Sandia celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month at museum

By Stephanie Holinka

Photography By Lonnie Anderson

Friday, May 21, 2021

Virtual event at museum addresses culture, tradition and COVID-19 anti-AAPI violence

Performers at the 2019 AAPI event
DANCING AT THE MUSEUM — Performers presented Indian classical dance in 2019 at the museum for that year’s AAPI event. For more information, go online.

The 24th Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Festival at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History went for higher tech and a virtual presence this year. The festival was held Saturday, May 8, in conjunction with the May observation of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and was co-hosted by Sandia’s Asian Leadership and Outreach Committee.

The festival opened with remarks from Labs Director James Peery and Jim Walther, executive director of the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History.

James specifically addressed the increase in verbal and physical attacks against AAPI people in the nation, especially against women and the elderly.

“We stand in solidary with the AAPI community,” James said.

Jim called the event “one of the most important and largest events the museum sponsors each year.”

Live events featured a talk by researcher Cliff Ho about his research on COVID-19 and ventilation, a martial arts Q&A session hosted by the Chinese Culture Center during their Tai Chi class and a candid discussion about hate crimes and civil rights.

Opening remarks and videos from several organizations highlighting important cultural practices and traditions from throughout the world rounded out the program. They included, by request:

  • Opening remarks (Jim Walther and James Peery)
  • The Chinese fan dance “The Blooming of Indigowood Flower,” Albuquerque Chinese Folk Dance Ensemble
  • Mongolia Dance, “Horizon,” Albuquerque Chinese Folk Dance Ensemble
  • Erhu (Chinese traditional instrument) Performance by Christina Yu, Association of Chinese-American Engineers and Scientists, New Mexico
  • Sweet potato shrimp ball Cooking Demonstration, Association of Chinese-American Engineers and Scientists, New Mexico
  • BK Taiko Asian American and Pacific Islanders Heritage Day drum demonstration
  • HA`AHEO O HAWAI`I dance
  • Ikebana (Japanese flower design) presentation, Ichiyo School of Ikebana
  • Chinese calligraphy demonstration, New Mexico Chinese School of Art and Language
  • Horse Folding origami demonstration, New Mexico Chinese School of Art and Language
  • Weyrich Gallery walkthrough of Arita porcelain at UNM

Sandia’s ALOC organization works to support the Labs in achieving and maintaining an equitable hiring of Asian Americans; supports Asian-American employees in their career development and growth; and supports Sandia in achieving and maintaining an equitable representation of Asian Americans at all levels.