Hill commemorates Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — In celebration of Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month – a recognition of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States, the Hill AFB Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Committee hosted a festival May 17 at the base’s Centennial Park.

The event included cultural awareness and information booths, entertainment featuring martial arts, musical performances, cultural dances, a Haka War Cry and food from Filipino and Hawaiian vendors.

A rather broad term, Asian/Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island).

The month of May was selected as a way to commemorate the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the U.S. on May 7, 1843. May also marks the anniversary of the transcontinental railroad, which was completed in May 1869 largely using the labor of Chinese immigrants.

Since 1992, May has been designated to recognize the personal achievements and valuable contributions to the American story by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

We celebrate the cultural traditions, ancestry, native languages, and unique experiences represented among more than 56 ethnic groups (speaking over 100 languages) from Asia and the Pacific Islands who live in the United States.