Asian American Awareness Week celebrates culture

ABDC's Quest Crew will appear Friday at Kollaboration Missouri.

The Asian American Association is celebrating its 13th annual Asian American Awareness Week to celebrate the past year of AAA and the different Asian cultures on campus.

"The goal for AAA week is to inform everyone on campus and in Columbia about the different Asian-American issues that we face as a minority on campus and that we are willing to speak out now," junior Vanessa Mancao said. "We have a voice and we intend to use it."

Outgoing President Kha Ly said this year has been a revolutionary year for the group.

"It's definitely been a transition period, I would say, because we are reshaping our group and changing our constitution a lot," Ly said.

This week embodies the changes that have been made, including an overall broadening of the group and shifting of its focus, Mancao said.

"We really want other people and other students and even people in Columbia to come to the university and really be aware of our Asian-American group on campus and the different issues that we are facing in the Midwest," Mancao said.

One event, the Asian Street Market, which will be held noon to 2 p.m. Tuesday on Lowry Mall, especially embodies the goal of spreading Asian cultures to the campus, freshman representative Tessa Heung said.

"What we are going to have is a kind of question or fact sheet that they are going to have to fill out in order to get the food, but other than that it will be free to the public," Heung said.

Heung chose to co-plan the event partially because she thought it would be interesting to collaborate with different restaurants and donators.

"I love food and it sounded interesting to taste different kinds of foods as well and look at the menus and see what kind of things are around as well as learn facts that we are going to be asking," Heung said.

The members of AAA are also excited about the Kollaboration event, a variety show that gives Asian Americans a change to perform and compete, Mancao said.

Kollaboration will feature singers, a beat boxer, dancers and Quest Crew, the winning dance crew from season three of MTV's America's Best Dance Crew.

"The fact that Quest Crew is coming to Kollaboration is great, and I am excited to see all of the different performances and to see who wins," Heung said.

People are coming from similar Asian-American clubs in Ohio, Oklahoma, Kansas State, University of Kansas and St. Louis to support the group, Mancao said.

"All of the events are really exciting for us, I would say, because this is our biggest program during the spring, but I think a lot of excitement will be in the Kollaboration show on Friday in Jesse Hall because a lot of people are coming from out of town too to come see it," Ly said.

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