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.

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