Search

IU Bloomington to kick off Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with Holifest

  • March 11, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington’s annual observance of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month will begin March 23 with a reception and Holifest.

This year’s theme is “Walk Together, Embrace Differences, Build Legacies,” adopted from the Federal Asian Pacific American Council. The monthlong observance is celebrated nationally in May to recognize the culture, diversity and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. IU celebrates in April to accommodate the academic calendar.

“Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is about remembering and honoring the contributions of people of Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage. It is a time to reflect on the history and potential of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in this country,” said Melanie Castillo-Cullather, director of the Asian Culture Center. “It is also a reminder that there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done regarding inclusion and equity and to support Asian American and Pacific Islander voices.”

The kick-off reception will take place from 4 to 6:30 p.m. March 23 at the Asian Culture Center, moving to the Collins Living-Learning Center courtyard for Holifest. Known as the festival of colors, it is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar calendar. The festival is most common in India, Nepal and other regions with a significant Indian and Hindu population.

Other cultural festivals, holiday celebrations, film screenings and panel discussions are among this year’s celebration events, sponsored by the IU Asian Culture Center, a unit of the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs.

Highlights include a screening of the documentary “Giap’s Last Day at the Ironing Board Factory” on March 29 and two conferences, “Productive Differences: Reaching Across Divides” on April 6 and the Indiana Asian American Conference on April 9.

Unless otherwise noted, events are free and open to the public.

“We hope that the events and the annual observance of AAPIHM will bring awareness and spark a genuine interest in learning about the history, diverse cultures and issues affecting AAPIs on our campus, in our neighborhoods and beyond,” Castillo-Cullather said.

“Giap’s Last Day at the Ironing Board Factory”

The Asian American and Pacific Islander film series will begin with a screening of “Giap’s Last Day at the Ironing Board Factory.”

The 30-minute documentary follows Giap, a Vietnamese refugee, and her escape from Saigon in 1975. Giap builds a new life working on an assembly line in Seymour, Ind. Thirty-five years later, her filmmaker son Tony Nguyen documents her last day of work. The film won the 2015 Loni Ding Award for Social Issue Documentary. 

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Nguyen. Ougie Pak, a visiting lecturer of communication and culture, will moderate the discussion.

The Indiana Asian American Conference

The Indiana Asian American Conference began in 2015 as an inter-university conference to discuss different aspects of Asian American and Pacific Islander cultures, identities and everyday life. The conference is free and open to the public, but interested individuals should register in advance.

This year’s conference will take place from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. April 9 in the School of Global and International Affairs auditorium, Room 001.

The theme, “Taking Root,” will focus on multigenerational phenomena including the evolution of identity, assimilation and differing values.

Phil Yu, also known as "Angry Asian Man," will deliver the keynote address on his experience as a Korean American blogger.

Other events

  • 4 to 5 p.m. March 28: “Around the Table,” an open floor discussion on campus diversity in the Sassafras Room of the Indiana Memorial Union.
  • 4 to 5:30 p.m. March 31: “Gauguin’s Legacy and the Construction of Polynesian Identities,” a tour of Gauguin’s Polynesian art at the IU Art Museum.
  • Noon to 1 p.m. April 1: “Who are AAPIs? Do All Asians Look the Same? Dealing With the Cross-Race Effect,” a discussion moderated by Thomas Busey, professor and associate chair of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, at the Asian Culture Center.
  • 5 to 6:30 p.m. April 1: “Keep Calm and Assertive: An Interactive Workshop,” about developing assertiveness, led by Jack Cheng and Yue Li, Ph.D. students in Counseling Psychology, at the Asian Culture Center.
  • 3 p.m. April 2: Film screening of “Twinsters” at the IU Cinema.
  • 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. April 8: Student Leader Luncheon at the Asian Culture Center.
  • 6 to 9 p.m. April 9: “Filipino Culture Night 2016: Two Worlds, One Heart” at Willkie Auditorium. The event is free for IU students and $5 for non-students.
  • 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. April 13: “Growing Up as a Hoosier Pakistani,” a panel discussion of IU students at the Asian Culture Center.
  • 10 a.m. to noon April 16: Asianfest at the Bloomington Community Famers’ Market. In case of rain, the event will be held in the Showers City Hall Atrium.
  • 5 to 6:30 p.m. April 13: End-of-the-year recognition banquet at the University Club Faculty Room in the Indiana Memorial Union. 
IU Bloomington students participate in last year's Holifest.

IU Bloomington students participate in last year's Holifest. | Photo by IU Communications

Print-Quality Photo

Media Contacts

April Toler

  • Office 812-856-3006
  • artoler@iu.edu