Asian Heritage Night In Queens 2014

By Pui See Tsang

“Something Old, Something New” is the theme of Asian Heritage Night In Queens 2014. The event was held on May 13 from 7:00pm to 9:30pm in Flushing Town Hall.

Asian Heritage Night celebrates the month of May as congressionally recognized Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and shared and created more awareness of Asian-American culture. More importantly it passes on Asian-American culture to future generations.

The event was hosted by Asian Cultural Federation (ACF), Flushing Chinese Business Association (FCBA), Flushing Town Hall, Hindu Center, Hindu Temple Society, Korean American Association of Queens (KAAQ), New York Chinese Chorus, Pilipino American Unity for Progress (UNIPRO), and Taiwan Center.

The performance by Young Ok Hong and Young Ae Ma “ARIRANG” was hosted by the Korean American Association of Queens. The Korean American Association of Queens has been the main representative body for Korean-American residents in Queens for decades, and is the umbrella group for over 30 of the community’s largest non-profit organizations including Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York and the Korean American Family Service Center.

Taiwan Center hosted the performance “May Tears Become The Longing Rain / As I Open Up The Door Of My Heart.” Founded in 1986, the Taiwan Center is the first community center established by Taiwanese-Americans through private donations in Flushing, Queens. The facilities include a 280-seat auditorium, a conference room, a library, a reading room, and an office where cultural and educational classes are offered.

Hindu Temple Society hosted the “Indian Dance Performance.” The Hindu Temple Society of North America (“Society”) is a non-profit religious institution and was incorporated on January 26, 1970, under the laws of the State of New York. Soon thereafter, the Society acquired from the Russian Orthodox Church a site on which the present Temple is situated. It was in this small frame house that daily rituals were performed and weekend services were conducted by volunteer priests, until the present structure, designed in accordance with the Agama Shastras (scriptures relating to temple building), was completed early in 1977, and the Temple consecrated on July 4 of the same year.

Hindu Center hosted the performance “Bharatnatyam Dance.” The Hindu Center was incorporated in May 1966, as a non-profit organization, to spread the teaching of the Hindu religion, to bring the community together, and to ensure continuous flow of the rich culture, great traditions, and incomparable heritage of its members.

Pilipino American Unity For Progress hosted the performance “Philippine Dance Through The Ages.” Pilipino American Unity for Progress is a New York City-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 2009 comprised of young professionals and students. Bonded by the common vision of promoting unity within the Pilipino Community, UniPro seeks to educate, collaborate, and stimulate dialogue among Pilipino-American organizations, programs, and institutions. UniPro also engages in various projects that promote the Pilipino community in American Society.

New York Chinese Chorus hosted the performance “Chrysanthemums Terrace / Becoming Butterflies.” The New York Chinese Chorus was formed in October 2009 with the support of New York City Councilmember Peter Koo, and has performed for the Flushing Lunar New Year Celebration, at Lincoln Center and for the Queens Botanical Garden. Its members come from Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan and their mission is to promote cultural exchange in the local community.

Asian Cultural Federation performed “Lion Dance” as an opening and closing of the event. The Asian Cultural Federation is a non-profit organization that promotes and fosters traditional Asian cultural arts. This preservation and continuity is made possible with the expansion of the rich cultural values within the community through the youth and volunteer work. They hope to achieve the spread of cultural awareness by encouraging the younger generation to participate in community service.

It was so amazing to see different Asian groups come together and exchange cultural values. Every culture has something unique to share. It was an extremely meaningful event that no one should miss. Hope to see you there next year.

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