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Melting pot education

By: Marie W. Conway

Date Posted: 1999-05-08

I once heard America referred to as a salad, in which each piece offers something different, adds amazing flavors, and makes you appreciate each one for its diversity. Asian American Pacific Islander is one of the pieces in America's salad whose purpose is to educate Asian American AAFES personnel, and others of diverse backgrounds, about their Asian heritage and culture. AAPI was created from people of different lands and occupational backgrounds.

Since May is Asian American awareness month, Carmen Taira Anderson, AAFES Asian American Pacific Islander Manager in Okinawa, helped coordinate a Kick-Off for Okinawa's AAPI program, by holding a demonstration in front of the Foster Main Exchange last Sunday during AAFES monster sale.

Hundreds of shoppers waited patiently in long lines to get into the big tent sale, but as soon as AAPI's ceremony began smiles appeared on their tired faces. Onlookers were entertained as well as educated through the cultural presentations of the volunteers aiding AAPI in their worthy cause.

Some of the groups who volunteered included Kokusai Matsuri Taiko, Go Jyu Ryu Karate, and Matayoshi Kobudo Members. Many people oohed and awed over amazing feats the military, civilian, and local national performers executed in their karate and taiko demonstrations. Most importantly, the event educated the public on some of the unique characteristics of Asian culture.

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