Friday, February 27, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Spring means festival season at UC Davis

A last year’s Powwow, Young Chief, a drum group of performers from Nevada, performs 
during the grand entrance.
Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise file photo

By
From page A1 | March 24, 2013 |

With spring comes UC Davis’ annual festivals and culture weeks, which mix the educational with the celebratory: swirling traditional Mexican dance and hip-hop, fashion and film, and food from kimchi to fry bread.

Some of the marquee events for the public include Asian Pacific Culture Night, the UC Davis Powwow, the Danzantes del Alma dance show, La Gran Tardeada and Black Family Day.

On the heels of those smaller events come the big two: the Whole Earth Festival and, ready or not, Picnic Day.

Some of the culture weeks that have long since become traditions themselves began when groups of students banded together to make something of their own on campus.

Black Family Day, for instance, started in 1969 as a barbecue on the Quad attended by 40 or 50 people.

It began as an alternative to Picnic Day, of which black students didn’t feel a part, Sacramento State University government professor Stan Oden said during an alumni event in 2009.

Andrea Gaytan, the assistant director of the UCD Cross Cultural Center, said the culture weeks are a “matter of pride and celebration of our presence here, of perseverance for many of the groups who’ve seen growth and change. I think it’s a time to celebrate the presence of underrepresented students on campus.”

All of the events are meant to be inclusive, and each year students find inventive ways to reach out to one another. This year, for instance, Asian Pacific Culture Week’s culminating show will open with Chinese dancing to the rhythm of Japanese taiko drums.

The same event also will feature a special first-of-its-kind performance when students from the Hmong Student Union and Vietnamese Student Association will dance with the folkórico dance troupe Danzantes del Alma.

Program coordinator Fong Tran said it’s been fun to see student dancers in meetings have ah-ha moments of inspiration — when they discover common movements or the use of fans in Vietnamese and Mexican dances.

The culture weeks, Tran said, are “an institutional way of investing in the diversity of the campus, a reminder to build bridges; but they also pay homage to the unique cultures and the contributions of people of color on campus.”

Some of the very same celebrations began as struggles.

Gaytan knows that well.

In 1992, she joined classmates at UCD in a hunger strike that resulted in the creation of the Cross Cultural Center, which now serves thousands of students annually.

Having taught English at home and abroad, Gaytan returned to campus and her present job, pleased to see what devoted students, staff and administrators built.

“It’s very fulfilling,” she said. “The Cross Cultural Center is better than I ever imagined it could be. I think of the staff who believed in the center and created a safe space for students who’ve come through the door, slept on its couches and taken advantage of its programs.”

— Reach Cory Golden at [email protected] or 530-747-8046. Follow him on Twitter at @cory_golden

Comments

comments

Cory Golden

Cory Golden

The Enterprise's higher-education and congressional reporter. http://about.me/cory_golden
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    New greenhouse will add to ‘Farm to Mouth’ program

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

     
    Learn about pollinators, gardens and honey at Yolo Basin fundraiser

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Can you give them a home?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Explorit: Humming right along

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A3

    Gerber nominations close Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Flower arrangers feature S.F. designer

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Celebrate Africa on Saturday at I-House

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Robb Davis to speak about homelessness, energy

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Spring sing-along is March 4

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Wolk and Dodd team up to provide Napa earthquake tax relief

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Chamber explores how to pay for Davis’ needs

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    A fill-up mishap

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Bicycle safety course to be offered in Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Take a night walk at Cache Creek

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Documentary on immigration issues will be screened

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Two free yoga classes offered March 12

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Learn about your brain on March 14

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Class of 1970 plans 45-year reunion

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Workshop will teach sustainable gardening methods

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    .

    Forum

    .

    Sports

    Lady Devils are on to the SJS semis

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggie women fall to 4th after lackluster showing

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Inquiring minds want to know about Aggies

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    Encouraging start for DHS boys tennis team

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Off day for Aggie men at UCSB

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Late goal lifts Red Wings over Sharks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

     
    Watney struggling at windy Honda Classic

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    International Film Series to present ‘Jaffa’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    YoloArts’ Gallery 625 presents ‘The Poetry of Dots’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    The Artery presents ‘Stepping Into Nature’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    Monticello announces March schedule

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    ‘Focus': A sharply conceived caper

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    The Woodland Opera House announces 2015-16 season

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    Nissan’s Z remains an affordable performer

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Dieter W. Gruenwedel

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Death notice: Celia E. Recchio

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Vernon E. Burton

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, February 27, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B5