March 28, 2006

SIUC to observe Asian Awareness Month

by Tom Woolf

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- "Asian Inspirations – Past, Present & Future" is the theme of Asian Awareness Month 2006 during April at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Lectures, a performance by the Saint Louis Osuwa Taiko and sushi workshops are among the special activities planned. Here is the schedule:

Saturday, April 1

• Kick-off dinner, 5-7 p.m., Parkinson Laboratory, Room 124, Brown Auditorium. The Saint Louis Osuwa Taiko will perform and present a workshop on an indigenous part of Japanese culture, drumming, that dates back more than 1,400 years. The literal translation of Taiko is "big-fat drum." These drums were beaten in warfare to boost the morale of troops and to fool invading armies into thinking formidable opposition was on the march. Dinner will be provided.

Monday, April 3

• Movie Monday, "Slaying the Dragon," noon-1:30 p.m., Student Center Kaskaskia/Missouri Room. Bring your lunch to a screening of this comprehensive look at media stereotypes of Asian and Asian-American women. Hema Ramachandran, an assistant professor of cinema & photography, will lead a discussion following the film.

Tuesdays, April 4, 11, 18 and 25

• Origami workshop, 8 p.m., Student Center Craft Shop. Learn to create animals and other objects using the ancient Japanese folding technique. There is a nominal fee of $1 to cover origami paper costs.


Wednesday, April 12

• "Cambodia – Past, Present & Future," 5-7 p.m., Student Center, Kaskaskia Room. Kurt Larsen, a graduate student in linguistics who traveled and lived in Cambodia, will present this program on Cambodia.

Thursday, April 13

• Inspir-Asian Fashion Show, 5-7 p.m., Student Center, Kaskaskia Room. Come and see many traditional and contemporary fashions from various Asian countries, and learn about the influence of Asia on the fashion world.

Monday, April 17

• Sheridan Prasso, keynote speaker, 7 p.m., Student Center, Auditorium. Prasso is a writer, editor and Asia specialist with more than 15 years of experience covering the region. She writes about global issues and international affairs, particularly from cultural, economic and business perspectives. Her articles have appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, The New York Times, Fortune, Time, Far Eastern Economic Review and the Los Angeles Times, among other publications. She spent eight years with Business Week as its New York-based Asia editor, as a senior news editor and contributing editor. She also served as Cambodia bureau chief for Agence France-Presse from 1991 to 1994. She is the author of "The Asian Mystique: Dragon Ladies, Geisha Girls and Our Fantasies of the Exotic Orient."

Thursday, April 20

• Sushi workshop, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Student Center, Old Main Restaurant. Work alongside chefs while learning the art of making sushi. Cook and prepare the rice and other ingredients, then try your hand rolling it in Nari (seaweed). Price of $6 includes workshop and meal. Sign up at the Student Center Craft Shop. Space is limited; for more information, contact the Craft Shop at 618/453-3636.


Friday, April 21

• Iron Chef, 5 p.m., Quigley Hall, Auditorium. In this spin-off of the hit TV show, SIUC students will participate in a competitive cook-off. For more information, contact Robert Alcala at

• Badminton tournament, 6 p.m., Student Recreation Center. Sign up at the information desk in the Student Recreation Center or contact the intramural office at 618/453-1273.

Wednesday, April 26

• Martial arts festival, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Free Forum Area adjacent to the parking garage.. Martial arts clubs and other martial arts schools from the Carbondale area will provide demonstrations. Refreshments will be provided. For more information, contact Robert Alcala at

• Sushi workshop, 6-8 p.m., Student Center, Old Main Restaurant. Price of $6 includes workshop and meal. For more information, call the Student Center Craft Shop at 618/453-3636.

Sunday, April 30

• Closing picnic, noon-3 p.m., Campus lake, picnic shelter nearest the boat dock.. Celebrate the close of Asian Awareness Month with music, food and conversation.

Enhancing diversity is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.