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IU Media Relations

Melanie Castillo-Cullather
IU Asian Culture Center

Last modified: Monday, March 20, 2006

Celebration of diverse Asian cultures, history and peoples at IU begins March 24

MARCH 20, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington on Friday (March 24) will begin its annual early observance of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, which honors the rich history and presence of Asians and Pacific islanders in the United States.

The Asian Culture Center is coordinating many of the events, which will include ethnic festivals, gatherings and lectures reflecting immigrant history and cultures and diasporic experience. There will be performances of both traditional and modern music, a film showing, art exhibits, cooking demonstrations and an Asian knowledge bowl contest.

Asians on campus also are celebrating their involvement in an important IU tradition. For the first time in the history of the Little 500, the Asian student body will be represented. Men's and women's teams, with alternates, were assembled and are practicing for the races on April 21-22. A post-Little 500 reception will be held on April 22 at 5 p.m. at the Asian Culture Center, located at 807 E. 10th St.

The ACC's Web site at will provide updates and further details. Following are the month's events (major events are listed first), which are all free and open to the public:

  • The first major event, on Sunday (March 26) at the IU Auditorium, 1211 E. Seventh St., will be the 13th annual Taste of Asia, which features a talent show by numerous student and community groups. Another highlight will be the tasting of Asian cuisine from various restaurants in Bloomington. Newer features will include displays set up by Asian and Asian American interest groups on and off campus that reflect the cultural diversity within these communities. For more information, e-mail
  • The official opening reception for APA Heritage Month will take place March 31 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the University Club in the Indiana Memorial Union. Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan will present a proclamation from the city, and winners will be announced in a creative writing essay contest co-sponsored by the IU Creative Writing Program and a children's art contest co-sponsored by Area Coordinator's Office. The reception is co-hosted by the Office of Multicultural Initiatives. For more information about the creative writing contest, please visit the ACC Web site.
  • Classical Indian dance and music will be the focus of two events on April 1 and 2. A dance demonstration and concert by Shobana Ram and Sunanda Narayanan will be April 1 at the Mathers Museum, 601 E. Eighth St., from 2 to 3:30 p.m. The artists will explore the political and cultural history of the art form, demonstrate the fundamental elements of the dance technique and invite audience participation. The following evening, Shobana and Sunanda will present a formal recital at 6:30 p.m. at the Waldron Arts Center, 122 S. Walnut St. Shobana will give a recital in the classical Bharata Natyam style of dance. It also will feature the lyrical poetry of celebrated Indian poets, classic devotional and expressive pieces and pure rhythmic items, choreographed by acclaimed choreographer R. Rhadha. Both events are sponsored by the Indiana University Asian Culture Center, and the recital is supported by the Indiana Arts Commission.
  • "Japan in America," a new exhibit at the Mathers Museum, will open April 2 at 4 p.m. The exhibit samples the vast number of images, stories, performances and accounts of Japan that circulated in the United States at the turn of the 20th century. At no time has the interest in and significance of Japan for Americans been greater than between 1890 and 1913, a rich and complex historical period for both nations. Marked by the emergence of broadly available media, the early 20th century was also a time when the United States expanded into the Pacific and became increasingly aware of Japan's modernization and its new geopolitical role. More information about the exhibit is available at
  • Filmmaker Sonali Gulati will screen and discuss her film, Nalini by Day, Nancy by Night, on April 7 at 4 p.m. in Ballantine Hall, Room 204. Nalini by Day, Nancy by Night is a documentary on the outsourcing and off-shoring of telemarketing jobs to India as told from the perspective of an Indian immigrant living in the United States. Gulati has made several short films that have been screened at nearly 100 film festivals worldwide including in Canada, the United States, Spain, France, Italy, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and across Asia. She has won awards and grants from the Third Wave Foundation, World Studio Foundation and the Philadelphia Independent Film & Video Association.
  • The annual Holi Festival will begin April 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Student Recreational Sports Center, 1601 Law Lane, as part of its monthly Family Night series. This "Indian festival of color" will feature cultural performances and food. Sponsors are the India Studies Program, the Indian Student Association and the SRSC.
  • Asian Fest, on April 29 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Showers City Hall Atrium and Outdoor Stage area at Eighth and Morton streets (in conjunction with the Farmer's Market), will feature an Asian cooking demonstration, musical and dance performances by local and Indianapolis-based Asian artists and educational and craft activities for the whole family. It is being presented by the ACC in cooperation with the City of Bloomington's Community and Family Resources Department, Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department, and Safe and Civil City Program.
  • The Mr. & Ms. Asia contest will be April 15 at the Buskirk Chumley Theater, 114 E. Kirkwood Ave.
  • The Second IU Go Game Competition will be April 20 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the ACC. Wei-Chi, as it is known in China, or Baduk as in Korea, or Go in Japan, is considered by many game experts as the world's greatest strategic skill game, surpassing chess in complexity and scope. Registration is required for competitors and can be done by e-mail to Prizes will include T-shirts, gift certificates and a trophy. For more information, please contact David Kim at
  • An afternoon of Korean pansori music will be presented on April 23 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Monroe County Public Library Auditorium, 303 E. Kirkwood Ave. The concert will feature a fusion of traditional Korean vocal styles and Western contemporary music. Works by renowned composer Chan Hae Lee will be performed by vocalists from Korea and instrumentalists from IU's Jacobs School of Music.
  • Singapore Night, hosted by Singapore Student Association, will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday (March 24) at McNutt Dining Hall.
  • "Four Seasons in Japan," Japanese Culture Night, hosted by the Japanese Student Association, will be Saturday (March 25) from 6 to 8 p.m. at Willkie Auditorium, 150 N. Rose Ave.
  • Thai Night, organized by the Thai Student Association, will be April 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. at McNutt Dining Hall. It will feature performances, exhibitions, games and free food.
  • The Hong Kong Student Association will host a coffee hour on April 7 at 4 p.m. at the Leo Dowling International Center, 111 S. Jordan Ave.
  • The first-ever Korea Night will be April 8 at 6 p.m. at Willkie Auditorium, 150 N. Rose Ave. For more information, contact
  • Sachiko Koyama, a postdoctoral fellow in the IU Department of Chemistry, will lead the ACC's Monday Table Topics presentation, "History of Street Performances Using Birds in Japan," on April 10 at noon at the center. Since the 13th century, small birds have been kept in Japan especially for the enjoyment of listening to their songs. But somehow it was different concerning the varied birds. They were taught to do tricks from early days. The most famous trick around 300 years ago was to make them bring the cards they were told to; then a fortune telling trick became famous around 80 years ago. But for the last 30 years, street performances using birds have disappeared. Koyama's presentation will look back at this custom.
  • Monday Meditation Weekly Meeting will be April 10 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the ACC, 807 E. 10th St.
  • Ilana Gershon, an assistant professor of communication and culture at IU, will lead the ACC's Over a Cup of Tea presentation, "Who Pays for the Meal? Different Ways of Exchanging Gifts," on April 12 at 7 p.m. at the center. The program will look at the cultural assumptions underlying gifts and other exchanges, and think about how gift-giving customs have changed in the Asian diaspora.
  • The Japanese Conversation Club Coffee Hour will begin April 14 at 4 p.m. at the Leo Dowling International Center.
  • The ACC and La Casa together will hold a cooking demonstration on April 19 at 7 p.m. at the La Casa Latino Cultural Center, 715 E. Seventh St.