Asian Week, the Asian Student Association’s (ASA) annual cultural event celebrating the continent’s many cultures, kicked off on Tuesday with a documentary screening of “A River Changes Course” and a discussion held by the Cambodian director, Kalyanee Mam. Other events, both old and new, will continue through Saturday. 

The ASA has many objectives in its planning and execution of Asian Week.

“Asian Week is an opportunity for ASA members to take ownership over events on campus. The other component is to engage with the campus and the broader community,” said Kathryn Lin ’15, a member of the ASA.

Lin and one of the ASA’s officers, Yabing Liu ’15, agree that this year’s Asian Week differs from those in years past.

“In my four years here, we’ve only had a few events. This year, we’re trying to have a variety of different events and at least one event per day,” said Lin.

“I want the community to be able to engage with culture in a more normalized way. I want people to be excited about culture—cultures that aren’t their own,” said Lin. “I want people to know that it’s really cool to taste teas from different countries.”

“We also want to showcase the diversity that we have on campus,” added Liu. “It’s a platform for people to promote their culture and showcase themselves.”

The screening and discussion on Tuesday had an impressive turnout, and many Brunswick community members were in the audience. According to Liu, Cambodian culture is one of the least-known Asian cultures on campus.

Following the documentary, the ASA planned on welcoming Bowdoin alum and comedian Hari Kondabolu ’04 on Wednesday. Unfortunately, the comedian had to cancel his show due to illness. The Association hopes that Kondabolu, who has toured nationally and appeared on many late-night television programs, will be able to perform on campus at a later date.