Asia Week events to focus on heritage

AASA sponsors activities including art and food tasting.

Tomorrow through Nov. 8, students on campus who wish to learn more about Asian culture can do everything from learning how to make Japanese origami to tasting spicy Thai food.

The Asian American Student Association, in conjunction with the Asian Studies Committee and Far East Asia Programs, will sponsor Focus on Asia 2002, a week of activities designed to expand students' knowledge of eastern issues and culture.

Focus on Asia Week kicks off this weekend with a Japanese origami workshop from 1 to 3 p.m., Saturday at the Muncie Center for the Arts, 520 E. Main Street. Students can also test Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Thai foods at a food tasting event from 1 to 2 p.m. on Nov. 7 in the Student Center Ballroom.

These and other events are the result of extensive planning that started at the end of last spring.

S. Jae Park, director of Far East Asia Programs and chair of the Asian Studies Committee, hopes the planning and the activities themselves will pay off for students in the long run.

"The world is getting smaller," Park said. "We like to provide opportunities so students can become global citizens and more effective individuals."

Other activities will continue throughout November as part of Asian American Awareness Month.

Catherine Woo, professor emeritus of San Diego State University, will discuss the Chinese art of Feng Shui, the practice of arranging furniture to attain harmonial and spiritual balance, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 18 in the Teacher's College, Room 101.

Jana Trivedi, secretary of AASA, said she hopes these activities will inform students of a world outside of themselves.

"On a predominantly white campus, a lot of people are ignorant of Asian issues," she said. "We want to clear those stereotypes and educate students."

Lily Tsay, treasurer of AASA, said that coming to Ball State aided in her discovery of her own heritage. During her freshman year, Tsay joined AASA, and the organization inspired her to learn more about her past.

"I learned a lot through my parents," Tsay said. "It was a dawning. I learned how I'm perceived and how I perceive others because of stereotypes."

Tsay said she hopes that the Focus on Asia Week and the activities for November will give others the same eye-opening experience.

"It's a learning experience." she said.

For a list of more events, go to www.bsu.edu/far_east


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