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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

ICC Corner: Brandeis celebrates Asian/Pacific heritage

Published: February 13, 2009
Section: Arts, Etc.

The Brandeis Asian American Student Association, also known as BAASA, originated in 1971 in the midst of the Vietnam War. With anti-Asian sentiment brewing, it was created to prevent racism against Asians and to serve as an outlet for Asian Americans to become politically active in their communities. BAASA’s mission today has changed and progressed into exploring the Asian and American cultural differences and how both can coexist as one culture. Through campus wide events and social activism, BAASA hopes to spread awareness of this unique cultural mix.

In less than three weeks, BAASA will be holding the opening ceremonies for its biggest event of the year, APAHM. APAHM stands for the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, which celebrates the contributions Asian Americans have made to America. APAHM was officially enacted on Oct. 28, 1992. Its purpose is to appreciate the achievements and strides the Asian/Pacific American community has made. Normally, it takes place during the month of May, recognizing the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to America on May 7, 1843, and also the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869, a project manned by mainly Chinese immigrants. However, it is celebrated at Brandeis during the month of March to prevent it from interruption by school release dates.

APHAM has been celebrated at Brandeis since BAASA first introduced it in the spring of 2004. This year’s theme for BAASA will be Made in America: Asian American Contributions to America with a multitude of events. Throughout the month, there will be a fashion show, performances, guest speakers, and the following clubs: the Brandeis Chinese Cultural Connection, Japanese Student Association, Korean Student Association, Mixed Heritage Club, South Asian Student Association, and South East Asia Club.

BAASA will hold opening ceremonies on Mar 2nd with skits of the upcoming club events and guest speaker, writer/producer, and political activist, Curtis Chin. Come join us afterwards for events such as the Japanese Student Association’s “Iron Chef Competition”, or the Brandeis Chinese Cultural Connection’s “Bubble Tea Night” throughout APAHM. On Mar 21, one of Brandeis’ own fashion shows, SKIN, will exhibit some eye-opening styles from Asian and Asian American designers.

Make sure to join us in March to be a part of one of the biggest cultural events this year!