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‘Celebrate Asia’ unites students of Asian languages

| Sunday, November 9, 2014

Students from different nationalities came together to celebrate the unique cultures of China, Japan and Korea yesterday at the fourth annual Celebrate Asia event in the LaFortune Student Center Ballroom.

Associate professor Michael Brownstein headed the Celebrate Asia planning committee, which included professional specialist Noriko Hanabusa, associate professor Yeonhee Yoon and assistant professional specialist Weibing Ye, representing the Japanese, Korean and Chinese language programs, respectively.

20141109, 20141109, Celebrate Asia, Wei LinWei Lin
Cindy Zyniewicz, the administrative assistant of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, said the event showcased the culture of each country represented in the department. She said Celebrate Asia brought together students with an interest in the study of Asian languages to celebrate all of East Asia.

The goal is to give students a cultural context for the language they study by exposing them to cultural activities and foods of East Asia, Zyniewicz said.

Students were required to participate in at least eight of the 14 event activities, which included practicing calligraphy, paper folding (origami) and paper cutting (jianzhi). Students practiced taekwondo and tai chi, tested their hand-eye coordination with a ping-pong challenge and challenged others to a traditional Chinese board game (wuzi qi).

Hibachi Grill catered Chinese food, including dumplings, sesame balls and spring rolls. Zyniewicz said the committee bought sushi from Martin’s Supermarket and Korean food from Sunny’s Korean Restaurant.

Zyniewicz said she expected a turnout of around 200 participants, and most of the attendees were majoring or minoring in one of the three languages offered by the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures.

Junior Jeffrey Wang, an international economics major, said the event was a great way to learn about different Asian cultures at Notre Dame.

“Its can really help student gain a global perspective while having fun at the same time,” he said.

Junior and Chinese minor Teri Dye said that, although all Asian cultures have similarities, they are also very different.

“Through this event we can identify the parallels between the cultures and make out the differences by having firsthand experiences with the cultures,” she said.

Freshman Dennis Zheng said he would definitely attend the event next year.

“It really allows me to explore the cultures outside of my own, and [it’s] entertaining at the same time,” he said. “One thing I would suggest changing is maybe the location of this event. A lot of people showed up, and it’s a bit crowded for the number of activities available.”

Celebrate Asia was sponsored by the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies, Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures, Kellogg Institute For International Studies, Teaching Beyond the Classroom grant and the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures.

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About Wei Lin

Wei Lin currently serves as an Assistant Managing Editor for The Observer. He served as the Photo Editor on the 2014-2015 Editorial Board. He is a senior Accountancy, Economics, and Chinese triple major living in Knott Hall. He hails from the borough of Queens in New York City.

Contact Wei