LCC honors Asian student body

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LaGuardia Community College (LCC) paid tribute to its diversity with an Asian heritage celebration on Wednesday, May 12.

Of LCC’s students, 21 percent are Asian. The school has students from 46 Asian countries. Some of the countries represented are Bangladesh, China, India, Japan, Pakistan, the Philippines and South Korea.

Because of LCC’s Asian population, the school held the cultural event “to celebrate the diversity and success of the Asian cultures that make up its student population,” according to a press release.

“When students and faculty talk about LaGuardia, the diversity of our community is always mentioned as a particular strength,” said Asian Heritage Celebration Committee co-chair Ann Matsuuchi. “The Asian Heritage Celebration events, which were held here at LaGuardia Community College in May, allowed us to explore some of the many facets of our non-stop, trans-cultural campus.”

Matsuuchi explained that there were many different types of events held as part of the celebration. Atomic bomb survivors spoke about their experiences. Students and community leaders participated in the “historical reflection.”

During another event, the Asian American/Asian Research Institute organized a presentation made by Asian American business and community activists.

There were also performances by artists representing different cultures, including China, Japan and Korea. They were attended by students of a variety of cultural backgrounds.

Korean American comedian, actress and musician Esther Ku kicked off the cultural event. Ku was a semi-finalist of the NBC competition show “Last Comic Standing.”

The Japanese punk Group Peelander Z also performed.

“Back from this year’s SXSW [music festival], Peelander Z put on a fun and engaging show that captured the tone of the event, simultaneously representing a non-stereotypical presentation of Asian-ness and an inclusiveness extended to everyone present who wanted to take part in the fun,” Matsuuchi said. “They even handed over their instruments to students during their set!”

Entertainment was also provided by the Samurai Sword Soul theater company, World Oyama Karate and sword fighter Yuanliang Liu.

Chinese juggler Yanag Ziaodi, known as The Happy Chef, showed off his talent in juggling. Some of the items he used in his act included knives and even a water pitcher.

Korean American Singers Jenny Choi and Andrew Kim also participated in the events. Choi is a singer, songwriter and pianist who is the founder of the Asians in Rock tour. Kim is a Woodside songwriter who is currently putting together his debut album, entitled “New Beginnings.”

LaGuardia Community College, which is located in Long Island City, also has a performing arts center. Its upcoming events are performances of “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf” at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 21 and performances of “The Real Inspector Hound” from June 2 to June 4.

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