Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Asian Festival

It's hard to believe that I've been attending for Macalester for nearly two years.

But what's even more unbelievable is that I'm still discovering events that routinely occur on campus.

Take, for instance, the Asian Festival. An annual celebration, the festival celebrates the cultures of China, Japan, India, Korea, and many more countries. This year was the first I'd heard of it, and subsequently the first time I had participated in it.

Link to photos of the event:

The festivities ranged from dances

to song

language exhibitions

martial arts demonstrations

and donations for earthquake relief in Japan

You needn't hail from any nationality of Asia to come and watch or participate, nor do you need to know anything about Asian cultures. The Asian Festival is as much a place to celebrate as it is to learn. Who knows? You may even be inspired to study something further, and could even find your true calling!

Maybe a little dramatic, but nonetheless it's true that you can find your passions and your interests at the most unexpected times and in the most unexpected of places. However, even the casual observer or a little curiosity is more than enough to warrant checking out the Asian Festival, or really any event that Macalester hosts.

I personally enjoyed being able to bring not just a show of TaeKwonDo techniques to the festival, but also information on its background, philosophies, and various cultural aspects. It was especially a treat to see professors and staff at the event, sharing in the experience with students. Perhaps one thing I take for granted at this school is how very interconnected you can become with everyone - even your teachers and deans - by way of these events, and through an environment so conducive to interaction through its small community.

Learning about your fellow Mac amigos can be as interesting or more interesting than what you learn in class or what lectures you attend. For instance, maybe that professor of yours who's about as book-smart as they come could also tell you about their karate experience gained during graduate school (true story, by the way). You never know just how or when you'll connect with someone, but it stands to reason that the more opportunities you give yourself in this endeavor, the more likely it will become.