pacific American Student Coalition, AAPASC. So the Asian coalition has all these different organizations within there, whether its CHUSA, Hawaiian Pacific Islander club, Philippine American Student Association, and that list goes on."

Lee said the pageant gets representatives from a majority of these organizations, as well as others who self-identify as Asian or Asian Pacific American. 

“Usually the winners are individuals that really are proud to represent the culture and heritage. They really emphasize the importance of involvement and understanding your culture and being proud of yourself," she said. 

Reach the reporter at quindrea.yazzie@asu.eduor follow @quindreayazzie on Twitter.

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