Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Yuri Kochiyama Cultural Center hosts craft night

Craft night becomes a lesson about cultural insensitivity

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(Caroline O'Connor/Daily Collegian)

(Caroline O'Connor/Daily Collegian)

(Caroline O'Connor/Daily Collegian)

By Clinton Nguyen, Collegian Correspondent

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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]

1 Comment

One Response to “Yuri Kochiyama Cultural Center hosts craft night”

  1. Amy on October 12th, 2018 11:56 am

    “cultural appropriation.” is not an isue, LMAO. I am asian, I give everyone permission to dress up as a kung fu star, sushi chef, whatever asian figure or person or role you want. You can be a woman dressing up as jackie chan.

    Those who complain about “cultural appropriation.” are weak and whiney liberals. If you don’t have the maturity to participate in halloween, which even children can do; than go to a pre-school. I think honestly many of the professors and people at umass; would do much better at a pre-school and they can always have their emotions and feelings coddled. The pre-school teacher can hug you and make you feel safe all the time.

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