UPDATE on March 12 After much consultation and careful consideration, UBC Equity and Inclusion Office decided to cancel today’s IGNITE book club event. The cancellation of the event is a responsible decision in order to protect all our diverse communities. This is also following the safety precautions recommended by our provincial health authorities to best protect the health of the population with concerns around COVID-19 in large group settings. 

The Equity and Inclusion Office is still planning a conservation between Annahid Dashtgard and Shirin Eshghi Furuzawa, which will be recorded. They will be sharing the recording online when it’s ready.

Thursday, March 12, 2020
Asian Centre 1871 West Mall

5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Asian Library Upper Floor

Join us for IGNITE, an ongoing series of engagements with racialized authors at UBC’s Vancouver campus. Annahid Dashtgard, author of Breaking the Ocean: A Memoir of Race, Rebellion, and Reconciliation, will share insights into her works and finding joy amidst her experience of living as a racialized individual, author, and academic. Hosted by Shirin Eshghi, Head of UBC Asian Library.

6:15 PM to 7:30 PM
Reception with Persian Refreshments – Asian Centre Foyer
Performances – Asian Centre Auditorium

Nowruz, which literally means “a new day”, is the Persian New Year, celebrated for over 3,000 years by diverse communities in Western Asia, Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Black Sea Basin, the Balkans, and South Asia. Celebrated on the first day of Farvardin (The first month of Persian Calendars), Nowruz marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. It usually occurs around March 21, depending on where it is observed. The moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator and equalizes night and day is calculated exactly every year, and families gather together to celebrate the earth being reborn. The celebration usually starts Charshanbe Suri (Festive Wednesday) and ends with Sizdah Be Dar (Out With The Thirteen) which is on the thirteenth Farvardin. For Nowruz, people display a spread called Haft-Sin (Seven “S”s) which is an arrangement of seven symbolic items whose names start with the 15th letter in the Persian alphabet.

Free and open to all. Please register HERE.


10-10:05am WELCOME

Shirin Eshghi Furuzawa, Head, Asian Library

10:05 – 10:25am PUNJABI

Stories from the Fascinating Folktales of Punjab series
ਦੋ ਬਾਤਾਂ: ਤੋਤੇ ਤੇ ਲਿਲ੍ਹਾਂ Tales of the Parrots & The Berries

Punjabi & English Storytellers:
Sarbjit Randhawa, South Asian and Himalayan Studies Librarian &
Gagan Cheema, UBC Alumni (BSc Speech and Hearing Science) and incoming MSc (Faculty of Medicine, Speech Language Pathology)

10:30-10:45am HINDI

Hindi Moral Stories – Fox & Crow and Dove & Ant

Hindi & English Storyteller:
Taranjit Singh, UBC Library Assistant and UBC Alumni (Former Graduate Student Society President & M Journalism)

10:45-11am PERSIAN

Persian Songs from Persian Language Online
Selected Stories from Bedtime Stories for Kids (Spring) by Children’s Research Centre Donyā

Persian & English Storyteller:
Sadaf Ahmadbeigi, UBC iSchool Student


Chinese & Tibetan Calligraphy with Esther Yang, UBC Tibetan Language Student
Punjabi Calligraphy with Sarbjit Randhawa, South Asian and Himalayan Studies Librarian

11:15-11:40am KOREAN

Flap Flap 훨훨 간다by Kwon Jeong-saeng; Translated by UBC MLIS Graduate T. Yun Hee Lee, Illustrated by Kim Yong-cheol

Korean Storyteller:
Joon-hyung Park, Author and Founder of Creative Writing for Children Society

English Storyteller:
Angela Ahn, Children’s Book Author and UBC Alumni (BA, BEd(Sec), MLIS)

11:45am-12:15pm MANDARIN

Yuan xiao jie 元宵节 by Wang Zaozao 王早早

Mandarin and English Storytellers:
Kristin (Junling) Liu, VP Academics, UBC Chinese Students and Scholars Association, Current BCom Student
Helen (Xin Liu) Wu, Director Academics, UBC Chinese Students and Scholars Association Member, Current BCom (Accounting) Student


Tibetan Calligraphy with Esther Yang, Tibetan Language Student
Punjabi Calligraphy with Sarbjit Randhawa, South Asian and Himalayan Studies Librarian
Origami with Tomoko Kitayama, Japanese Studies Librarian
Japanese Children’s Activities with Fuma Aoki, Political Science Student

1-1:25pm CANTONESE

Let’s Take a Walk by Larry Grant & Sarah Ling

Cantonese Storyteller:
Sarah Ling, Community Engagement Manager, St. John’s College, UBC

Selection of Stories from Storybooks Canada

Selection of Stories from Classic Legends

Cantonese Storyteller:
Zoe Wai-Man Lam, Sessional Lecturer, Asian Studies Department

English Storyteller:
Wendy Yip, University Ambassador

1:30-2pm JAPANESE

Peach Boy (Momotarō) ももたろう by Kawauchi Sayumi

My Friends みんながおしえてくれましたby Gomi Taro 五味 太郎

Japanese Storyteller and Translator:
Motoki Nozawa (Current MEd & Asian Studies Teaching Assistant)

English Storyteller:
Santa Ono, President and Vice-Chancellor of UBC

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