Thursday, May 22, 2014 –
FORT DOUGLAS, Utah – Performers majestically swayed to the beat of Hawaiian music as they displayed their dancing talents at the Fort Douglas Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Observance hosted by the 807th Medical Command and 76th Operational Response Command, May 22.
Soldiers watched performances from the local ILI O’ Polynesian Dance group, who volunteered their talents to educate reserve members on traditional Asian and Pacific Islander dance routines.
“I am pleased to spread cultural awareness and influence the attitudes of Soldiers,” said Malia Mislang-Darden, owner of the ILI O’ Dance Group.
A post committee was formed to host the event and it was only natural to invite Malia and her team. Her daughter Salia, is an 807th Soldier currently deployed with the 719th Veterinarian Detachment in Kuwait.
Children of the performance group danced in authentic costumes from various cultures to include the Hawaiian dance Ke Aloha and the Samoan dance Pei O Uma.
Soldiers also had the opportunity to show off their dancing skill, Staff Sgt. Tiaoalii Ameperosa concluded the ceremony by performing the Taualuga, a traditional Samoan dance historically used to conclude important events and festivities.
In addition to dancing, a true islander feast was provided along with displays to highlight Asian and Pacific Islander heritage.
“This food really makes me miss my days living in Hawaii,” said Elizabeth Baker, 807th chief of staff.
The celebration concluded with certificates of appreciation for the participants and permitted time for everyone to meet and talk with the performers.
“America is comprised of multiple races, cultures, and ethnicities,” said Greg Rogers, 807th equal opportunity program manager. “The continuation of observances that expand and promote diversity knowledge within the reserve is paramount to its success.”