March 30, 2000
Vol. 19 No. 13

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    From martial arts to film, immigration to revolution––PanAsia will begin Friday, April 7

    By Jennifer Leovy
    News Office

    Fourth-year Jay Monteverde is not alone in his struggle to define Asian or Asian- American identity. Monteverde, along with hundreds of other students, will explore cultures and heritages during PanAsia––eight days of campus events that span the cultures, entertainment, arts and issues of East, Southeast and South Asia and Asian America.

    Next week, more than 17 student organizations along with professors and artists will examine Asian heritage during lectures, discussions and performances. Events will begin with an opening ceremony at 5 p.m. Friday, April 7, in Classics 10 and will run through Saturday, April 15. (See Chronicle Calendar, Page 6.)

    Activities will range from a panel discussion of human rights and trade relations in Asia to a traditional Japanese martial arts exhibition.

    Monteverde, chair of the student coordinating committee, said the underlying mission of PanAsia is “to bring to light the third dimension of our various ethnicities, showing that each of us cannot simply be generalized and reduced to stereotypes. The definition of Asian identity and particularly Asian-American identity today is a more difficult question than ever. Several of our events search for answers to elusive questions such as ‘What are Asian Americans? How should we inherit our ethnic histories and struggles?’”

    Students began coordinating organizations early this year, inspired by a suggestion from James Ketelaar, Director of the Center for East Asian Studies and Professor in History. Both Ketelaar, who will deliver the opening ceremony address, and Theodore Foss, Associate Director of the East Asian Studies Center, participated in a similar program of East Asian events at Stanford University. “The students here ran with it, expanding the programs beyond just East Asian studies,” said Foss. “There is a tremendous pent up interest in things Asian and Asian-American on campus. PanAsia isn’t simply ethnic students talking about themselves. It goes beyond that, including anyone who has an interest in these cultures.”

    In addition to Monteverde, events coordinator Marissa Graciosa and financial chair Rolando Capinpin served on the coordinating committee that recruited student organizations and created the schedule for PanAsia. Among the participating groups are Samahan, South Asia Outreach, Chinese Undergraduate Student Association, Kilmok, Students for a Free Tibet, J-club, Japanese Anime Society, KAMI, Korean Students Organization, Chinese Students and Scholars Association, and the South Asian Students Association.

    The Center for East Asian Studies and the Department of East Asian Languages & Civilizations are sponsoring many of the events with additional support from Student Government, Indogrocer.com and bigwords.com.

    “We hope to draw in people who would normally not notice the individual events were they isolated,” said Monteverde. “Film, music, martial arts, poetry, drums, dance and tougher issues like immigration, revolution, ethnic violence, activism, racism––it’s all there.”

    For more information, please visit http://go.to/PanAsia.