Martin Luther King Day

Ames Middle School held a celebration for Martin Luther King Day. David Harris, senior associate at Iowa State University’s Athletic Department talks about what the day means to him. People of all ages and races gather to remember the man widely known for his leadership during the Civil Rights Movement.

Malaysian Muslim community gathers to celebrate Eid ul-Fitr

Siti Sabtu-Schaper, ISU administrative specialist, greets Siti Noridah Ali, graduate in curriculum and instruction, during the Eid ul-Fitr celebration Saturday, Sept. 11 at SUV Community Center.

By Karuna Ang,

The month of Ramadhan ended Thursday, Sept. 9, and it marks the beginning for Eid ul-Fitr, which goes on for three days. Two days later, the Malaysian Muslim community gathered at the SUV Community Center to celebrate Eid ul-Fitr. People from Iowa City, Des Moines, Polk City and other different parts came to Ames for the celebration.

Nurhidayah Azmy dressed her daughter, Nur Fatimah Ahmad, in new clothes and new shoes Saturday morning. The Malaysian Muslims wore the traditional Malay outfits for the celebration. The traditional Malay outfits are usually colorful and have a lot of details in it. They are also usually worn during religious occasions.

Usually before meals, events or celebrations begin, it is a traditional thing for them to pray. Known as “doa” in Malay, they ask for blessings from God. All sorts of traditional Malay food like rendang ayam — a spiced dish using blue ginger, ginger, garlic, cili and lemon grass — were served. A lot of Malaysians enjoyed the taste of authentic Malaysian food.

It was also a time for people to catch up with each other. When they see each other, they greet each other with a hug or a light handshake.

Traditionally, men and women do not shake hands with each other. A Malay man greets another man with a light handshake using their right hand that’s more like a light clasp. They will then bring their hands toward the heart, meaning “I greet you from my heart.”

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Asian-American Heritage Week

Nozomi Ishimoto, senior in interior design, practices calligraphy during Asian American Heritage Art Craft, Monday, at the Multicultural Center in the Memorial Union. Photo: Karuna Ang/Iowa State Daily

By Karuna Ang,
Asian-American Heritage Week is quickly drawing to a close at Iowa State, but students can still find opportunities to participate.

There will be a barbecue on Friday night from 5 to 10 p.m. at Brookside Park, including Kabobs and chicken. The event is free.

On Saturday night, there will be a cultural night and guest speaker Magdalen Hsu-Li.The guest speaker will talk about issues that Asian American students face.

These are just two of the events that have swept through campus, with the goal of raising awareness about Asian culture.

“It is a display of diverse Asian cultures,” said Daniel Eshcol, a graduate student in educational leadership and policy studies. “It is celebrating the Asian culture, as it represents more than just the stereotypical Asian countries. How many people know Asian-American Heritage Week compared to Black History Month?”

Asian American Heritage Week is a time to bring the Asian community together, Eshcol said. There are a lot of activities to help students understand different Asian cultures.

According to the Census, 1.6 percent of the population in Iowa is Asian.

“Although there is a small percentage of Asians, we have a great diversity of cultures that are underrepresented and need to be acknowledged,” said Thao Pham, freshman in computer science, during the week’s opening speech on Monday. “There are a lot of differences among Asian-Americans. Asian-American is simply just an umbrella term for the many different groups within it.”
Asia encompasses a variety of countries, from Turkey to Japan, Eshcol said. Of the 53 countries in Asia, only a few stand out to people, like China, Japan and India.
Asian American Heritage Week is a way to let people know that Asia is much more than the four of five countries and cultures that come to people’s minds when they talk about Asia, Eshcol said.

Monday night was Asian Arts night, which featured activities like henna, Arabic calligraphy, Japanese origami and kite making. Asian Arts night helps educate and expose people to different cultural art forms.

“Kites are a huge part of the South Asian culture, countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. I grew up making my own kites and flying kites,” Eshcol said. And for some, the event brought back childhood memories.

“Asian Art’s Night was fun,” Eshcol says. “I haven’t made a kite in a decade; it was fun showing people how to make kites.”

The documentary “A Dream in Doubt” was shown to students on Tuesday. The documentary was created in response to the first hate crime murder following the Sept. 11 attacks against the Sikh community in the United States. There was a discussion about ideas presented in the film after the movie was shown.

“The discussion was really productive,” Eshcol said. “We talked about the media’s roles in informing and preventing misconceptions, the difference between a hate crime and normal crime. Hate crime is an actual form of terrorism, because it terrorizes an entire group, an entire race or sexual orientation. The discussions helps educate people on a certain ethnic group that people don’t know much about and help people understand misconceptions and stereotypes.”

Other events during the week included a self-defense workshop at Forker Building, which gave students the opportunity to learn Taekwondo, a Korean martial art, and an exhibit of Asian art.