Asian American heritage will be celebrated during March

One of the oldest and largest campus cultural organizations turns 40 this year

Students practice a dance routine for the opening of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

The Brandeis Asian American Students Association (BAASA), one of the university's largest cultural organizations, is holding Asian Pacific American Heritage Month throughout March in celebration of campus diversity.

BAASA will host three major events:

APAHM 2012 Opening Performance: Making Our Mark takes place at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 3, in Levin Ballroom. The event will showcase the talents of many Brandeis students from various Intercultural Center organizations through performances of contemporary and traditional music and dance. It also will feature guest performers Ben Clement and Rooftop Pursuit. Admission is free for Brandeis students.

The SKIN Fashion Show 2012 will be held in at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 16, in Levin Ballroom. It will feature Brandeis students as models showcasing designs by Asian American designers such as Vera Wang, Anna Sui, Shin Choi, ASN Clothing and YesStyle.

TemptAsian, BAASA’s 40th anniversary party, concludes the month-long celebrations, beginning at 10 p.m. on Friday, March 23. The event, featuring DJ Octokyu, will take place at Levin Ballroom.

    Throughout the month, other clubs will host their own events as well. The Taiwanese Student Association will host an LED Lantern Lighting Festival on March 3 following the Asian Heritage Month Opening Ceremony. On March 10, the Southeast Asian Club will host Ayala, a charity event featuring local Southeast Asian performers. The Korean Students Association will host K-NITE on March 23, the largest event on the KSA calendar.

    Asia-Pacific Heritage Month is a collaborative effort on the part of many of the Asian clubs on campus, including the Taiwanese Student, South Asian Students Association, Brandeis Chinese Cultural Connection, Japanese Student Association, Korean Student Association and Southeast Asia Club, and is sponsored by the Student Union, the Brandeis Pluralism Alliance, and the Intercultural Center. BAASA co-president Victoria Lee ’13 says that this event could not have been possible without their support.

    Founded in 1971, BAASA has a rich history of activism, cultural expression and social activities on campus. It draws its support and ideas from its diverse Asian-American and non-Asian membership. In 2002 they started holding Asia-Pacific Heritage month annually in order to increase awareness of Asian culture and promote interracial dialogue.

    According to the International Students and Scholars Office, 214 international undergraduates, come from the Asia-Pacific region, while countless other members of the student body are of Asian Pacific heritage. Lee says the club wants this year’s Asia-Pacific Heritage Month to help break stereotypes about Asian culture, and to reveal how rich and varied it is.

    “By celebrating Asia-Pacific Heritage Month, we hope to share with the Brandeis community that Asians are more than books, math and science.” says Lee “Our theme this year is 'Making our Mark,' in honor of the recent accomplishments and contributions that our community has made, as seen through our many social media stars, community leaders, and even students like ourselves.”

    Lee also says this year the celebrations are especially significant because they mark the 20th anniversary of the ICC, as well as the 40th anniversary of BAASA.

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