On May 24, Albuquerque District employees celebrated National Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month with a grand display of music, dance, color and food.
The celebration, organized by Supervisory Park Ranger Mark Rosacker, who is the Special Emphasis Program Manager for Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage, included an informative talk by keynote speaker Sue "Hwa soon" Thorson entitled Diversity in Leadership.
Thorson, an expert in mediation and a long-time federal employee, presented tips and insights to help people work well together in a diverse work force.
The festivities then caught on fire as the attendees were treated to an authentic dance performance by the Halau Hula Ha`aheo O Hawai`i Dance Company, lead by founder and native Hawaiian, Cindi Heffner.
The dancers entranced the audience with their elegant renditions of hula dances. The performance also included an explanation of the graceful hand movements, as well as gourds, wooden sticks and colorful head dresses, adding to the magic of the day. Some employees even volunteered to join the dancing, and they learned and performed the hula version of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."
Everyone participating was treated to a food sampling of roasted pig (courtesy of Rosacker), rice and other native dishes contributed by employees.
It was a true celebration of Asian American/Pacific Islander heritage and provided for an understanding of this culture’s customs.