Asian American Cultural Center Report

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The second cultural center I attended was the Food for Thought event held by the Asian American Cultural Center. The speaker at this event was Bing Wang and he discussed Guam. Before I went to this event, I did have some prior knowledge of Guam. Coming from an Army community, some of my friends and teachers had been stationed in Guam. Through them, I had learned what it was like for an outsider to live on the island. I also only heard the side of the story that promoted the military presence on Guam, for that was all they knew. Mr. Wang presented a different side of the story, a story that reflected the indigenous people of Guam who struggle between supporting the military and the money it brings to the island and push for greater independence.…show more content…
This meal consisted of rice, chicken, and steamed vegetables which tasted fantastic. While we ate, Mr. Wang began his presentation on Guam. The main theme of his presentation was the lack of autonomy for Guam. Ever since it was discovered by Ferdinand Magellan in 17th century, the Chamorro people, the indigenous people of Guam, have never held full autonomy over their island. Guam has jumped hands from the Spanish, to the U.S., then to Japan for three years during World War II and finally back to the U.S. after World War II. Today, The U.S. military now accounts for 30% of the islands revenue with tourism accounting for 60%. Guam, considered an unincorporated territory of the United States, does not receive any vote in Congress though they continue to receive taxation without representation. This creates tension on the island. As the military looks to continue to buildup its presence on the island, the people of Guam have no say in what is being done with their land. If the U.S. government wishes to use their land for military purposes, the Chamorro people have no voice in this…show more content…
It was interesting to hear another side of the story when it comes to U.S. instillations taking over regional areas. Though I do believe that the military is doing a lot for the area in regards to bringing in money as well as tourists, I can see now how those indigenous people of the area are negatively affected by what is happening to their land. This event does not have any relation to my daily life. The issues discussed during this event are far too distanced from the daily life to have any real affect on it. I feel as though that this would only affect my daily life if my parents were stationed on the island or if someone I knew was stationed there. The topic discussed during this event does connect to international news though. The principle of self-determination that the Chamorro people have been fighting for can be found in the news nearly every day. The right to self-determination in the news is often broadcasted in relation to the Kurdish or Kashmir people. The similarity between the Chamorro and Kurdish and Kashmir people is that these groups, whose culture and ideals are not fully supported by the government controlling them are fighting for more control. The difference in these situations is that the Kurdish and Kashmir people’s stories for more independence is riddled with violence, which is not the case for the Chamorro

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