SASEBO, Japan (May 17, 2017) Commander Fleet Activities Sasebo’s Multi Cultural Committee and the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) Heritage and Diversity Committee held a celebration in honor of Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month May 17.
The presentation was composed of videos, a live dance performance, and a historical World War II display on Philippine Scouts and the Battle of Bataan.
The videos included those of traditional dances such as the Polynesian Hula, traditional Tahitian dance, Chinese Umbrella dance, Korean sword dance, and the Japanese Yosakoi. After the short videos was a live performance of the tinikling by the Filipino-American Association.
“Our modern Navy heritage had a strong connection to the Pacific islands and is one of uniting voices of many diverse Sailors to achieve the mission,’” said CFAS Commanding Officer Capt. Matthew Ovios. “We have had the opportunity to serve with those of Asian and Pacific Island origin every day and see firsthand their contributions to our Nation, our Navy and to the peace and stability of this wonderful region.”
Asian and Pacific Islander heritage week was directed by Congress in 1977 and established by Presidential Proclamation in 1978. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush expanded the observance to include all of May.
“I think this is one of the best ones [SMCC event] we’ve done all year,” said Master-At-Arms Petty Officer 1st Class Steffen Kingsley, “This is almost equivalent to the ‘Superbowl’ of SMCC. There were a lot of moving parts but I’m glad we got it all done and had a good turn out today.”
After the videos and performance, the committee had food from across the region for participants to enjoy, as well as a cake cutting ceremony. Food was made and donated by members of the SMCC and members of the Asian and Pacific Islander community.
The SMCC provides monthly events, ceremonies and celebrations in order to help promote cultural diversity and awareness in the CFAS community.