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Me, Asian?! - Event Series

Leiden University College: The Hague is organising a series of events called 'Me, Asian?!' for young adults of Asian descent in The Hague. The goal of these events are to bring people together from different Asian groups, reflect on their Asian heritage and cultural identities and provide them with a platform to express their points of view. In addition, on a academic level the co - creation of agendas for community action and research and the production of a documentary are one of the other interdisciplinary purposes of this event series.


Leiden University College The Hague (LUC) offers an international honor’s Liberal Arts and Sciences programme that focuses on the study of global challenges such as social justice, development, sustainability. These challenges are also important to consider on a local level, especially in an international city like The Hague. 

The Hague has a very large population of people from Asian descent. The Hague historically has many Indo-Europeans inhabitants, has a vibrant China Town, is home to a large community of Hindustani-Surinamese people, houses many international students from Asia (e.g., Indonesia, India, Bangladesh), and hosts the embassies of all the largest Asian countries. A significant part of these Asian populations consists of young adults ready to make their mark on society.

So how do these young people connect to their Asian heritage? Do they connect their Asian roots to life in  the Netherlands? Which opportunities and challenges do they experience being of Asian descent in The Hague?  What questions do they have about the cultural, historical, and political backgrounds of the Asian communities in this city? What can the municipality and its institutions learn from these communities when it comes to cultural inclusive policies and practices? Can productive collaborations between scholars and Asian communities be formed to foster co-creation of the most important questions and answers?  To address these questions, LUC is organizing a series of events called ‘Me Asian?!’ for young adults of Asian descent in The Hague.


We invite young adults ages 18+ with an Asian background to attend the events. All Asian ethnicities are welcome, and it does not matter whether you are a new migrant in the Hague or whether your family has been here for several generations. It also does not matter whether you are ‘fully’ Asian or of mixed descent. Indeed, the series title reflects the variation in the extent to which they identify as Asian in the first place, ranging from not at all or hardly (Me, Asian?) to very strongly so (Me, Asian!). Wherever you are on this spectrum, you are all welcome!

The event series is hosted by hosted by LUC’s teachers involved in Asian studies, and moderated by writer Gustaaf Peek.


The goals of this free event series are to:

(A) bring together young people from different Asian groups;  

(B) reflect on their Asian heritage and cultural identities; 

(C) provide them with a platform to express their points of view; 

(D) co-create agendas for community action and research;

(E) produce a short documentary for an international Asian studies conference (ICAS 2019). 

We will address topics such as cultural memories, family relations, the history of Asian migration to the Netherlands and Europe, Asian representation in popular culture (e.g., movies, comics), Asian stereotypes, and Asian healing traditions.

When and where?

The series consists of 6 events between summer 2018 and summer 2019, and includes interactive talks, discussions, workshops, and networking opportunities. Entrance is free (but pre-registration is required), and each event includes free snacks and drinks. The language of conversation will be mostly English, mixed with Dutch.

The following dates have been set for the 7 events that will be held at Leiden University College, Anna van Buerenplein 301, in The Hague:

  1. September 26, 2018 - Theme: ...
  2. November 6, 2018 - Theme: Migration History and Cultural Memory.
  3. November 28, 2018 - Theme: Asians in Popular Culture.
  4. February 20, 2019 - Theme: Mindfulness: Meditative Practices East to West
  5. April 24, 2019 - Theme: Writers on Asia-Europe Relations.
  6. May 15, 2019 - Theme: Asian Family-life & Parenting.
  7. May, 29 2019 - Theme: Art and Asian Identiy + Closing & Evaluation

All the events take place between 19.00 and 21.00 and are followed by drinks. The doors at LUC The Hague open at 18.45.


The  Me, Asian?! - event series are organised under the auspices of Leiden University College: The Hague of Leiden University. The coordinator of the event is Prof. dr. Judi Mesman. If you have any questions about the Me, Asian?! - events, please contact Judi Mesman via j.mesman@luc.leidenuniv.nl.

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