The community interests in Asian culture have been increasing steadily. Asian Initiatives is proud to host many cultural events to give the students, parents and the local community an opportunity to discover and learn more about Asian culture, both abroad and here in Michigan.
Lunar New Year Gala
The Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is one of the biggest celebrations in China and many other Asian countries such as South Korea, Vietnam, and Singapore. The Lunar New Year Gala at WMU is held annually according to the lunar calendar. The gala features live entertainment, including songs, dances, and musical recitals—particularly those involving Chinese folk music. Performances usually are given by WMU students, alumni, and teachers and students from WMU’s community and global partners. There will also be interactive activities and chances for everyone to win prizes.
Chinese Speech Contest at WMU
The annual Chinese Speech Contest provides a stage for outstanding middle school and high school Chinese language students to demonstrate their achievements in learning Chinese and communicate with each other. The contest will also select several of its most qualified high school student candidates to represent Chinese Language and Culture Programing at WMU in the Midwest Chinese Bridge Hight School Speech Contest.
Summer Japanese 101 virtual lesson for K-12 students
Beginner Japanese language lessons for K-12 students are now available through the Soga Japan Center at Western Michigan University. The program is free and open to K-12 students. The virtual lessons which will be held from 4 to 4:40pm ET/ 3 to 3:40pm CT/ 2 to 2:40pm MT/ 1 to 1:40pm PT on two consecutive Fridays on August 13 and 20. No experience is necessary. Registration required to get the Webex link/ Meeting ID.
Midwest High School Chinese Speech Contest
Western Michigan University is honored to host 2021 Midwest High School Chinese Speech Contest. The competition is co-sponsored by Chicago Consulate General of the People's Republic of China. It provides a stage to showcases achievements of Midwest high school Chinese learners and teachers, as well as to select the most qualified candidate to represent the Midwest in the 14th Global High School Chinese Bridge Speech Contest to be held in China.
Summer Camp in China
The Chinese Language and Culture Programing at WMU Summer Camp in China provides two weeks of Chinese language and cultural training in China. Selected students only need to pay for their airfare, visas and medical insurance; Beijing Language and Culture University provides all in-country expenses, including room, board, transportation, language instruction, cultural activities, and sightseeing tours. Due to the ongoing global pandemic, Asian Initiatives does not have summer camp in China from 2020 to 2022.
The annual festival commemorates the tradition of the Chinese Moon Festival, which is celebrated in China in mid-autumn. The first China Festival at WMU was held on WMU’s main campus on September 27, 2014. Featured events included dance and music performances, ping-pong tournament finals, hands-on activities, Chinese art exhibitions and informational display booths. Over the years, this annual event has become a new tradition at Kalamazoo, and the South West Michigan area.