East and West met in McKinley Park at the 11th annual Pan-Asian Heritage Celebration on June 9.
More that 1,000 people gathered in the green space along 75th Street to take in an exhibition of music, dance, and crafts from the world’s largest and most populous continent.
Students from PS 105 in Gravesend awed the audience with a showcase of traditional Chinese ballet. Instructor Christina Lo — who began working with the performers in November — said the event both helped American-born children connect with their Old World roots, and let them discover their passion for dance.
“It’s important to keep the heritage alive. A lot of children born here, they know nothing about Asia. They need to have pride in their culture,” said Lo. “My students, they love dance. They’re very passionate, very dedicated.”
The event also featured performance pieces from Malaysian and Burmese dancers. Celebration organizer Katie Wong of the Chinese-American Community Partnership said the celebration was meant to display the rich mosaic of Asia, rather than have one nation predominate.
“We try to include as much diversity as possible, and display all the beauties of the different cultures,” said Wong.
Event sponsor state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge) applauded the festival as an opportunity for Brooklynites to learn about their Asian neighbors — a fast-growing demographic in the southern part of the borough.
“We had an opportunity to show our community the vibrant and diverse cultures that Asian-Americans have brought to America,” Golden said.Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderma