APA month explores health issues

By David Hertz

This year’s Asian Pacific Awareness month will culminate this Friday in the APA Variety Show in the Campus Center at 10 p.m.Asian student organizations sponsored multiple events as part of APA month “to raise awareness of the Asian student population on campus,” according to co-chair of the APA committee Lawrence Huang ’12.

This year’s theme was health and well-being.

“One of our biggest goals this year was really to expose the health disparities in Asian communities,” Huang said.

Major events in APA month included bringing keynote speaker Tenzin Namdul to Macalester to speak about his research into alternative medicine at the University of Minnesota, a health summit which provided students with yoga sessions, herbal remedies, and a cooking workshop, and a screening of the movie Bangkok Girl, about the sex trade in Thailand.

Annual non-themed events, like the karma dance and night market, returned this year.

Huang said the theme of health was important because it raised political as well as cultural awareness. Huang specifically noted the screening of Bangkok Girl and discussion of the encouragement of western nations and the IMF in the Thai sex trade, saying that he believed that APA month increased the political awareness of students who participated.

“The overall goal would not be just cultural awareness but overall awareness of the Asian community. It not only contains social aspects but political ones as well,” Huang said.

An increase in the number of events led planners to decide to expand the period from APA week to APA month this year.

“We just had so many events that we couldn’t cram it into one week,” Huang said.

The APA Variety Show, the final event of the month, takes place tonight. It is put on by the five student organizations in Team Asia, and will include two hours of acts from spoken word to step dancing.