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NEWS | May 3, 2010

Randolph observes Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

By Sean Bowlin 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs OL-B

Fashion, food sampling, dancing and heritage-based literature readings are scheduled at Randolph Air Force Base as part of the Air Force's annual celebration of as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May.

One committee member promoting the celebration said the contributions of Americans with heritages emanating from the Pacific Rim traditionally haven't been celebrated as those from other cultures. Having the month of observances gets the word out about those achievements and cultural differences, thereby increasing awareness.

"We try to promote the celebration of the different cultures represented by Asians and Pacific Islanders in America and their contributions," said Bing Hauptmann, 902nd Force Support Squadron Randolph Bowling Center administrative assistant, during a "Hawaiian Bowl-a-Thon" held April 30 at the base's Bowling Center. The event was held to raise money to help fund several upcoming events. "Not everybody knows about our heritage and we'd like more people to understand it."

Randolph AFB held two fashion shows Wednesday to showcase the various Asian fashion trends organic to several Pacific Rim nations and islands through the centuries. The first show was at the child development center from 9 - 9:30 a.m.; another show with models displaying clothing from China, the Philippines, Japan and Korea among other countries, happened at the Base Exchange from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Randolph will see more celebrations of Asian and Pacific island culture this month with demonstrations of Japanese Origami and Samoan slap-dancing at the Randolph Youth Center, May 18-19, from 3:45 - 4:15 p.m.

Then, on May 21, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., again at the Randolph Youth Center, spectators will experience Hawaiian fire dancing and dancers representing other Asian cultures, along with food from the Middle East, China, the Philippines, Hawaii and Guam.

"There will be a number of different performances, so the entertainment will be continuous," said Staff Sgt. Michelle Casas, 902nd Security Forces Squadron plans and programs NCO-in-charge and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month assistant project officer. "Also, we are looking for volunteers to help us at the food-tasting booths."

The month's celebrations wrap up May 26 from 10-11a.m. at the Base Library with readings from books citing Asian Pacific American examples and facts.

For more information, or to volunteer, call Sergeant Casas at 652-1647.