RLC celebrates Asian-Pacific heritage

Students learned about Asian culture on April 27 through games, cartoons, calligraphy and traditional foods at the Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month celebration on campus.

Sponsored by the Office of Student Life (OSL), the event included a dance workshop, as well as a variety of clubs representing the Asian culture.

Tinikling, which was part of the celebration, means “the bamboo dance.” It’s the national dance of the Philippines and imitates the movement of tinkling birds as they walk between grass stems, run over tree branches or dodge bamboo traps set by rice farmers.

Ezra Calado, vice-president of the OSL, taught and danced with students in a traditional dance. The event also hosted some Indian cultural dancers.

Dance teacher Sarita Venkatraman performed cultural dances called Bharata natyam and the Chaendra Chooda. Each one illustrated a special occasion that happened in India. The dancers were chosen from different schools. They met at Richland and danced.

“So the bamboo dance, tinikling, is a really common dance in the Philippines, so it was great that I was able to share my culture with everyone. Teaching it reminded me that doing it is actually much harder than it looks, but I’m glad people were interested and willing to attempt it even if their feet may get caught in the sticks,” Calado said.

Calado advised students to increase their cultural quota and said that experiencing other cultures is a privilege. Students can learn to appreciate the complexity of diversity and identity by attending these events.

El Paso Hall hosted the celebration. The dances took place on the cafeteria stage. Many students from different cultures were given the opportunity to learn about different cultures for Heritage Month.