Asian-American Groups Plan Culture Celebration

In an effort to increase the University community's awareness of Asian-American cultures, a group of ethnic student organizations are labelling December Asian-American Cultural Month.

The event, which will run from December 1 to 16, is designed to educate Asian-Americans about their common background, said coordinator Linda L. Wei '92. "Our first purpose is to let Harvard Asian-Americans be aware of their heritage," Wei said.

Wei said that the events will include forums, films, panel discussions and a food festival, held at various on-campus locations. Discussions topics include "Asian-American Dating: Stereotypes of Men and Women," "Asian-American Admissions Policy at Harvard-Radcliffe" and "The Future of Hong Kong."

"Because there are a lot of Asian-Americans here at Harvard, it is profoundly important to educate," said David K. Shim '91, co-president of Harvard-Radcliffe Asian-American Association (H-RAAA), the largest Asian-American group on campus and the affair's principal organizer.

But Wei said that all students, and not just Asian-Americans, are invited to the activities.

"Whenever we do a cultural thing like this it's not as if to celebrate ourselves, but to educate the community as well," Shim said.

Some 18 campus Asian-American groups and the Harvard Foundation, a University agency established to foster interaction between different ethnic groups, are jointly sponsoring the events, Wei said.

"We want to have a time when all groups can get together" and cooperate on a single project, she said.

Wei said she expects a large turnout throughout the two weeks, and says she hopes the occasion will become an annual occurrence. The major event, the Asian food and cultural festival, is scheduled for 8 p.m. at Quincy dining hall. "It's going to be a big kickoff," Wei said.

Organizers hope that this year's event will be larger and better organized than most others of its kind at Harvard. "No one has ever put this much effort into it," Shim said.