In times of war it becomes easy to stereotype people and to forget that there are human beings behind the concept of enemy, said Zaveeni Khan, director of UCSB's MultiCultural Center.
In an effort to promote an awareness and understanding of other cultures and nurture the concept of world peace, Khan said, the Multicultural Center offers everything from performances of traditional song and dance to lectures on human rights. Tonight the UC Santa Barbara center will present panpipe music of southeastern Peru and western Bolivia.
"Once people learn there are points of view and value systems other than their own, they grow to respect other cultures and their people," said the Sri Lankan native, who has been the center's director since it opened 2 1/2 years ago.
The group Huayraq Taki, which means "song of the wind" in the Quechua language, will perform on Andean panpipes, called zamponas, tonight at 7:30. Free, 893-8411.
The Andean zampona is a wind instrument made of two rows of cane tubes. It is shared by two people, each playing one of its halves. The 15 members of Huayraq Taki incorporate many aspects of the traditional modes of playing, such as performing in a circle, playing only wind and percussion instruments and wearing traditional costumes.
Along with tonight's performance, the MultiCultural Center is holding an art exhibit until the end of March focusing on non-Western ways of life, primarily in African and Caribbean cultures.
Also, the center will continue its free noontime documentary series, "Eyes On The Prize II," about the civil rights movement in the United States. "A Nation of Law?" covering the years 1968 to 1971 will be shown today, and "The Keys to the Kingdom" (1974-1980) will play Feb. 21.
For a better understanding of cultures past, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History will present a slide lecture Friday at 7 p.m. on the ancient Mayan civilization.
As well as introducing the Western eye to the intricate designs of the culture's art, the lecturers will discuss the nature of the Mayan hieroglyphic writing system. $7, 682-4334.
Two scholars active in the study of Mayan languages and inscriptions will lead a weekend workshop on deciphering the hieroglyphic writings from ruins of the ancient city of Piedras Negras. The writings recount stories of kings and queens, life, war and death in the years between A.D. 510 and 795. The Saturday and Sunday workshops, which last from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., cost $100, including the Friday night lecture. 682-4334.
The Paul Taylor Dance Company, now in its 36th season, will return to UCSB's Campbell Hall for the first time since 1979. The Monday and Tuesday night shows will include their signature piece, "Esplanade." Tickets for the 8 p.m. shows are $18, $16, and $14. 893-3535.
The Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum will open two new exhibits Wednesday. Claire Rabe of Santa Barbara will display "Assemblages," materials she collected in places she lived worldwide. "Near Goleta But Closer" is a book installation by Harry and Sandra Reese containing poems, interviews, photographs, maps and writings about their lives. A reception will be held Feb. 22, 5 to 7 p.m. "Assemblages" and "Near Goleta But Closer" will continue through March 27. Admission is free. 966-5373.
Winner of the 1990 Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, "Hidden Agenda" starts its one-week run at the Victoria Street Theatre Friday. British director Ken Loach's thriller is set in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in the early 1980s. Live Irish music will be performed opening night before the film. $6, 965-1886.