ADPIC President Tammy Phrakonkham speaks to the gathered students and community members at the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival in the Kate Buchanan Room on September 13. | Photo by Thomas Lal

Students Celebrate Autumn Harvest

ADPIC holds its annual Mid-Autumn Moon Festival.
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Asian, Desi and Pacific Islander Collective holds annual Mid-Autumn Moon Festival

The Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is an annual Chinese celebration dating back to the Zhou dynasty. At Humboldt State, the Asian, Desi and Pacific Islander Collective observed the traditional holiday with a free event on campus. Students and members of the community were invited to enjoy food and conversation with others in the Kate Buchanan Room.

Students and community memebrs work on Chinese calligraphy druing the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival put on by ADPIC in the Kate Buchanan Room on September 13. | Photo by Thomas Lal

Attendees were provided utensils to paint Chinese characters throughout the event and of course, enjoy mooncakes to properly celebrate the creation of their art. Mooncakes are a wheat based pastry seen as an essential part of the festival in Chinese culture.

A short presentation from the ADPIC officers helped show the meaning of the event. They talked about how the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is traditionally a time to spend with family or in absence, think of family members.

Jonathan Haeteurn performs a breakdance routine at the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival on September 13 in the Kate Buchanan Room. | Photo by Thomas Lal

After this, ADPIC member Jonathan Haeteurn and fellow Humboldt Rockers’ member Romel Robinson entertained the crown by break dancing. The dance may not have been expected from the event, but it was very well received with Haeteurn and Robinson being applauded throughout the performance.

“I want students, like me, to feel like they’re welcome. I’m from Kansas City. I get out here and there’s no one here that looks like me, I feel like I don’t belong. I feel like I’m always having to bring my chair to the table.”

Tammy Phrakonkham

Maria Castillo took her friend Afua Mensah to the event after hearing about it earlier that day. Mensah was happy that she had decided to join Castillo for her first Mid-Autumn Festival and said that she might be interested in attending more ADPIC events in the future.

Students and community members write Chinese calligraphy during the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival put on by ADPIC in the Kate Buchanan Room on September 13. | Photo by Thomas Lal

“I really enjoyed it,” Mensah said. “I’ve never had a mooncake before so I’m like, ‘this is pretty good!’”

The event was marked as the first event for ADPIC since becoming an Associated Students program. ADPIC President Tammy Phrakonkham was happy with the turnout from the campus and community, especially considering the lack of attendance at the events earlier in the week. She also believed that the amount of people that came out proved that there should be more support for the program from the school.

“I want students, like me, to feel like they’re welcome,” Phrakonkham said. “I’m from Kansas City. I get out here and there’s no one here that looks like me, I feel like I don’t belong. I feel like I’m always having to bring my chair to the table.”

Students and coummunity members enjoy a meal courtesy of ADPIC featuring mooncakes at the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival on Seotember 13 in the Kate Buchanan Room. | Photo by Thomas Lal

The ADPIC program passed around a petition supporting the goal of eventually having an ADPIC center on campus strictly dedicated to the progress and success of the program. In addition to aiming for a center space, the program recently procured a garden plot from the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology with the hopes of adding workshops for students to make different cultural cuisines.

“For five years prior, we were a club,” Phrakonkham said. “We have always been trying to fight to have our own center because a lot of the students felt like we weren’t represented here. When you think of Asians you aggregate that they’re all smart, they’re all rich or whatever. But half of us are South Asians or Southeast Asians. We’re also first generations and children of refugees.”

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