Sumaat Khan, student in the Department of Kinetic Imaging, recently created a digital illustration in honor of the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs’ Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
“I think a lot of people, when they hear about an Asian heritage month, they don’t think about South Asians in their definition,” Khan said. “Places like India and Bangladesh and Pakistan, they’re often not included in it, just considered subcontinental despite the fact that they’re in Asia.”
Khan — whose family is from Bangladesh — has experienced this.
“[People] would be like, ‘What do you mean you’re Asian?’ and expect something else or think I was Middle Eastern,” Khan said.
Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander people also face a lack of representation in Asian narratives, Khan said. East Asia, consisting of nations like North and South Korea, Japan and China, tends to be overrepresented in comparison to other cultures.
“We only see this one type,” Khan said. “I think with the lack of representation, people assume that there isn’t anything to be celebrated about these cultures, even though they’re really rich and beautiful,” Khan said.
OMSA will host a career roundtable at their office on April 20, from 7-9 p.m. The event, co-hosted by APSA and will bring together Asian and Pacific Islander students of different majors to discuss their careers. Other OMSA events include a public art show in Cabell Library between April 9 and 13; a zine workshop hosted by APSA at Cabell Library at 6:30 p.m. on April 16 and Hump Day Dialogues in the OMSA office on Asian American history and Asian “minority myths” on April 18 from 2 to 3 p.m. and April 25 from noon to 1 p.m., respectively.
Read the full article in the Commonwealth Times.
Image: Illustration provided by Sumaat Khan for the Commonwealth Times.