On Apr. 19, there was music and food in the Nook and students were invited to participate in a cooking class for all skill levels to help celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. The event is the first of five events celebrating AAPI Month from Apr. 19 until May 10.
The heritage month events are a collaboration between Student Activities and Campus Engagement (SA[u]CE), Student Events Team (SET) and the Asian American and Pacific Islander Student Alliance (AAPISA), organized by third-year thesising student Celeste Kadzis. The cooking class featured two dishes, Chinese scallion pancakes and Kadzis’ own spring roll recipe. On top of the event itself, students were encouraged to participate in a compiled student cookbook dubbed “NCF’s Community AAPI Recipe Booklet” to share recipes of their own or that they tried and turned out delicious.
Spring rolls in particular are an introductory dish that all people of different skill levels are able to prepare and enjoy. Participating students had the option to try some already prepared food, and at each of the tables set up for the cooking class was a large saucer of water, a pack of rice paper and instructions. After wetting the rice paper and getting some vegetable mix, students were encouraged to head back up to the tables to put some chicken that was prepared by Kadzis in their spring rolls. Students would then return to their tables to follow the folding instructions for the final dish.
The next recipe was the scallion pancakes, which required the student to roll out dough to a flat surface, add the oil flour paste and the precut green scallions. After the filling is done, the dough gets re-wrapped like a cinnamon roll, then rolled out flat again. The dough is now placed in plant-based oil and cooked until crispy, to provide students with a vegan option for this event.
According to Kadzis, the cooking class was inspired by the LatinX cooking class held in the fall semester, and that “cooking is universally appreciated so I hoped we would get a diversity of students to participate.”
The next event for AAPI Month will be co-hosted by Kadzis on Apr. 27 from 5 to 7 p.m. on Z-Green. The Sip and Script event will offer select drinks including Boba, Vietnamese coffee and Chai along with food from Grandma Wan’s Thai food truck. Participants will get to eat and drink while learning calligraphy styles.
Later in the semester there will be two additional Korean dance focused events: a Kpop random dance event and a dance class for learning traditional Korean dance. The final event will be a Singapore Movie night held on May 10 hosted by Fulbright Mandarin TA Shiyun Wan.
With a lineup for the next month of heritage-based activities for students, Kadzis spoke to the Catalyst about their importance.
“Culturally specific events are so important to our students who want to feel seen on campus, and these events are a great way to connect students to learn more about different cultures or identities in an engaging way,” Kadzis said. “I’m very proud of my position as the Multi-Cultural coordinator for the Student Events Team here on campus, and am looking forward to hosting more events next semester!”