May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

  • Published
  • By Angela Woolen
  • Robins Public Affairs
To celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Robins Diversity Council will host a heritage fair Wednesday at Horizons Event Center from 2 to 4 p.m.

"It's basically an introduction to Asia and the Pacific Islands," said Capt. Bori Um, 51st Combat Communications Squadron Mission Systems flight commander.

The month kicked off with an Asian Pacific Gala last Saturday at the Wellston Center in Warner Robins. Performers, demonstrators and fashion were part of the event.

The fair will include booths with small demonstrations or static displays for the different Asian or Pacific island nations.

Attendees will get to sample food and see clothing from different regions.

Demonstrations will include how to use chopsticks, how to make origami, Chinese and Cambodian writings and applying henna.

A map will be presented as part of the experience.

"Everyone has heard of China, but how many people can point to Laos on a map," Um asked as he explained the importance of the event. "It helps to have a physical representation to spread the word about these countries."

On the May 24 there will be an Educational Symposium at the Professional Development CenterĀ  Bldg. 941 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Currently, 4.5 percent of the Air Force is made up of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The total U.S. population is about 5.6 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

In 1978, Congress established Asian-Pacific American Heritage Week to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans to U.S. history and culture. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush extended the celebration to the entire month. On Oct. 23, 1992, Congress officially designated May of each year as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month to recognize the achievements and contributions of Americans of Asian or Pacific Islander ancestry to the rich heritage and cultural fabric of the U.S.

The theme for 2016 is "Walk Together, Embrace Differences, Build Legacies."