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ISSUE 121 VOL 17 PUBLISHED 4/18/2008

Asian trivia tested

By Mara Fink
Associate Editor

Friday, April 18, 2008

Ulaanbaater is the capitol of which Asian country? What Asian city is the planet's largest feature film producer? These were among the many questions that were a part of the 2008 Rice Bowl Trivia Contest hosted as part of this year's Asia Weeks celebration.

The trivia contest, held April 9, featured a face-off between history and Asian studies professor Robert Entenmann and a team of 11 students. Questions ranged from history and politics to pop-culture and food during the four round competition.

Although outnumbered, Entenmann added to his three year winning streak with a fourth win over the students with a score of 290 to 235. Although he admittedly does not know as many of the pop culture questions, Entenmann prevailed on the history, politics and geography sections. "I have been accused of having a flypaper mind," he said. "Useless things just stick."

Co-Chair of the Asian Cultures Association Deanna Tollefson said the competition accomplishes two goals at once: having fun and learning more about the continent.

"The Rice Bowl is first of all, a ton of fun. It's always been meant to be a means to learn more about Asia and show off what you do know in a fun competition. It's important because it highlights how vast Asia is and how much we don't know about the land, while piquing our interest to better understand the continent, people and culture," she said.

Revanth Chada '11, who made the questions for the event, said that Rice Bowl is important because of its global flavor, but agrees that it is also just a good time. "It proves that students know something about Asia. That is critical because it's important to be a global citizen. Especially at St. Olaf it's important to have a global understanding. But, it's not even just about knowing things; It's a fun way to learn and to get owned by a professor," he said.

The Rice Bowl is an annual part of Asia Weeks, a two and a half week celebration of Asian culture, which also works to bring attention to social issues affecting the continent. Other activities over the weeks included a dialogue on Tibet, a dance featuring mostly J-Pop and C-Pop music and showings of the movie "The Kite Runner."

Asia Weeks ended with an extravaganza on Tuesday featuring Asian food and performances with proceeds going to the Catalyst Foundation, which provides scholarships to prevent Vietnamese women from being sold into the sex trade.

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