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Far from "Home": Teaching Cambodian and Vietnamese Performing Arts in California

Far from "Home": Teaching Cambodian and Vietnamese Performing Arts in California

An illustrated lecture by UCLA Visiting Scholar Prof. Yoshiko Okazaki, University of the Sacred Heart, Japan

Tuesday, March 08, 2005
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
10383 Bunche Hall
UCLA Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90095

As a result of the Indochina wars, many of the Southeast Asian peoples, especially the Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Laotians, have been forced to move from their homelands.  Many have immigrated to the United States. The study examines the way in which such displaced peoples maintain, change, and reinvent their cultural institutions in the diaspora, specifically their performance traditions.

As displaced minorities whose cultural traditions are not tied to geopolitical national boundaries, their music and performance traditions have often been neglected by the dominant culture – both the mainstream American culture and that of the Southeast Asian homelands of which these traditions are an integral part.  Educational materials about these traditions are practically nonexistent.

The study seeks to redress this neglect by contributing observations and analysis about diasporic mainland Southeast Asian performing arts.  The case studies for these materials are based on fieldwork among Cambodian artists in Long Beach and Vietnamese musicians and performers in Orange County, California.

The lecture will be accompanied by audio and/or video illustrations.

Yoshiko Okazaki is associate professor of International Studies at the University of the Sacred Heart in Tokyo, Japan, specializing in the music of Southeast Asia.  She obtained a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from UCLA in 1994.  Her dissertation research was on the music culture of the Toba Batak people of North Sumatra, Indonesia as it relates to their religion and ethnic identity.  In September 2004 she returned to UCLA as a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies.  Her sabbatical research has focused on Southeast Asian diasporic music and culture on the West Coast of the U.S.  The final goal of this research is to create teaching materials about the music culture of the Southeast Asian diaspora.

Parking at UCLA in Lot 3 costs $7.

Cost : Free and open to the public.


Sponsor(s): Center for Southeast Asian Studies