As Asian-American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month approaches, Asian Society for Intercultural Awareness (ASIA) is busy preparing ways to celebrate Asian culture.
To begin the festivities, ASIA is hosting a new event in Rediger on April 24 from 6-8 p.m. called Voices of Asia.
At Taylor, it could be said that although there is some diversity on campus in terms of personal faith, it all stems from the Western church’s point of view. Voices of Asia aims to educate the Taylor community about the experiences of the Asian church — which is not seen or represented on much of campus.
“I just wanted to give an authentic view to the church and to students over here about what Christianity looks like in Asia,” Enoch Eicher, sophomore and ASIA co-president, said.
Amy Vasudevan, sophomore and ASIA co-president, said this event will include three speakers from around Asia discussing and answering students’ questions about the Asian church and worship from different churches across Asia.
“Christians in Asia just have a very different way of worshiping, which is also beautiful in and of itself,” Vasudevan said.
ASIA hopes that the event will be a place for students to come and learn more about other cultures. Rather than listening to long lectures or reading thick textbooks about other cultures, ASIA hopes to have students participate in a personal way by ending the event with an open question forum.
“[Voices of Asia] is a good time and a good space to be bold and just ask questions because … you’re asking actual people who have lived out there, so you are getting actual answers back,” Eicher said.
Of course, this event is not meant to inspire comfort in the student body but to challenge and inspire students with new perspectives — something that Taylor strives for.
“If you’re only engaging with the perspectives that you’re already familiar with, then you’re really not using the best ... education you can get here,” Jake McKim, sophomore and Global Engagement President, said. “I hope that people get a better understanding of the global church and how we can be seeing God in a variety of ways.”
When the event ends, students will be invited to take action with global organizations stationed outside of the chapel. Even if students do not feel called to join a program or donate at the moment, there will be many people and information boards for them to interact with after the event.
Refreshments provided for any event-goers will also help to create a place where good conversation can thrive.
Crafting a space where students can learn more about what Christianity looks like in other cultures is a beautiful idea. Being able to connect to the global Christian community should not be passed up, and this event should be marked down on calendars as soon as possible.
“Hopefully this is a start in which Taylor can also be a place where Christians just come and it’s not that it’s just a college student place,” Eicher said. “It’s a place for everyone.”