Pan-Asian Week: A celebration of heritage and culture

The Asian Student Involvement Association at Weber State University celebrated their fourth annual Pan-Asia week from March 13-17. This week-long celebration of activities gives students the opportunity to celebrate their heritage and culture.

Pan-Asia week held game nights, potlucks, film screenings and performance celebrations, which were open to anyone who was interested in participating.

Lulu S. Faumui-Latu-Peters, the ASIA advisor and leader for the Pacific Islander Center at the Centers for Belonging and Cultural Engagement, explained that this is the first time Pan-Asia week has been entirely an in person event since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We held Pan-Asia week back in person last year, and that was interesting because our culture performance celebration was mostly virtual,” Faumui-Latu-Peters said. “It was important for us to not cancel it and we continue to have it and sustain itself, so now this is the actual first year back since COVID having everything back in person.”

Faumui-Latu-Peters described how Pan-Asia came together back at the start of 2020, saying they wanted to expand the event and include other Asian cultures.

“This is the one and only event that we have on campus that celebrates, highlights and invites other Asian cultures,” Faumui-Latu-Peters said. “We changed it to Pan-Asia and not just Asia because we do realize that we have a lot of Middle East and South Asia students that don’t really have an annual activity or even have an organization for themselves. Because we are all of Asia, we want to be more inclusive and mindful.”

ASIA initially planned to celebrate this weeklong event during the Lunar New Year, which would have been the first week of February.

“We also wanted to be mindful of Black History Month, so this year, we held Pan-Asia week mid-March, to be able to leave February for Black History month,” Faumui-Latu-Peters said.

ASIA held a potluck and social activity in the Shepherd Union building on March 14. The potluck gave students the opportunity to bring food from different Asian cultures and share them amongst their peers. Despite being a potluck, Sodexo, a food catering company, also provided the event with a variety of different Asian foods.

On March 15, a film screening of, “Breathin’: The Eddy Zheng Story” was held in the Wildcat Theater. After the screening of the film, there was a panel discussion with Eddy Zheng and Ben Wang, the director of the film.

This year, ASIA collaborated with the International Club to celebrate Nepalese culture. International Club hosted a game night on March 16 at the Wildcat Lanes. The event highlighted Nepalese culture and food.

The final event was a cultural performance celebration held in the Shepherd Union Ballroom on March 17. The celebration was a huge event involving communities outside of WSU.

ASIA will be hosting a Nepalese Cultural Night on March 31 in the Wildcat Theater from 5-7:45 p.m.