ADAB celebrates AAPI Month with cultural showcase

  • Published
  • By TSgt Jeffrey Grossi
  • 380 AEW

The 380th Air Expeditionary Wing’s Asian American Pacific Islander Association and Cultural Heritage Committee collaborated to organize an AAPI cultural showcase event on May 26, Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates. The event welcomed more than 145 servicemembers and civilians to take part in AAPI inspired cuisine, games, dance and folklore.

The term AAPI opens one very wide umbrella for the 50 unique cultures and backgrounds which fall beneath it. The showcase's intent was to highlight these cultures to servicemembers at ADAB while fulfilling three objectives, starting with – collaboration.

Capt. Miguel P. Santos, the 380th Expeditionary Force Support Squadron’s operations officer said, “Our team consists of not only members of AAPI culture, but we come from different backgrounds, creeds, squadrons and ranks. Our goal is to collaborate and share our experiences with members outside of the AAPI community.”

Santos continued that the best way for people to share the AAPI experience was through their second goal – education. Santos asked that as attendees took part in the food, dance and games of AAPI cultures that they also take a piece of the AAPI identity and share it with people beyond the event as well.

Finally, the showcase’s third goal was – celebration: the celebration of culture, diversity, resiliency and the contributions of the AAPI community to the history of the United States and its military.

“Our community’s tenacity, innovation, and our resilience to overcome challenges are the fundamental values that we all share as Americans, regardless of our background," said Santos. “This commonality, through the lens of diversity, is what gives us, the United States Air Force, such a lethal edge over our adversaries."