With efforts to raise awareness and celebrate culture at Ohio State, the Asian American Association and Multicultural Center will host its 13th annual charity banquet, One Asian Nation, from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday.
The event brings members of Ohio State’s Asian, Pacific Islander and Desi American communities together as part of APIDA heritage month.
Located in the Ohio Union, OAN will provide food and will bring together the various communities for “a night of cultural exchange and celebration,” the Office of Student Life’s website said. There will also be a Q&A session following the dinner, celebrating the theme: “Do You Know My Story?” which symbolizes looking back to childhood fairytale heroes.
Ridhwan Sediqe, a fourth-year political science major and AAA president, said the sharing of talent will also offer friendly competition, where eight or nine members of the community will show off a talent of theirs and respond to questions about their identity.
“This year we have a diverse array of platforms and cultures being represented, so it’ll be an incredible celebration of cultural diversity and empowerment in our community,” Sediqe said.
The top two contestants chosen by judges and the audience will donate the proceeds of the night to either a charity of their choice or to create an event about which they wish to raise awareness.
Sediqe said that as one of last year’s winners, he knows firsthand the impact that OAN can have on improving discourse and perspective. Sediqe said his platform was to raise awareness about underrepresented members of the APIDA community, mostly central Asians in countries like Afghanistan, Iran, Uzbekistan and others that don’t have much visibility in APIDA spaces.
“It was after sharing my perspective and passion for this that I saw more students discussing and exploring the ideas I set forth in that space,” Sediqe said.
Sediqe said OAN is AAA’s most popular event with more than 400 people attending each year, but it also hosts many other events students can look forward to.
“We have a lot of exciting events coming up this year,” Sediqe said. “The most immediate one after OAN is a collaborative event with the African Youth League on campus titled ‘Unpacking People of Color’.”
The Multicultural Center will be hosting events celebrating APIDA Heritage month until mid-February.