Photo by Jasmine Golden-Sea

Celebrating the sweetness of diversity

“Celebrasian,” an event hosted by Lewis & Clark’s Asian Student Union, blended education and entertainment to honor Asian culture

By Kaiya Gordon /// Features Editor

Maps of Asian countries propped up on wooden stands decorated Stamm on the afternoon of April 18 for a MOSAIC’s “Celebrasian” event. “We wanted [Celebrasian] to be representative of food, music, and games” and to have “a connection to different facets of Asian culture,” Vivi Nguyen, graduate assistant for Lewis & Clark’s IME department, said.

The event, which featured Asian candy, games and tea was aimed at introducing LC students to the Asian cultures that exist on campus. The maps pointed to one reason why events like “Celebrasian” are necessary at LC–on a map titled “5 largest detailed Asian groups in the top 20 metropolitan statistical areas,” Portland was noticeably absent.

“The maps pointed to one reason why events like “Celebrasian” are necessary at LC–on a map titled “5 largest detailed Asian groups in the top 20 metropolitan statistical areas,” Portland was noticeably absent.”

Hayley Trinh (’16), Asian Student Union Co-Representative, emphasized the educational component of the event, expressing a desire for students to “know that Asia is more than just the big countries like China.” In fact, the event blended education and entertainment in more than one way. As students played games, like the Japanese game “Go,” members of ASU and MOSAIC, like Trinh and Nguyen, answered questions and engaged in conversations about diversity.

A slideshow on one of Stamm’s screens reminded students about upcoming MOSAIC events, like the “Welcome Back Barbecue” scheduled for the beginning of next semester, and recalled successful events from this semester, including the Black Student Union’s dance and a Diá Latino celebration. “The aim of MOSAIC,” Trinh said, “is to create an inclusive community for underrepresented students–to promote appreciation for diversity.”

“Celebrasian,” also featured a raffle and student performances–notably, Irada Yeap (‘14), one of the performers, took the stage again on Saturday night to perform at LC’s Spring Fling. At the end of the event, after sweatshirts had been won and Thai songs listened to, the tables in Stamm were covered in chopsticks, candy wrappers and overturned bubble tea cups, showing that celebrating diversity isn’t just necessary at LC–it’s sweet, too.

Kaiya Gordon is the features editor of the Pioneer Log. She likes to write stories about pertinent on-campus events, conduct interviews, and talk about food.  Kaiya is a contributor for the English Department’s newsletter at Lewis & Clark, and is a recent NUCL participant. Follow her @aiyakay

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