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George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Melanie Castillo-Cullather
IU Asian Culture Center

Last modified: Tuesday, March 27, 2007

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

MARCH 27, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- On Friday (March 30), Indiana University 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.

At IU Bloomington, the opening reception for APA Heritage Month will take place Friday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the President's Club in the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St.

Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan will present a proclamation from the city. Winners from two contests will be announced, including a creative writing essay contest co-sponsored by the IU Creative Writing Program and the Hutton Honors College, and a children's art contest co-sponsored by the Area Coordinator's Office. For more information about the creative writing contest, please visit the Asian Culture Center (ACC) Web site at

A similar event on April 13 at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) has been organized by the Asian/Pacific American Faculty Staff Council and the IUPUI Chancellor's Office. The contributions and accomplishments of Asian Pacific American faculty and staff at IUPUI will be highlighted at the reception, which will take place from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Informatics and Communications Technology Complex Faculty/Staff Lounge, 535 W. Michigan St., Indianapolis. For more information, send an e-mail to

Kiran Ahuja, executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum in Washington, D.C., will give the month's keynote address at 7 p.m. on April 4 in the Faculty Club of the Indiana Memorial Union at IU Bloomington. She will discuss critical policy issues that affect Asian Pacific Americans and APA women in particular, such as immigration reform, human rights and fair compensation. The title of her address is "Power and Visibility for Asian Pacific Americans: Why Public Policy and a United Voice Should Matter to Asian Pacific Americans!"

The ACC is coordinating many of the events at IU Bloomington, 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 at IU Bloomington also are celebrating their involvement in an important IU tradition. The ACC is fielding men's and women's teams again in this year's Little 500 bike races on April 20-21. A post-Little 500 reception will be held on April 21 from 5 to 7 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 other events (major events are listed first), which are all free and open to the public:

  • The 20th annual Taste Of Asia will begin at 6 p.m. on April 7 at the IU Auditorium, 1211 E. Seventh St. Taste of Asia features samples of Asian cuisine from various restaurants in Bloomington as well as a talent show featuring numerous student and community groups. The event will also 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
  • Asian Fest, which will begin at 10 a.m. on April 28 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 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 the Safe and Civil City Program.
  • The Asian Knowledge Bowl, on April 5, is a competition among student groups that tests their knowledge of Asian American history and culture. Winning teams will receive a $250 prize deposited into their student organization account. The competition is open to all registered undergraduate student organizations. The competition will be from 6 to 10 p.m. in room BU111 in the Kelley School of Business.
  • The Chinese Performance Festival on Saturday, March 31, will feature movies and plays produced by IU students of the Chinese Program and the East Asian Languages and Cultures Department. It will take place from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Monroe County Public Library auditorium, 303 E. Kirkwood Ave. It will be followed by a reception and presentation of awards.
  • Judy Tzu-Chun Wu, associate professor of history and coordinator for the Asian American Studies Program at Ohio State University, will present the lecture, "Eldridge Cleaver goes to Pyongyang, Hanoi and Peking: Third World Internationalism and Radical Orientalism during the Vietnam Era." Wu's lecture, which will begin at 4:30 p.m. on April 6 in Ballantine Hall 006, will explore the world of American antiwar activists who traveled internationally during the Vietnam War era and touch on the multi-cultural interactions. The lecture is co-sponsored by the Culture Studies Program and the History Department.
  • Also on April 6 will be Indonesian Night, which will be at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave. The evening-long event will include cultural performances, a fashion show of traditional Indonesian clothes and food samples.
  • The Mr. & Ms. Asia contest will be April 15 at the IU Auditorium.
  • The Third IU Go Game Competition will begin at 4 p.m. on April 20 at the ACC. Wei-Chi, as it is known in China, or Baduk as it is known 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 via e-mail to Prizes will include T-shirts, gift certificates and a trophy.
  • Friday Coffee Hour will feature the Kazakh Student Association, from 4 to 6 p.m. on April 9, at the Leo Dowling International Center, 111 S. Jordan Ave.
  • Asian Wedding Traditions will be held at 10 a.m. April 10 at the Bloomington Adult Community Center, 349 S. Walnut St.
  • The Asian Cultures Around Campus performance will feature a hula demonstration by Carol Reynolds at 5 p.m. on April 13 at the ACC.
  • A screening of Jayasri Majumdar Hart's documentary, Roots in the Sand, will take place at 7 p.m. on April 18 at the La Casa Latino Cultural Center, 715 E. Seventh St. The film is a multi-generational portrait of pioneering Punjabi-Mexican families who settled a century ago in Southern California's Imperial Valley. Through the use of found footage, archival and family photographs, personal and public documents, Hart tells the story of a community that grew out of a struggle for economic survival in the face of prejudice.
  • International Movie Night will be at 7 p.m. April 19 at the Leo Dowling International Center.
  • The ACC and La Casa together will hold a cooking demonstration on April 25 at 7 p.m. at the La Casa Latino Cultural Center.
  • The roundtable discussion, "Who are Asian/Pacific Americans?," will begin at 10 a.m. on April 27 in the Distinguished Alumni Room of the IMU. The event is co-sponsored by Office of Affirmative Action.