Join Georgia State's Cultures, Communities and Inclusion team and the greater community in observing Asian Pacific Islander & Desi American (APIDA) Heritage Month with events during the last week of March and throughout the month of April. Although the United States officially observes this commemoration in May, the university holds events and observances earlier so that all may participate before classes end for the spring semester.
We use the term APIDA, which stands for Asian Pacific Islander Desi American, as a pan-ethnic classification that intentionally includes people of South Asian descent (Desi) as part of our community. There is a great diversity of identities and ethnicities encompassed under the APIDA umbrella, including but not limited to East Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander. Learn more in the section below:
There is tremendous diversity in Asia, with more than 40 countries and more ethnicities than countries themselves:
- Central Asians: Afghani, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Georgians, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tajik, Turkmen, Uzbek
- East Asians: Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Okinawan, Taiwanese, Tibetan, Mongolian
- Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders: Individuals whose heritage is that of the original peoples of Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia. Polynesia includes Hawaii (Native Hawaiian), Samoa (Samoan), American Samoa (Samoan), Tokelau (Tokelauan), Tahiti (Tahitian), and Tonga (Tongan). Micronesia includes Guam (Guamanian or Chamorro, Mariana Islands (Mariana Islander), Saipan (Saipanese), Palau (Palauan), Yap (Yapanese), Chuuk (Chuukese), Pohnpei (Pohnpeian), Kosrae (Kosraean), Marshall Islands (Marshallese), and Kiribati (I-Kiribat). Melanesia includes Fiji (Fijian), Papau New Guinea (Papua New Guinean), Solomon Islands (Solomon Islander), and Vanuatu (Ni-Vanuatu)
- Southeast Asians: Burma, Brunei, Cambodia (Khmer, Cham, KhmerLoeu), Indonesia, Laos (Hmong, Lao, Lao Loum, Iu Mien, Khmu, Tai Dam, Tai Leu, and many other ethnic groups), Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Philippines, and Vietnam (Vietnamese, Khmer Kampuchea Krom, Montagnards)
- South Asians: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Ethnic groups include Sindhi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, and many others.
- West Asians: This can be a contested term, as many people from the region do not self-identify as such. West Asia is typically referred to as the Middle East, and geographically includes the countries of Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey (straddles Europe and Asia) United Arab Emirates and Yemen. (EDITOR: We have added this region in 2022, especially since Georgia State's Persian Student Association is co-sponsoring an event among this year's APIDA activities with the celebration of Nowruz1.)
This information was updated from last year's APIDA events page. The new information is courtesy of the Library of Virginia at https://edu.lva.virginia.gov/apidaresources/.
1Persian New Year. Persia is the historic name of the region where the modern day nation-state of Iran is located; many whose heritage is from the region identify as Persian rather than with the modern day nation-state.
APIDA Heritage Month, also referred to as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, began as "Pacific/Asian American Heritage Week" after its introduction into Congress in 1977 and eventually passed into legislation by President Jimmy Carter on October 5, 1978. In 1992, Congress officially designated May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month to honor the community's rich heritage and contributions that have been integral in shaping the United States' history.
The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants. Learn more about events and observances, including registration information, below!
Please note that event listings are subject to change, and new events may be added below.
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The Wish Board and Japanese Games
Monday, March 28, 11:30 to 1 p.m.
Japanese Student Association & the International Student Associations Council
There is a Japanese tradition where people write their dreams, goals, and resolutions on peace of Japanese paper during spring. Our goal is to have a whiteboard with sticky notes to recreate this tradition. Students are welcome to write or draw anything and post it on the whiteboard. Aside from this, we will have cost-free casual activities (trivia, music, etc...). We will provide snacks as incentives for people to write on the board. Sticky notes can be either anonymous or named.
Monday, March 28, 6 to 9 p.m.
Indian Cultural Exchange, with the International Student Associations Council, Multicultural Center, Nepali Student Association, Asian American Student Organization, and Hindu Yuva
Holi is known as the “festival of colors” and celebrates the arrival of spring after a long winter. It is also a time for building relationships through play and laughter. In the Hindu tradition, where Holi gets its roots, this playfulness honors the relationship between Radha and Lord Krishna and the triumph of good over evil. Although primarily celebrated in India and Nepal, Holi is observed in many other countries throughout Southeast Asia and around the world.
The festival is celebrated by throwing colored powders and water at others. The colors used are culturally symbolic:
- Red - union & purity
- Pink - friendliness & happiness
- Purple - devotion to self & spirit
- Blue - power & passion
- Green - vitality & rebirth
- Yellow - sincerity & piety
- Orange - strength & courage
(Descriptive information adapted from Case Western Reserve University's Center for International Affairs: https://case.edu/international/events/holi.)
Nowruz - A Celebration of Union
Tuesday, March 29, 6 to 8:30 p.m.
Student Center West, 466/468
Persian Student Association, Ethiopean-Eritrean Student Association, with the International Student Associations Council
Nowruz, the Persian New Year festival, will include decorations, egg painting stations, Persian dance, a photo booth, gifts (Eidi), and cultural foods and snacks. The event is limited to students and their guests only; RSVP through the link below.
Building Bridges - African and Asian Descended Allies
Wednesday, March 30, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
25 Park Place, Room 223 (RSVP for the event through the link below)
Asian/Asian American Faculty Identity Group, Department of Middle Grades and Secondary Education, with the Center for Studies on Africa and Its Diaspora and the Department of Kinesiology
The event will feature timely conversations amid hate crimes, inclusive discussions for intersectional collaborations, and will allow attendees to enjoy music, food and book prizes.
Due to a high wind advisory, this event has been postponed until April 7. Please see the revised information further down in this events listing.
Flourish Fashion Show
Thursday, March 31, 6 to 9:30 p.m. (RSVP through the link below)
Speakers Auditorium, Student Center East
Asian American Student Organization (AASO) with ISAC
Join the AASO and ISAC for a spectacular night of fashion, performance, live music, and cultural activities. The event will showcase the evolution of fashion in Asia through street wear, traditional wear and designer wear, along with the sharing of different cultures through snacks, tables and performances.
*This event is sponsored by student activity fees. Attendance is limited to Georgia State University students and their 2 invited guests.
Social Justice Summit
Thursday, March 31 through Friday, April 1 (RSVP and refer to the link below for a full schedule)
Veterans Memorial Hall
Multicultural Center with Leadership & Services, Residence Hall Association
Join the Residence Hall Association, Leadership & Service and the Multicultural Center for a FREE 2-day summit to learn and dialogue with peers and community partners on hot topics in the world of social justice!
Faculty Workshop with the University System of Georgia: Teaching Asia Across the Curriculum
Friday, April 1, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (registration access*** below)
University System of Georgia Asia Council
The University System of Georgia's Asia Council is offering a faculty development opportunity on Friday, April 1, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. that can help faculty expand their students' perspectives and learning about Asia and issues facing Asia.
Teaching Asia Across the Curriculum is an annual workshop to help instructors who are not Asian Studies specialists to better incorporate content about Asia and issues in Asia into their core curriculum and lower division courses.
The USG Asia Council is also welcoming and encouraging upper division faculty and Asian Studies specialists to attend, as the wide range of topics and regions covered in this year’s workshop might be outside their areas of specialty.
***This event is for faculty; the registration form is available through the SharePoint link below. Faculty should use their Georgia State campus ID and password to access the USG's form.
Culture Café at the Intersection
Monday, April 4, 1 to 3 p.m.
The Intersection Lounge, Student Center East (Room 210)
Cultures, Communities and Inclusion, with ISAC
Join us for free coffee, cocoa or tea, coupled with conversation about cultures, communities, and inclusion. Connect with others around identity, intersectionality and intercultural engagement.
Drive-in Movie Night
Thursday, April 7 Wednesday, March 30, gates open at 6:30 p.m. (RSVP link below)
Georgia State Stadium, Green Lot
Vietnamese Student Association, with ISAC and the Multicultural Center
Come join us for the VSA's drive-in movie event on Thursday, April 7 Wednesday, March 30th at the Green Lot to celebrate ISAC's Spring festival and APIDA Heritage month! The first 60 to RSVP will get a choice between free spring rolls or eggrolls This event is open to Georgia State students and a maximum of two outside guests per Georgia State student. Bringing a car is optional! We will provide an outdoor front area to watch from, so bring blankets and snacks. Make sure to bring your Panther ID!
Chinese Club Mixer
Friday, April 15, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Chinese Club at Georgia State and Chinese Language, Culture and Business Initiatives (Office of International Initiatives)
Come join the Chinese Club at one of its monthly mixers, with unique activities including a special martial arts performance and pop culture.
Student Organizations - International Student Associations Council (ISAC)
Find a list of student organizations through the International Student Associations Council (ISAC) at the link below. Some of the organizations include, but are not limited to the following (you will find them in the listings at the link):
- Asian American Student Organization
- Chinese Student Union
- Korean Undergraduate Student Association
- Japanese Student Association
- Indian Cultural Exchange
- Nepali Student Association
- Pakistani Student Association
- Persian Student Association
- Vietnamese Student Association
Find Additional Student Organizations
Search the Panther Involvement Network website for additional student organizations which represent different cultures and communities.
Asian/Asian American Faculty Identity Group (AAAFIG)
The mission of the Asian and Asian American Faculty Identity Group (AAAFIG) at Georgia State University is to promote the interests of Asians and Asian Americans within the institution and to foster an inclusive community among our faculty for personal and professional growth.
Cultures, Communities & Inclusion
Cultures, Communities, and Inclusion celebrates the U in GSU! CCI provides a variety programs, initiatives, and workshops that educate, fosters community-building, enriches the overall campus experience for the campus community, and prepare students for the world that awaits them post-graduation.
The Multicultural Center supports Georgia State University’s mission of educating students to participate in a global economy with individuals different from themselves. To assist students in successfully engaging in this global process, the Multicultural Center provides opportunities for intentional, meaningful programming and dialogue to assist students to learn more about themselves and others.
International Student & Scholar Services
ISSS is an office in the Division of Student Success and is comprised of professional international educators who provide comprehensive assistance and support for the international community at Georgia State.
Office of International Initiatives
OII is the home of several important programs, including the Virtual Exchange Initiative, the Global Scholar Distinction, Chinese Language, Culture and Business Initiatives, and International Education Week, and is home for Georgia State's Study Abroad Programs. OII also leads in assisting faculty with international partnerships.
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