Asian American Heritage Festival Delights Union City Residents

May 22, 2006

Source: Inside Bay Area

On May 22, 2006 Inside Bay Area reported, "Leaders of different religious denominations gathered Saturday at a Union City church, calling for world peace and a better understanding of different cultures. For organizers of the 13th annual Asian American Heritage Festival, there was no better way to start the all-day fair featuring the theme, 'Unity and Diversity.' On a day like this, 'we bring the community together,' said John Hsieh, founder and president of the Asian American Federation of California. 'We find everyone has the same goal to bring harmony to society.' The festival featured arts and crafts booths and food reflecting the wide range of cultures from Asia, including those of Vietnam, Japan, Afghanistan, Taiwan and the Philippines. Hundreds of people packed the church's Sangha Hall to watch more than a dozen different performing troupes. At various times, dancers performed traditional Hawaiian, Afghan and Filipino routines. An Indian group performed Bhangra, a drum-fueled style that is one of the world's oldest folk dances, while other groups displayed crowd-pleasing exhibitions of martial arts. 'My favorite was the Japanese dancers,' said Julie Laurin, a 12-year-old Hayward resident brought to the festival by her grandmother, Stacie Laurin. The festival was founded to commemorate May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month."