All had come to Dunn Meadow on Thursday to share their interest in Asian culture at the annual Asian Fair and Welcome Reception, sponsored by the Asian Cultural Center.
Brightly colored floral fans framed seashells, while the Filipino flag and blue daisies were scattered across the Filipino Student Association table.
The smell of curry lured people to grab a plate from Taste of India on the opposite side of Dunn Meadow. About 15 tables surrounded the field including sororities such as Kappa Gamma Delta, Chinese Calligraphy Club and the Indian Student Association.
“This year was a little different than previous years because we opened it up to student groups as well as academic associations,” Asian Cultural Center Graduate Assistant Sarah Moon said. “This event is an opportunity to welcome new students and let them know that we are here and to join.”
Last year, about 80 to 100 people attended the fair.
Moon said they were hoping for about 200 students this year. She said it is good to see people face-to-face in order to make a personal connection with those interested in Asian culture.
According to the Asian Culture Center, more than 2,500 Asian- and Asian-Pacific-American students attend IU in either graduate or undergraduate programs. This does not include Asian students who are at IU studying abroad.
However, that only seems to encourage the blending of Asian-American culture, junior Tianyi Xu said.
“KGD is an Asian sorority, which is American culture, but we make it Asian,” Xu said. “There is a sisterhood to our sorority, like other sororities, but we all have an interest in Asian culture. You don’t have to be Asian though. One of my sisters is a real American. She is blonde.”
Moon said the Asian Fair is at the beginning of the year because more people will come to get involved, and because many groups are just starting to plan events.
President of the Filipino Student Association Trisha Satterfield said she is most excited this year for Filipino Night. In the past, the event took place in Willkie Center, but this year it is scheduled for the IU Auditorium.
She said the group is pairing with IU-Purdue University Indianapolis and trying to bring in two big-name Filipino YouTube performers, although the organization is not yet announcing their names.
“I think it is important for people to come to the Asian Fair and other diverse events to expand your world and to learn and maybe even debunk stereotypes,” second-year graduate student Lisa Kwong said.
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