Yuri Kochiyama Cultural Center hosts craft night

Craft night becomes a lesson about cultural insensitivity

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(Caroline O’Connor/Daily Collegian)

By Clinton Nguyen, Collegian Correspondent

The Yuri Kochiyama Cultural Center was packed on Oct. 10 for their craft night, which they held in collaboration with the Josephine White Eagle Cultural Center. It was a night of Halloween-themed arts and crafts while also serving as an informative session to speak about cultural appropriation.

“[Cultural appropriation] is such a huge issue on campus and it shouldn’t be,” said Victoria Ung, the YKCC events coordinator. “You still see this stuff every single year on Halloween. You see people wear culturally insensitive costumes.”

Ung explained why a central motive for this craft was to have fun while informing others about this issue and ensuring people become more aware.

In the middle of the event, there was a presentation on the issue of cultural appropriation, including a few examples.

People sat around tables creating their Halloween-themed lanterns and creating origami.

“I think it’s important to understand more about people’s cultures to understand more about other people in general,” said Maria Frey, a sophomore linguistics major.

Frey is a residential advisor and found out about the event through a flier that she hung up. Coming into the event, she expected to have a fun night of crafting, but she left with a deeper appreciation for culture and people.

The Center serves as a safe haven for many and holds other events outside of their monthly craft nights.

“YKCC is one of the hidden treasures on campus,” Ung said. “It’s a great space to come if you need a safe space.”

This is evident in the students who come to the center to pray or do homework while enjoying the company of others.

“We [the YKCC] are also here for cultural enrichment and education,” said Lydia Phung, another event coordinator for the YKCC. “We are representing the small, minority, the mass of people who want this space.”

Clinton Nguyen can be reached at [email protected]