Celebrate Southeast Asia at culture fest planned Saturday

DeKalb middle-schooler Tony Un learns how to play the drum in the Balinese gamelan from NIU Gamelan Ensemble member Manuel Montalvo at Culture Fest 2013.

DeKalb middle school student Tony Un learns how to play the drum in the Balinese gamelan from NIU Gamelan Ensemble member Manuel Montalvo at Culture Fest 2013.

NIU’s Southeast Asia Club will celebrate Southeast Asia in music, dance, martial arts, finger foods and cultural activities from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at the club’s spring Southeast Asia Culture Fest, which will be held in Chick Evans Field House North Gym.

The festival theme, “Bridging Ties and Celebrating Diversity,” celebrates the region’s rich diversity of peoples and cultures, said festival organizer and NIU anthropology graduate student Anthonie Tumpag.

“Our goal is to continue in a long tradition of educating our community about the fascinating cultures and peoples of Southeast Asia,” Tumpag said. “This year’s festival hopes to not only celebrate the region’s diversity but also highlight cultural similarities in hopes of contributing to the spirit of an overall Southeast Asian community and togetherness.”

In addition to country tables, the NIU Gamelan Ensemble will join Indonesian, Malaysian and Filipino performers in presenting Southeast Asian music, dance and martial arts.

During the event, the club is also collecting gently used or new children’s books, novels, or textbooks to be donated to needy schools in Indonesia through the Chicago-based non-profit organization, Books for Indonesia.

Admission to the family-friendly event is free, with free parking available in the lot east of the field house at Lucinda Avenue and Annie Glidden Road. The event is co-sponsored by the Center for Southeast Asian Studies and the NIU Burma Interest Group.

For more information, email niuseaclub@gmail.com.

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