WINDOW ON USA
Celebrating May *
Asian Heritage Month
GlobalomNet Media Service
is Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month—a celebration of Asians
and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Much like Black History and
Women's History celebrations, APA
Heritage Month originated in a congressional bill put forward by
Asians constitute over 15% of the American population.
June 1977, Representatives Frank Horton of New York and Norman Y. Mineta
of California introduced a House resolution that called upon the president
to proclaim the first ten days of May as Asian/Pacific Heritage Week. The
following month, senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga introduced a
similar bill in the Senate. Both were passed.
October 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a Joint Resolution
designating the annual celebration.
May 1990, the holiday was expanded further when President George H. W.
Bush designated May to be Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. May was
chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese immigrants to
the United States in 1843.
Pacific American Heritage Month is celebrated with community festivals,
government-sponsored activities, and educational activities for students.
The theme for 2002 is “Unity in Freedom”. (There
have been different themes since 1981.)
for Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, 2002, President
Bush, said, “Our Nation's rich cultural diversity reflects our
Constitution's core vision of freedom and justice for all. Throughout our
history, Asian/Pacific Americans have made great contributions to
America's heritage and prosperity. During this month, we proudly celebrate
Asian/Pacific Americans, one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the
United States, for their remarkable role in our Nation's development.”
the years, Asian immigrants and Pacific Islanders have enriched the
American way of life. Nobel
Prize winner Dr. Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar's groundbreaking theories
on the evolution of stars helped lay the foundation for modern
astrophysics,” he added.
Chandrasekhar was the only South Asian mentioned in the proclamation. The
only other from Asian/Pacific region was, Anna May Wong, “one of the
first Asian Americans to achieve great fame in American film”.
In Atlanta, Georgia, Asian/ Pacific American Council organised the celebrations.
in 1985, Asian/ Pacific American Council is a federation of societies in
the metro Atlanta area. The member societies, amongst others, include
India American Cultural Association and Pakistani-American Society of
Wang, WSB- TV’s South metro bureau was the master of ceremonies at the
May 4 Banquet held at Atlanta Perimeter Centre.
Narsi Narasimhan Narsi introduced the guest speaker. Narsi is the
founder of the Indian Professionals Network
Rajeev Dhawan was the featured speaker.
He probably holds the second most prestigious position for an
economist in the Southeast USA. Of course, the President of the
Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta is undiputed key economist here. In
the academia, there is no question that the Director
of the Economic Forecasting Center at Georgia State University holds
tremendous stature. He is constantly invited by CNN, Atlanta
Business Chronicle and local television, radio and print media.
He probably holds the second most prestigious position for an economist in the Southeast USA. Of course, the President of the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta is undiputed key economist here. In the academia, there is no question that the Director of the Economic Forecasting Center at Georgia State University holds tremendous stature. He is constantly invited by CNN, Atlanta Business Chronicle and local television, radio and print media.
Dr Ash Thakkar
Ravi Shah, outstanding IACA scholar, is an honors senior at Brookwood High
in Snellville. He is an avid tennis player and plans to study political
others, present at the Banquet, were: Dr Ash Thakkar, 2001 APAC president,
Dr Giriraj Rao, a past president of APAC and an expert on mango culture,
Jit Virdi, a prominent member.
Dr Ash Thakkar
Dr Giriraj Rao
Ravi Shah, outstanding IACA scholar, is an honors senior at Brookwood High in Snellville. He is an avid tennis player and plans to study political science.
Amongst others, present at the Banquet, were: Dr Ash Thakkar, 2001 APAC president, Dr Giriraj Rao, a past president of APAC and an expert on mango culture, Jit Virdi, a prominent member.
(With reports from ipnatlanta.net and Vic Romero)
The Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans (CAPA), established in 1979, to organise the Annual Asian Heritage Festival, is a non-profit organization staffed solely by volunteers working together to build a sense of community among the tri-state area's Asian Pacific Americans.
The 23rd Annual CAPA Asian Heritage Festival in celebration of Asian Heritage Month 2002 was held at Union Square Park North, on the corner of Broadway and 17th Street, New York.
The South Asian League of Artists in AMerica (SALAAM) organised the following events:
May 5 : launch party for Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla's sensational novel, ODE TO LATA/
May 7: A Tribute to Tagore on the occasion of his 141st birthday pieces written by and inspired by Rabindranath Tagore featuring:
Rizwan Mirza and Sunita S. Mukhi in Tagore's one-act play, KARNA & KUNTI, directed by Geeta Citygirl
Isheeta Ganguly and Srabonti Narmeen Ali performed Tagore's songs including one original composition fused with a Tagore song.
A movie clip from the film Kabuliwala:
Based on Tagore's story of the same name, this is the simple but endearing story of a man who is known by the name of the beloved land, but poverty and a mountain of debts force him to leave, along with a little girl called Binnie. In Binnie, Kabuliwala sees his beloved daughter whom he broke his heart to leave behind. In Kabuliwala, Binnie sees a simple god-fearing fatherly figure. The bond between them grows as we travel on their journey together.
Movement's rendition of poetry from Tagore's Gitanjali: Song
May 8 : Rising Circle Theater Collective's presentation of Minds on the Mend - a showcase of original and published scenes.
Featuring scenes from:
"Death and The Maiden" by Ariel Dorfman, directed by Anuvab Pal featuring Deepa Purohit, Andy Brown, Sourabh Chatterjee
"SanctOvum: My One Good Ovary" by Lucinda Holt* directed by Raphael Peacock with Colette Porteous, Thanya Polonio, Amanda Hargrove, Joseph Pagliano, Gita Reddy, Lucinda Holt, Shannon Bryant
"Spoiled Milk" by Ajit Jagdale, directed by Jordan Thomas, featuring Neil Shah, Reena Shah, Lopa Banerjee, & Joe Corrao
"Eleemosynary" by Lee Blessing, directed by Geeta Citygirl featuring Priya Soni, Sunita Mukhi, Geeta Citygirl
May 23: Artistic Director, Geeta Citygirl, was the guest speaker at the CCNY Honors Convocation.
Previous City College alumni who have spoken at the annual Honors Convocation include Richard Schiff (Class of 1983), star of the hit TV series The West Wing, who presented Ms. Citygirl, then a graduating senior, with an honors award for excellence in theatre at the 2000 ceremony; and best-selling author Walter Mosley (‘91MA).
(With reports from Geeta Citygirl)