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The Amerasia Organization celebrates festival night on the Fresno State Campus in the Satellite Student Union, April 1, 2016. Amerasia week began March 28 and went on for five days celebrating different cultures from around the world. (Khone Saysamongdy/The Collegian)

Weeklong event celebrates Asian cultures

Asian culture was represented on the Fresno State campus last week. The cross cultural events were in celebration of Amerasia Week, which aimed to entertain and educate the community.

“The week is dedicated to present different organizations and their cultures,” said Jennifer Yang, a public health major at Fresno State.

The Japanese culture kicked off the festivities on Monday night in the Satellite Student Union. There were dance, drum and art of the culture performed free for the public.  

“I want the public to walk away with more knowledge and more in awe of what’s around them in their community,” said Morgan Gong, a psychology major at Fresno State and president of the Amerasia Organization.

According to Fresno State’s Asian – American studies website, 13 percent of the Central Valley is Asian American and Pacific Islander, with significant presence of people with Hmong, Asian Indian, Filipino, Laotian, Japanese, Chinese, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Korean, Native Hawaiian, Samoan and Guamanian heritage. 

Each day of the week was dedicated to specific Asian cultures such as Japanese, Hmong and Laotian.   

“Amerasia Week is teaching of the different cultures and vast cultures that we are exposed to in our everyday lives that we aren’t aware of,” said Nina Xiong, a physical therapy major at Fresno City College.

The celebration was organized by the student club Ameriasia Organization. The club was formed in 1970 to organize Asian American students and help promote cultural diversity and cultural awareness.

The organization was launched by professor Izumi Taniguchi, who began the Asian studies program, which has gained momentum over the years.

“We host the cultures so that when people come to watch those night performances, they’ll be able to see what they are missing in their society,” said Yang.

The events came to a close with a festival night Friday and an appreciation night Saturday.

“What I want the public to see is how beautiful culture can be, even though they are not exposed to it every single day of their lives,” said Yang.

For more information on the event or on Asian studies programs, contact president of the Amerasia Organization, Morgan Gong at 559-682-7647.