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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

April to honor Asian heritage

Texas A&M will play host to pan-Asian events this April as the Asian Presidents’ Council presents “Breaking Stereotypes,” a series of games, activities and free movie screenings that aim to bring Asian Heritage Month closer to students.
Daniel Wong, junior business major and APC president-elect, said this year’s theme will contribute to the council’s overall message to Texas A&M.
“Our whole theme for this month is breaking stereotypes, and we are really trying to push that there are so many different types of Asian cultures,” Wong said. “We shouldn’t be limited to just these stereotypes.”
Ten events are scheduled throughout April that will cover different facets of Asian culture. Movie screenings will be open to the public, and comedians Hari Kondabolu and Howard Chen will visit campus to perform a stand-up routine called “Comedy and Inspiration” and answer questions on how to improve the cultural environment of the future.
Sherwin Chiu, senior business major and APC president, said “Comedy & Inspiration” will tackle the topic of stereotypes from a humorist perspective.
“Comedy and Inspiration is really talking about how stereotypes are wrong and why it can actually be funny just how wrong they are,” Chiu said. “It is also a discussion of how these two men have been able to succeed in careers that are very conventionally not Asian.”
Chiu said even those on campus who should be well informed are limiting the Asian society to these stereotypes.
“I have a lot of friends who are better at history than math and they find it difficult, they will go up and ask for help and the TA will say, ‘You’re Asian. Why don’t you understand this?'” Chiu said. “You start to feel like there is something wrong with you.”
Chiu said one of the stereotypes Asian culture faces is culinary in nature. To change this outlook, APC is hosting “Taste of Asia,” an exhibit of various Asian cultures that includes food samples from different Asian countries.
“We know a lot of people have an idea of what Asian food is and the sad truth is that the majority of Asian food here in America is very ‘Americanized,'” Chiu said. “It’s really not a good representation of what Asian food actually tastes like.”
Other stereotypes are more personal in nature and can offend the person on the receiving end. Wong said it is derogatory when people assume he doesn’t understand English despite his fluency.
“People always think that just because you’re Asian you don’t understand English,” Wong said. “I have witnessed it at the post office, the workers will raise their voice and talk slower to you. It is pretty insulting.”
Laura Atamosa, sophomore kinesiology major, said Aggies should be aware of different cultures on campus.
“I think people shouldn’t embarrass themselves if they don’t know the information,” Atamosa said. “Also, I feel that it is our responsibility as students at Texas A&M to know our surroundings, the people that attend here and to be well informed, not assume things.”

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