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Drew University Celebrates “A Night in Asia”

Event honored National Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

April 2023 – Drew University celebrated Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage in its “A Night in Asia” event, showcasing the unique customs of several Asian cultures.

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Students playing Xiangqi, or Chinese chess.

The event kicked off with activities that included Japanese origami; Xiangqi, or Chinese chess; kicking shuttlecock, a traditional Chinese sport; yut nori, a traditional Korean board game; nondi, a regional Indian version of hopscotch; ludo, a board game with Indian roots; and writing notecards for Heart of Dinner, a non-profit that addresses food insecurity among elderly Asian Americans.

Tamayo Zhou, Chinese language and culture advisor, opened the performance portion of the event by discussing the importance of celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage. Zhou encouraged students to spend time reading books and watching documentaries to learn more about Asian American history throughout May, National Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Representatives from Asian and Asian American student organizations addressed the atendees.

Christine Joseph C’24, president of South Asian Student Association, noted “A Night in Asia” was the largest event on campus that features Asian American heritage.

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Bharatanatyam dance demonstration.

“We hope to create a safe and brave space for Asian students on campus,” added Kareena Salvi C’23, president of Asian Student Union.

Students sampled various authentic Asian cuisines while watching a demonstration of the classical bharatanatyam Indian dance and were introduced to different kinds of traditional Chinese and Indian music through live performances. Dian Shang C’23, an international student from China, showcased pipa music.

The event closed with a lively dance floor, set to music celebrating the diverse Asian languages.

“Events like this allow us to highlight and celebrate the diverse student backgrounds and cultures at Drew.”

The event was coordinated by Drew University Diversity and Inclusion Program, Drew University Asian Student Union, Drew’s South Asian Student Association, and INTO Drew University.

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