Folklife Festival Opening Ceremony remarks by Dr. Konrad Ng
On Thursday, June 24, 2010, Dr. Konrad Ng was one of several guests invited to speak at the opening ceremony of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Dr. Ng is currently the Acting Director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program. His bio can be found here.
“Asian Pacific Americans: Local Lives, Global Ties”
Aloha. It is with great pride that I welcome you to the opening of “Asian Pacific Americans: Local Lives, Global Ties.” Through art, performance, demonstration, words, and food, this program will celebrate the culture of the more than 350,000 Asian Pacific Americans who live in the Washington, DC area. This program is designed to represent the rich heritages of Asia and the Pacific and the manner in which they have been woven into our national tapestry. This is a significant moment. Like the experience of others who were not seen as culturally central or immediately embraced, the achievements, contributions, and rich history of Asian Pacific Americans have not always been seen or heard. Yet, here we are, for the first time at the Folklife Festival. We are here because of the successive generations of Americans of Asian, Pacific Islander, and Native Hawaiian descent who were committed to building and serving this country so that the American story could include my voice and accommodate the aspirations and imagination of others. So, it is a particular honor for me to see that we have pitched our tents on the National Mall and are poised to hold conversations about the history and future of this great nation and tell our quintessentially American story to the world.