A dance step, a brush stroke on canvas, or a poignant rhyme are all artistic expressions that speak volumes in spite of their simplicity.
With today’s technology, said Vijay Ramnarain, vice president of the Asian American Society of Central Virginia, exploring cultures through art is as easy as a mouse click away.
“The Internet is an important medium, because it helps us bridge indifference and diversity, and art is something that brings us all happiness,” said Ramnarain, Asian-Pacific American Heritage Observance guest speaker.
“Sharing Culture Through the Arts” was the theme of the annual observance presented by the Combined Arms Support Command and the installation equal opportunity office Saturday in Lewi Auditorium.
The event began with dance performances by young members of the Bangladeshi, Chinese and Filipino communities. Ramnarain said that watching the dancers was a perfect example as to how art can break through cultural barriers.
“When watching the dancers perform, you can imagine the environment where the dance originated from, experience that culture and learn a little about another’s heritage,” he said.
Cultural education is the basis for the observance, said Master Sgt. Michael Jourdain, installation equal opportunity advisor. It is no small coincidence, he said, that the observance is recognized in May – a month of great historical significance for Asian-Pacific Americans.
“At that time, Japanese immigrants first arrived in the U.S. on May 7, 1843, and the Trans-continental was completed on May 10, 1869,” said Jourdain.