Lee University's Asian Council held their first Kite Festival on Bowdle O' Bannon field this past Friday, Sept. 19.
The Asian Council is a club which falls under the umbrella of the Diversity Council.
Jun Wei, a senior intercultural studies major and president of the Asian Council, described the Asian Council as an opportunity for Asian students to become familiar with the American lifestyle and the college community. The council also gives back to the Lee community through eduction about Asian culture and opportunities to participate in traditional customs.
“We learn from each other,” said Jun Wei.
In the past, the group has not experienced the participation that it hoped to have.
“This semester we are trying to restore,” said Jun Wei. “We want to have events and meetings and get people together with this group of people from Asia.”
Friday's Kite Festival was part of this vision. While American communities generally view kite flying as an activity for fun and relaxation, for many Asian cultures it also holds symbolism regarding the rewards of hard work.
“You have to run to fly a kite,” said Jun-Wei.
Emmalee Manes, a junior Journalism major who is on the board of leaders for the council, pointed out the unity that kite flying offers our two intermingling cultures.
“It's cool because kites are a part of Asian culture but they are also a part of American culture,” said Manes. “We do kites in similar ways and different ways and so that was a really interesting combination of the two.”
Manes is one of three Americans on the leadership board.
“We want people to know it's not only for Asian people,” said Jun Wei.
The night of the Festival carried with it the threat of steady rain.
“I thought it was just going to keep raining,” said Manes, “but as it was about to start, the rain stopped and people started coming.”
The event attracted over fifty people.�The Asian council provided several kites, but many participants brought their own. While not flying, students could also sample from a table of several different Asian snacks.
“It was great because there was a lot of variety and everyone was doing something fun and interesting,” said Manes.
Junior Business major Victor Ngo acts as the vice president of the Asian Council and hopes to make the kite festival a yearly event.
“We recognize this as something different we can contribute,” said Ngo. “It brings everyone together to enjoy another culture [as well as] each other and we hope to turn it into a tradition.”
The Asian Council meets every Wednesday at 7:30 pm in Humanities 203 for Chinese language classes and every other Tuesday at the same time and place for regular meetings.
The Asian council plans to host more events in the future including a movie night.