In 2012, “Redefining Asian” (aka Asiafest) received the “Program of the Year” award at the Black and Orange Awards Ceremony. In 2013 the Asian and Pacific Islander Student Association (APISA), formerly known as Asian Student Association (ASA), produced another spectacular Asiafest: “Mythbusters.” The show took place in a Dalton Theatre packed with by campus and community members. Performing student organizations included APISA, K-Desi, and Cirque du K, and many individual performers participated as well.
“Mythbusters” showcased different facets of the diverse Asian culture, and few forces break stereotypes as effectively as does an awareness of diversity. There were 15 lively performances divided into two acts that included traditional and modern dances, skits, instrumental performances, singing, and poetry reading. The opening piece was a video collection of campus interviews of students who described stereotypes they encounter and shared their opinions about appropriate versus culturally offensive questions. Audience favorites included the Matrix Ping Pong skit, a traditional South Asian dance by K-Desi, and Gangam Style, which received enthusiastic cheering from the audience.
APISA President Pavan Policherla ’13 says, “The purpose of Asia Fest is to aid the club in promoting Asian culture on campus in a fun and entertaining way, as well as try to educate the Kalamazoo community about some issues that the members of the club feel are important and need to be recognized.” Asian students and student organizations start working on the show at the beginning of winter quarter. Each year a new theme is selected by APISA members, one that pertains to issues they think need to be addressed. Asiafest has delighted the hearts of many every year and continues to uphold its tradition of depicting a realistic picture of Asia and its diverse population.