Chicago starts month-long celebrations of Asian American heritage

Local celebrations of the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month were officially launched in Chicago Tuesday with a grand reception hosted by the the city’s commission on human relations at the Chicago Culture Center.

“Throughout the month of May, many exciting and wonderful activities will take place in the vital, vibrant, and diverse Asian Pacific American community in Chicago,” said Dana Starks, the commission’s chair. “Together we will explore the richness of these diverse cultures and the many contributions Asian Pacific American have made to our global city. ”

“Each Asian Pacific community has contributed significantly in their special way to our city Chicago. From Chinatown, uptown to Rogers Park, we can see that Asian American influences in many Chicago neighborhoods. They strengthen our local economy and add to the diversity of global city,” said the official.

Throughout the month, local community-based organizations and government agencies will present a rich variety of special events including celebrations and educational programs to highlight the culture, history and achievements of Asian Pacific Americans.

The events include the Asian American Fine Art Exposition and the Asian Artists Contest, concerts featuring Asian musicians, Taichi Classes, and many other exciting events.

Mayor Richard Daley urged all Chicagoans to be aware of the many contributions Asian Pacific Americans have made to the United States.

Many distinguished guests attended Tuesday’s event, including Yang Guoqiang, Chinese Consul General in Chicago, and over 20 representatives from local Asian Pacific communities.

Currently there are 12.1 million Americans, including more than 125,000 in Chicago, can trace their roots to Asia and the Pacific islands. Asian Pacific Americans have made significant contributions to the development of commerce, education, the arts, government, the military and many other fields in the country.

U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution in 1978 to commemorate the Asian American Heritage Week during the first week of May. In 1990, the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month was officially proclaimed by then U.S. President George W. H. Bush in 1990.

Edited by Zhang Xiang

From Xinhua News Agency

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