STAAR highlights AAPI and Desi culture through lunchtime event

STAAR member and junior Isra Jamal tests Archie Williams students on their knowledge of Asian Pacific Island country flags.
STAAR member and junior Isra Jamal tests Archie Williams students on their knowledge of Asian Pacific Island country flags.
Emma McFerron

On Friday, May 10, Students in the Students Taking Actions Against Racism class (STAAR) at Archie Williams organized a lunchtime event dedicated to celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Month and South Asian descent (Desi) culture. Held near the baseball field, the event focused on teaching students about the significance of AAPI and Desi Heritage Month.

AAPI cultural traditions originate from Asia and the Pacific Islands, while Desi culture represents regions of North India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Celebrating AAPI Month and Desi heritage helps students understand and appreciate these diverse cultures in a deeper context.

The event featured a blend of activities showcasing AAPI and Desi culture, including games, snacks, and book recommendations. Students participated in games in which they matched countries with their respective flags, with winners receiving candy prizes. Students had the opportunity to further explore AAPI and Desi culture through traditional snacks, such as Japanese nori maki, and recommended cultural books available at the event.

Senior and STAAR member Jane Adams helped organize the event within the club. Jane took on the responsibility of teaching students basic phrases in Mandarin and Japanese and felt that shedding light on these underrepresented cultures extremely benefits students. 

“We want to show our school and the community the amazing parts of this culture that sometimes people don’t know about, or sometimes people don’t recognize,” Jane said. 

Freshman Josh Levitt attended the event and appreciated the opportunity to participate in school cultural events.

“I thought it was cool that they hosted this, because I never really knew about Asian American Pacific Islander Month, and I got to try some new food,” Josh said.

Freshman Leo Berberich attended the event as well and welcomed it as a change from his typical lunch schedule. 

“It was cool that STAAR put it together because I never really knew much about [the cultures before,]” Leo said. 

STAAR students hold their next event on Wednesday, May 22, focused on teaching Archie Williams students about Caribbean Heritage Month. STAAR members and students await this event to continue to learn about diverse cultures on campus. 

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