Asian American Association wraps up heritage month

Eastern is collaborating with the Asian American Association in the celebration of its fifth year of Asian American Heritage Month.

AAA was to act as an aide and social group for Asian-American students. The group was founded in 2003 by Krishna Thomas.

Thomas is of Filipino descent. She came to Eastern in 2001 and noticed that not too many students were of Asian descent.

“I wanted to find people who looked like me,” she said.

Thomas and three others started AAA as an outlet for the study of Asian culture and food.

Thomas said getting use to the American dining hall food was hard because she was raised on traditional Asian food.

“The first couple of years were hard, but it definitely has paid off,” she said.

Thomas is still active in AAA and now the co-adviser.

Ayaka Hisanaga, a senior psychology major and president of AAA, said AAA made her feel more at home.

Hisanaga, was only 18 years old when she fist traveled alone to America from Japan in order to finish college.

Hisanaga said she experienced culture shock her first year at Eastern because of language barriers and the unfamiliarity of a new place.

“My English was not that great,” she said. “There was a lot of miscommunication.”

During her freshman year, some members of AAA approached Hisanaga.

“And I’ve been a part ever sense,” she said. “Being a part of AAA has helped me with my English and encouraged me to meet different people.”

Amber King, a senior psychology major, and the only African-American member, said she has learned a lot about Asian culture through AAA.

King, vice president of AAA, said she grew up emerged in Asian culture so she feels at home.

“There’s black culture on one hand, then there’s Asian culture on the other hand,” she said.

King participated in AAA’s fashion show Saturday afternoon in the Library Quad.

She wore a long pink Kimono dress. It was AAA’s last event of Asian Heritage Month.

The show featured traditional Asian clothing from Kimono dresses to Sherwani jackets for men.

Zinika Livingston can be reached at 581-7942 or at [email protected].