New BC Central Asians Association Invites All to the Region

Courtesy of @bccentralasians on Instagram

By T’Neil Gooden

 

There’s a new club on campus, and it’s ready to educate and inform BC students about the region of Central Asia. 

BC American Central Asian Association is a new club open to individuals looking to learn about the regions of Central Asia while having a community to rely on in BC. Though only three weeks old, the club seeks to bring together people of different cultures to create a community and bring attention to Central Asians within Brooklyn College. 

Central Asia consists of five main countries: Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. Afghanistan and Mongolia are also often considered to be a part of Central Asia.

“Although we are all a part of Central Asia, we tend to isolate ourselves and stick to ourselves,” Alexia Bakyt, president of the Central Asian Association and a sophomore at BC, said. “I was like wait, if there are five countries why not combine them all and this will promote better friendships?”

 Bakyt says that the inspiration for the club is to educate people on what Central Asia is made up of while creating a community for all people of color. 

“People love the idea and it is a really new concept,” Bakyt said, “I want to go into the culture [of Central Asia], more of hands-on mental health and group sessions like a family, something on campus that will promote friendships.” 

Bakyt expressed that many people within the school are looking to create a comforting environment and a space that promotes connection, which led to the club focusing on diversity and volunteering. 

“The biggest strength of our club is diversity, we have so many clubs on campus and I feel like how diverse this club is with people speaking Russian, Uzbek, and Turkish is an amazing trait,” said Bakyt. “Promoting the feeling of ‘we are all different but we have so many similarities’ will spark relationships.”

Creating the club was something that Bakyt had wanted to do since her freshman year, and got to fulfill this semester. The Central Asian Association was set to commence as Alexia started to realize the need for more understanding of the Central Asian community.

“I want people to see others who don’t get seen in a way. I feel like Asians have this stereotype of being all by ourselves and only care about studying, but at the same time I know Asians struggle a lot with sticking up for themselves while finding people to talk to,” Bakyt told The Vanguard. 

Through BC’s Central Asian Association, students can be introduced to the larger nationwide non-profit organization American Central Asian Association. The partnership will entail volunteer work at Central Asian holiday events as well as helping those who have recently immigrated to the United States from the region. 

 

Bakyt hopes that the creation of the club will encourage students who are not of Central Asian ancestry to learn more about the region and various cultures within it. 

“I want people to know that Central Asians exist,” Bakyt told the Vanguard. “And we are much bigger than just a category that doesn’t get included on national levels.”  

   For more information on how to join, interested students can visit @bccentralasians on Instagram.

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