Garrison celebrates Asian, Pacific Islander heritage

Asian and Pacific Islander Americans shared a bit of their culture — through music, dance, martial arts and food — with community members during a celebration May 30 at U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden.

The observance was about celebrating the achievements and contributions of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans to the nation, said Maj. Christian Gregoire, with the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade.

Two musicians performed songs, with one singing and the other playing the guzheng, or Chinese zither. The Island Dancers dance group performed several dances with traditional outfits. Martial artists from Golden Sage Martial Arts demonstrated defense and throw techniques.

The festivities at the Tony Bass complex also included a bouncy house for kids, and traditional foods such as smoked pork.

Congress originally introduced a resolution in 1977 to proclaim Asian American Heritage Week to remember the first Japanese immigrants who arrived in May 1843 and the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869, created in large part by Chinese immigrants, according to organizers.

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush extended the week to an entire month—the month of May.

Members of The Island Dancers perform traditional dances during the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month observance May 30 on Clay Kaserne.Members of The Island Dancers perform traditional dances during the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month observance May 30 on Clay Kaserne.Members of The Island Dancers perform traditional dances during the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month observance May 30 on Clay Kaserne.Numerous volunteers donated their time during the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month observance May 30 at Clay Kaserne. Ye Xia sings while Liang Jin plays the guzheng, or Chinese zither. Volunteers prepare a pig and other traditional foods. Bob Karnes and Ernie Rodgers of Golden Sage Martial Arts demonstrate self defense techniques.