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APAHM celebrates Asian American culture

By Emily Beker

Section: Arts

March 9, 2012

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) hosted their opening ceremonies with the theme “Marking Our Mark” to honor the recent accomplishments and contributions from the Asian and Asian American community. This year marks the Brandeis Asian American Student Association’s (BAASA) 40th anniversary and the 20th anniversary of the ICC, Intercultural Center (ICC).

Cultural performances filled the atmosphere in the room with lights strung along the balcony in Levin Ballroom and fake candles set a pleasant mood for the viewers. The strong attendance reflected the impact BAASA has had on the Brandeis community during the past 40 years.

The diversity of acts made the show fascinating to watch because there was always something new happening on the stage, showcasing the variations of Asian culture. One particularly interesting event, which featured ribbon, handkerchiefs, swords, martial arts and umbrellas, kept the audience intrigued throughout the program.

“The Crystal Heart,” the modernized Vietnamese tale of finding love presented by Southeast Asia Club (SEAC), was humorous, featuring the occasional Brandeis jokes that allowed people to relate even if they were unfamiliar with the initial story line. Swan Lee ’15 was a convincing lead and he was enjoyable to watch. There were points in the skit that could have been rehearsed more thoroughly to make the presentation smoother. While the skit provided effective comic relief from the first few musical performances of the night, it was at times unclear.

The musical numbers were all very enjoyable, including a rendition of “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” that effectively captured the crowd’s attention. Rooftop Pursuit, a live band that traveled from Washington D.C. for this event, exceeded expectations with their songs. The band played well together and their song choices transitioned from the slideshow immediately after the intermission.

Their cover of “A Thousand Years,” originally done by Christina Perri as heard in “Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part I” did not live up to the beloved original. Still, I was pleasantly surprised by their selections, along with the talent and energy of their live performance.

The slide-shows, which immediately followed intermission, exemplified the organizing work by first-years in BAASA. “Graduation” by Vitamin C was slightly cliche for the senior slide-show. The slide-show, however, was heartwarming and enjoyable to watch as an outside viewer.

The distribution of free Chinese food helped raise awareness for BAASA and APAHM. The food itself was received well by the crowd, but there was a lack of commentary and entertainment while the food was being served.

The emcee of the overall event left some to be desired. Though some of the jokes made between acts were funny, others seemed somewhat forced and did not elicit much laughter. The emcee did succeed in keeping the audience focused during transitions between acts.

Being able to see the variety of the culture was eye-opening with the many different acts including “The Crystal Heart” helped show the values of the Asian Culture.

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