The Carolina Asia Center kicks off Asia Week 2017 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Feb. 20-25, 2017. This campus-wide celebration of Asia, the first pan-Asia week-long celebration at UNC, features collaborations with several campus departments and student organizations and offers a variety of free public events to the Chapel Hill community.

“Since the first student from Japan set foot on campus in 1893, Asians and Asian Americans have become an integral part of this university. UNC is home to many Asians and Asian Americans who serve in different roles at the University, including faculty, students and staff,” said Thupten Norbu, interim director of the Carolina Asia Center (CAC). “We host Asia Week to celebrate all Asians and Asian Americans’ history and culture and to promote dialogue and better understanding of Asians and Asian Americans.”

Carolina’s Asia Week will begin at Wilson Library on Feb. 20 with a lecture and exhibit kickoff on the history of Asians and Asian Americans at Carolina. The 2017 Southeast Asian Language Workshops—free classes on Thai, Vietnamese and Bahasa Indonesia offered by the Carolina Asia Center each year—begin the next day. On Feb. 22, the Department of Asian Studies and the Study Abroad Office will conduct a joint info session on Asian Studies at UNC and abroad. Asia scholars from across the state will then gather on campus on Feb. 24 for the second annual UNC System Asia Scholar Network Conference.

The week will conclude with the Asian Culture Festival on Saturday, Feb. 25. Fifteen of UNC’s forty-plus Asia-related student organizations have come together to create the festival, which CAC is co-hosting in collaboration with Pi Alpha Phi, the Asian Students Association and Sangam. The festival will include five hours of performances, workshops, table displays and much more. The festival will also feature a closing ceremony for the sand mandala that Geshe Palden Sangpo of the Kadampa Center will create in the FedEx Global Education Center from Feb. 22 to 25.

The campus community is invited to visit the FedEx Global Education Center during business hours from Feb. 22-25 to watch the sand mandala’s creation, in addition to several other exhibitions taking place during Asia Week. All are welcome to the Ackland Art Museum for the “Color Across Asia” and “Flora and Fauna: Plants and Animals in the Art of Asia” exhibitions. Wilson Library’s “Asians and Asian Americans at Carolina” exhibit will be on display all week, as will a table of Asia-related books at the Bull’s Head Bookshop.

To learn more about Asia Week and keep up-to-date on all events and programs, please visit the Carolina Asia Center website. Updates will also be posted on the Carolina Asia Center’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Join the conversation with the hashtag #uncasiaweek.

Asia Week is sponsored by the Carolina Asia Center. It is made possible with funding from the U.S. Department of Education. Co-sponsors include the Ackland Art Museum, Asian Students Association, Bull’s Head Bookshop, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Asian Studies, Phillips Ambassadors, Pi Alpha Phi Fraternity, Sangam, Study Abroad Office, UNC Global, UNC Media Resources Center and UNC University Libraries.

The Carolina Asia Center is the University of North Carolina’s flagship organization for Asia-related activities. In 2014, we became the first Title VI-funded pan-Asia National Resource Center in the southeast United States. Our mission is to positively transform our understanding of and relationship with Asia and to equip students and others with the knowledge of Asia to assume leadership roles.

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