Eastern culture at NIU

By Sara Blankenheim

The Center for Southeast Asian Studies and the Southeast Asia Club are presenting an “All Southeast Asia Cultural Night” on Friday.

The two groups have made the night possible with help from many other groups throughout the NIU community.

“The club does these three or four times a year to highlight the cultures,” said Susan Russell, director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies.

The night is full of events, including a dinner from Phai Nam Cafe and Restaurant in Rockford.

A Buddhist blessing chant and ceremony will begin the night.

“We usually start off the Southeast Asia nights with a blessing that is traditional to the cultures,” Russell said.

Some other activities of the night include readings of palm leaf manuscripts, music representative of Vietnam and Sumatra, a Thai dance, a traditional costume performance and Vietnamese storytelling.

“The most unique thing, which hasn’t been done in a while, is the Malaysian Candle dance.” Russell said. “We haven’t had performances from our Malaysian students lately.”

Russell said the the event usually lasts about three hours.

“It’s educational as well as enjoyable,” she said.

The event is located at the Newman Catholic Student Center, 512 Normal Road.

Southeast Asia Cultural night is free and open to the public.