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Defining Diaspora: Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi Identities

APIDA Welcome

Defining Diaspora: APIDA Identities

Defining Diaspora is a series of workshops and programs that allows participants to increase understanding of and connection to the diaspora that makes up Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi communities. APIDA refers to the broad pan-ethnic classification that includes East Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander populations. Visit our upcoming events for opportunities to participate.

Who is APIDA?

  • East Asians refer to people from China (including Macau and Hong Kong), Korea, Japan, Okinawa, Taiwan, and Mongolia.
  • South Asians refer to people from the following countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Ethnic groups include Sindhi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, and many others.
  • Southeast Asians refer to people from the following countries and ethnic groups: Burma, Brunei, Cambodia (Khmer, Cham, KhmerLoeu), Indonesia, Laos (Hmong,Lao, Lao Loum, Iu Mien, Khmu, Tai Dam, Tai Leu, and many other ethnic groups), Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Philippines, and Vietnam (Vietnamese, Khmer Kampuchea Krom, Montagnards).
  • Pacific Islanders refer to those whose origins are the original peoples of Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia. Polynesia includes Hawaii (Native Hawaiian), Samoa (Samoan), American Samoa (Samoan), Tokelau (Tokelauan), Tahiti (Tahitian), and Tonga (Tongan). Micronesia includes Guam (Guamanian or Chamorro), Mariana Islands (Mariana Islander), Saipan (Saipanese), Palau (Palauan), Yap (Yapanese), Chuuk (Chuukese), Pohnpei (Pohnpeian), Kosrae (Kosraean), Marshall Islands (Marshallese), and Kiribati (I-Kiribat). Melanesia includes Fiji (Fijian), Papau New Guinea (Papua New Guinean), Solomon Islands (Solomon Islander), and Vanuatu (Ni-Vanuatu).

SOURCES: SEARAC, Southeast Asian American Statistical Profile, 2004;;

Past programs

  • Spring 2020
    Barb wire fencing from a Japanese internment camp
    • APIDA Cultural Festival*

    *postponed/canceled due to COVID-19

  • Fall 2019
    • Asian, Pacific Islander, & Desi Welcome
    • Beyond the Taj Mahal: Desi Identities and Experiences
    • Latinos of Asia: An Evening with Dr. Anthony Ocampo

    Dr. Anthony Ocampo