Post event celebrates Asian-Pacific American heritage
Sgt. 1st Class David Cofer, Garrison Equal Opportunity Office, serves Army and Air Force Exchange Services' Susie Antonello an Asian dish during the Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month celebration kick-off last year.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Asian-Pacific Heritage month kicks off April 29 and runs throughout May at Fort Rucker with multiple events to celebrate the rich heritage these cultures bring together.

"We celebrate this month to give people knowledge about Asian customs," said Piyanuch Olsen, Army and Air Force Exchange Service visual merchandiser.

The month kicks off Friday at the post exchange from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with Thai dancing, hula dancing, local Asian restaurant tasting, Korean alphabet writing, food sampling, local vendors, ultimate Frisbee tournament sign up, prizes and more.

Other activities are scheduled throughout May, including a DFAC luncheon May 18 from 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., ultimate Frisbee tournament May 21 and movie night on May 25 from 7-9 p.m.

Like most commemorative months, Asian-Pacific Heritage Month originated in a congressional bill. May was chosen because the first Japanese immigrants arrived in the United States May 7, 1843, and the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad was May 10, 1869 and the majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants, according to Olsen.

In June 1977, Reps. Frank Horton of New York and Norman Y. Mineta of California introduced a House resolution that called upon the president to proclaim the first 10 days of May as Asian-Pacific Heritage Week. The following month, Sens. Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga introduced a similar bill to the Senate.

On Oct. 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a joint resolution designating the annual celebration. Twelve years later, President George H.W. Bush signed an extension making the week-long celebration into a month-long celebration. In 1992, the official designation of May as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month was signed into law, Olsen continued.

For more information on Asian Pacific Heritage month, call 598-9423.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16