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Bringing The Far East West
Hadia Mubarak, Staff Writer, FSVIew

    A number of events are scheduled throughout March and April to celebrate Asian Awareness Month. A sushi workshop will be held at the International Center today (March 26) at 7 p.m. Presented by the Chinese Student Association, the workshop will allow the audience some hands-on experience in preparing several dishes.

    Japanese Taiko Drummers, presented by Matsuriza, kicked off the cultural month last Wednesday (March 21) at the Union Courtyard.

    "The whole purpose of the month is to give students a better understanding of the different Asian countries and give them a feel for the culture, the food, etc.," Asian Student Union Director Emi Watanabe said.

    The focus of Friday's Global Gatherings (March 23) at the International Student Center was the culture of Vietnam, presented by Khue Quoc Ngo. One of the month's biggest celebrations was the Barrio Fiesta on Saturday (March 24) to celebrate the Filipino culture.

    Sponsored by the Filipino Student Association and ASU, the event featured several workshops and a luncheon with a guest speaker at the Oglesby Union. The main speaker, Leilani Fontanilla, is the Chairman for the Council for Filipino-American Organizations of Central Florida and the founder of the Bayanihan International Ladies Organization.

    "We're focusing on how first and second generation Filipino-Americans can preserve their identity. Our speaker is actually a second generation Filipino-American, so that's the issue she's talking about," FSA President Rizcion Dagani.

    The workshops, which lasted from 2-5 p.m. on Saturday, included such topics as Philippine folk dance, Philippine history, and Asians in the Music Industry. At 8 p.m., the Fiesta concluded with a concert by One Vo1ce, a Filipino R&B quartet, who have appeared on MTV.

    Asian Awareness Month is sponsored by various organizations. including ASU, FSA, Indian Undergraduate Student Association, Japanese Student Association, Chinese Student Association, Korean Undergraduate Student Association, Chinese Student Scholar and PAAWS, an Asian American women's organization.

    "A lot of people have that stereotype that Asians are just Chinese or Japanese, so we're trying to promote awareness that Asia includes a whole variety of cultures," Rizcion said.

    This Wednesday (March 28) the IUSA is performing "Bum-Bro," an Indian cultural dance at the Union from noon-1 p.m. The Chinese Student Association is hosting a martial arts demonstration in the courtyard. From 11a.m.-1 p.m., the organizations will feature cultural food sampling, calligraphy and body henna at the Union.

    Cultural food is one of the primary ways in which the organizations are promoting their cultures. On Friday (March 30), the IUSA and KUSA will present a cooking demonstration at the International Center at 7 p.m. This will give the audience hands-on experience in preparing Indian and Korean dishes.

    To preserve the tradition in hosting Japanese tea ceremonies, the Japanese Student Association is bringing Kazuko Law to perform the tea ceremony at the International Center on Saturday (March 31) from 2-4 p.m.

    On April 3, the movie The Joy Luck Club, based on the novel by Amy Tan will be presented at the Student Life Building at 8 p.m.. Asian Game Night on April 5 will feature Asian video games at the Student Life Building from 7-10 p.m.

    For members with talent, a Karaoke Night will be held on April 11 at Club Down Under from 7:30-11 p.m. Lisa Ling, from ABC's The View will come to FSU for one of the last events of the month on April 13. As a TV personality, she will share her experiences about being Asian American at the Moore Auditorium at 8 p.m.

    The month's celebrations, typically at the beginning of March, were shifted to the end of the month for logistical reasons.

    "This year we started late because we felt there would be a better advantage after Spring Break," Watanabe said.

Hadia Mubarak is a staff writer for the FSView.  This article originally appeared in the March 26, 2001 issue of the FSView & Florida Flambeau.