YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea - May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and the Yongsan community has events planned to commemorate this observance.

"Each year as we celebrate ethnic and special observances, we try to afford the entire Yongsan area community the opportunity to learn, see, hear, touch and taste the diversity that make up our American culture," said Sgt. 1st Class Myra Watson, U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan equal opportunity advisor.

This year's theme, "Leadership, Diversity and Harmony - Gateway to Success."

Library trivia contests
USAG-Yongsan libraries are sponsoring Asian Pacific American heritage trivia contests. These contests run through May 20. First place wins a $20 Army and Air Force Exchange Service gift card. At Yongsan, the contest ends May 18 and the prize drawing takes place May 19. For the K-16 and Hannam libraries, the contest runs through May 20, with prize drawings held May 21.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Program
May 22, U.S. Army Troop Command-Korea will hold a program at 3 p.m. at Seoul American High School auditorium.

"This will be a great educational and cultural awareness event with lots of cultural performances, a guest speaker, mini fashion show, food sampling, dynamic displays and prizes," said Sgt. 1st Class Desiree Tomlinson, USATC-K equal opportunity advisor. "Everyone is invited, and wear your favorite cultural attire."

Asian Pacific American Heritage Festival
May 31, 1st Signal Brigade will host a festival starting at 2 p.m. at Training Area 6 on Camp Coiner.

"During the festival, we will celebrate Asian and Pacific Islanders here in Yongsan with Soldiers, families and civilians of Korean, Chinese, Philippines, Guam and Samoan culture," Watson said. "Enjoy food samplings, dancing, music, singing, martial arts demonstrations, face painting and other activities for kids and adults, along with displays of Asian-Pacific Islander products."
One highlight of the festival will be food sampling of traditional foods, such as pancit, lumpia, adobo (chicken, pork, shrimp), and bibingka (cassava, sweet rice).

The month's origins began as a week-long commemoration in 1978 until 1990, when President George H.W. Bush expanded it to a month-long commemoration and renamed it Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.