The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Event celebrates Asian culture

Commemorating Asian Pacific Heritage month, students and staff alike participate in various activities all over campus throughout the month, ranging from smaller scale Feng Shui discussion and origami sessions to large social fairs.

Various activities are planned out for the whole month, in addition to the fair last Thursday on the Schauerman Library lawn. Vendors showcased a cornucopia of Asian products, a group played Taiko drums onstage, and a restaurant across campus, Wasabi, served Japanese food.

Linda Lew, student services technician, coordinated the event to bring awareness to the myriad of people who culturally identify themselves as Asian.

Lew said she opts for a mixture of the east and the west to represent the varied Asian cultures.

“I do want to get more involvement so it would be more diverse,” Lew said.

Asian Pacific Heritage month is a nationwide event. Its origin may be traced back to 1978, when then-president Jimmy Carter signed a joint resolution, making it an annual celebration.

At the college, the event used to be handled by instructor Joy Bhaot. Lew has been participating in the celebration for the past two years through various committees, but is in charge of most of the event this year.

“I started getting involved through one of the instructors, Joy Bhaot. She was the one who got me involved in it. She has been instrumental in making this a tradition,” Lew said.

Coordinating the event almost by herself, Lew said it’s been difficult, but gets help from the Asian communities nearby.

“Being so close to Gardena and the Japanese community is helpful. Either they want to participate, or they know somebody who wants to participate, so they’ve been spreading the word for me. It’s been wonderful,” Lew said.

Some of the planned events included the Japanese Bonsai and Ikebana exhibit, which took place May 10-11 with exhibitors Hiro Maehara, Mitsu Ohara and Rushiye Shimohara. A Hawaiian Ti-Leaf Lei Demonstration was led by demonstrator Lam Hoang.

June Curtis, program specialist, and Leni Sequitin, instructional service adviser, contributed in the celebration by displaying Filipino arts and crafts.

“The celebration exposes different conditions, cultures and beauty of the various cultures that we have here in El Camino,” Curtis said.

The month-long celebration presents different aspects of the Asian culture and improves cultural knowledge for students.

“The fair was fantastic. This brings cultural awareness at El Camino, and enhances students’ sensitivity to various ethnic groups,” Sequitin said.

Emphasis is placed on the diversity within the Asian culture. Dee Thibodeaux, administrative assistant to the office of student diversity, said that it is essential to celebrate our differences.

“In celebrating cultures other than our own, we found out that we aren’t really that different from one another. Our differences unite us,” Thibodeaux said.

In addition, Feng Shui consultant Angi Ma Wong said that the Asian traditions and culture are important to everybody.

“From the invention of paper to fireworks, Asian culture touches our lives each day. It enriches our lives,” Wong said.

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