Cross Cultural Works celebrates AAPI Heritage Month 2022 with HAPI Fest NJ on May 21 at The Woodland

by Cross Cultural Works
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From Cross Cultural Works:

In honor of the Asian American Pacific Island (AAPI) Heritage Month in May, Cross Cultural Works is excited to bring back — HAPI Fest NJ! This year, we will be celebrating it at The Woodland in Maplewood, New Jersey on Saturday, May 21, 2022, from 10 am to 1 pm.

Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month is observed annually in May to celebrate the contributions that generations of AAPIs have made to American history, society, and culture in the United States.

Cross Cultural Works, a non-profit organization whose mission is to celebrate the cultural diversity of our South Orange and Maplewood community and beyond. Together with The Township of Maplewood and South Orange Village, they celebrate this year’s AAPI Heritage Month and offers a free line-up of events that highlight the AAPI heritage in our community.

“We celebrate our Asian American and Pacific Islander family, friends, and neighbors as we honor and share our rich and diverse cultural heritage and traditions,” said Anna Liza Montenegro, the HAPI Fest NJ Director and a Board Member of the Cross Cultural Works.

We commemorates HAPI Fest NJ with programming that celebrates AAPI cultures and their rich cultural traditions with Asian dance and music performers, activities, and food, including:

  • Kinding Sindaw is an NYC-based nonprofit dance theater company composed of indigenous tradition-bearers, Filipino American artists, and educators. Kinding Sindaw will perform and re-create the traditions of dance, music, martial arts, storytelling, and orature of the indigenous peoples of Mindanao, Southern Philippines.
  • Pua Aliʻi ʻIlima o Nūioka is the New York City extension of the hālau hula (school of traditional Hawaiian dance) founded by Kumu Hula (master teacher) Vicky Holt Takamine. Carol Lau and Roberta Uno head the New York City halau hula and share about the mele (poetry/song) and learn more about the hula tradition.
  • PAʻI trio, Claudia Goddard, Chris Davis, and Andy Wang will be performing live music to the hula dancers as they present a program of Kahiko (traditional) and ʻAuana (contemporary) hula. They will share Hawaii’s unique acoustic guitar style, slack key, ʻukulele stylings, and rich storytelling that transport audiences to Hawaii.
  • PIMA Academy from Jersey City will be doing a demonstration of Doce Pares and Eskrima, a Filipino martial art known for lighting fast movements utilizing weapons (sticks, knives, swords, and daggers) as well as empty hand trapping and striking techniques, including takedowns and locks. Learn more about this type of martial arts.
  • We are grateful for our HAPI Fest NJ Sponsors including Seton Hall University, our presenting sponsor; Carol Velez Fardin of CVF Properties, and Sacks Orthodontics for supporting our events.

Groups and organizations that are interested in sharing an activity or info are still available until May 10th. If you’re interested, then contact Anna Liza Montenegero at Track the latest news by following @hapifestnj on Facebook and Instagram and using #hapifestnj

The Asian American or Pacific Islander (AAPI) demographic is the most rapidly growing ethnic group in the country and is expected to increase to over 40 million individuals by 2060, said the release. For New Jersey, the AAPI Community exceeds 10 percent (941, 057) of the population.

“Yet, they are the least understood and least studied community among the general population, policymakers, and civic leaders, as stated in a report from,” said a release. “As noted by the Essex County Community Foundation, 27,000 of Essex County’s residents identify as Asian, originating from a multitude of countries.”

About Cross Cultural Works:

Cross-Cultural Works is a community non-profit behind the Diwali Fest NJ, the festival of lights most widely celebrated South Asian holidays;  Lunar Fest NJ, the beginning of the year according to the lunar calendar; Hola Fest, celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, and the HAPI Fest, celebrating the AAPI Heritage Month. The organization supports and celebrates the rich cultural diversity of the South Orange and Maplewood, New Jersey community, and beyond. For more information, visit

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