Asian Cultural Week under way at Gettysburg College

From sushi-making to stereotype breaking, Gettysburg College is hosting "Asian Cultural Week 2009: Eleven Days in Asia" from Jan. 21 to 31.

"The increasing significance of Asian culture and the rising number of students of Asian heritage at Gettysburg College have led to the organization of an eleven-day program focusing on South and East Asia," says Chris Fahey, faculty advisor for the International Club, the primary organizer of the event.

The International Club of Gettysburg College aims to promote awareness of various aspects of Asian culture through academic and recreational programs. The week's events, which are free and open to the public, are designed to provide a unique perspective of Asian heritage and to encourage global citizenship.

Julia Chang Bloch, the first Asian American ambassador (Kingdom of Nepal, 1989), will be a featured speaker. Bloch received a bachelor's in communications and public policy from the University of California at Berkley in 1964 and a master's in government and East Asian studies from Harvard University in 1967. During Bloch's 25 years in government service, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malaysia (1964); assistant administrator for food for peace and voluntary assistance at the U.S. Agency for International Development and as assistant administrator for Asia and the Near East (1981-1988), chief minority counsel to a Senate select committee, a Senate professional staff member, and the deputy director of the Office of African Affairs at the U.S. Information Agency.  She is currently president of the US-China Education Trust, a China-based non-profit organization working to promote U.S.-China relations through education.

Gettysburg College's International Club has been working closely with various departments across the campus and has raised over $20, 000 in hopes of making Asian Cultural Week a success. Jans Cerny, president of Gettysburg College's International Club, wants everyone in both the college and the community to attend the festivities. "I would really like people to participate, experience, and interact in the foreign culture as a means to accept and fully understand a way of life completely different from Western mentality," he says. Shuttle buses will bring students from Franklin and Marshall as well as Dickinson to the week's events.

Gettysburg College offers a Japanese Studies major and minor as well as an East Asian studies major. Students can study two years of Chinese and four years of Japanese language. Eleanor Hogan, department chair of Asian studies, believes, "it's important to be knowledgeable about these cultures as citizens of the world."

Planned activities include:

Wednesday, Jan. 21
Making sushi & ikebana, Japanese flower arranging, 7 p.m., College Union Building Room 260

Thursday, Jan. 22
International Club Spotlight, presentation by students who studied in Asia, 7 p.m., CUB 260

Friday, Jan. 23
Origami for children, 4 p.m., CUB Junction

Chopsticks Competition, 7p.m., CUB Junction

"Infernal Affairs," Chinese movie, 8 p.m, CUB Junction

Saturday, Jan. 24
"Karate Chops, Geishas, Nerds & the Asian Invasion: Reflections of a Korean Adopted American," talk by Colgate University educational studies Prof. John Palmer, Ph.D., 4 p.m., CUB Ballroom

Night in Southeast Asia, food, music and culture, 7 p.m., CUB 260

Monday, Jan. 26
Chinese Dragon Dance, 4 p.m., CUB Ballroom

Chinese New Year Dinner, 5-7 p.m., Dining Center

Tuesday, January 27 
Asian martial arts, presentation and exercise, 4 p.m., Plank Gym

Wednesday, Jan. 28
"The Future of the Asian Miracle: Reflections on Change in China," talk by Profs. Frederick R. Gaenslen and Mark Hopkins, 4 p.m., CUB 260

Sudoku Competition, 8 p.m., Attic

Thursday, January 29th
"The Importance of Promoting US-China Relations through Education and Exchange," Former U.S. Ambassador to Nepal, Dr. Julia Chang Bloch, 11:30 a.m., CUB Ballroom

Asian Beverages and Drinking Culture, teas and drinks of the region, 7 p.m., CUB 260

Friday, Jan. 30
"Rang de Basanti," Indian "Bollywood" movie, 8 p.m., Bowen Auditorium, McCreary Hall

Saturday, Jan. 31
"Confucius, Karma, and Hello Kitty!: Traditional Beliefs Confront Asian Modernities," Profs. Megan A. Sijapati and  Deborah A. Sommer, 5 p.m., Bowen Auditorium

"Big Night in Asia," food and musical and dance performances, international fashion show, 7 p.m., CUB Ballroom

Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with approximately 2,600 students. It is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania. The college was founded in 1832.

By Lawrese Brown, Class of 2010

Contact: Jim Hale, online content editor


Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Posted: Wed, 21 Jan 2009

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