Asian community of Orlando celebrates the 5th annual Asian Cultural Festival at the Orlando Fashion Square


Orlando, Florida – Thousands of Central Floridian Asian Americans, their friends, neighbors and guests congregated at the Orlando Fashion Square last May 7, to celebrate the Asian American Heritage Month, traditionally a presidential proclamation every May to acknowledge and recognize the various national contributions of skills, talents, and vitality of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to the United States.

A.A.H.C. Asian American Heritage Council board of directors at the AAHC Asian Cultural Festival 2016
City of Orlando Commissioner Robert Stuart presents the City of Orlando proclamation to AAHC Chair Babuji Ambikapathy.

Event hosted by the Asian American Heritage Council of Central Florida (AAHC), the festival showcased the diverse Asian community within the Central Florida area. The countries that were represented were China, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

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Phap Vu Buddhist Cultural Center of Florida

City of Orlando Commissioner Robert Stuart and AAHC Chair Babuji Ambikapathy welcomed a crowd of thousands at the Asian Cultural Festival held at the Orlando Fashion Square. Rick Singh, Orange County Property Appraiser was among the other special guests.

Organizers estimated 5,000 attendances to the more than 60 business services, retail and food booths. Along with Orlando Fashion Square, the festival was made possible by sponsors Orlando Fashion Square, Phap Vu Buddhist Cultural Center of Florida,
Bright House; Payas, Payas Payas; Gateway Insurance; media sponsors WMFE Radio Orlando and Asia Trend, and the volunteer crew led by the R.E.A.C.H. of Central Florida.

Photos: Gian Pollicar, Tommy Tu, Mike Weis and C.K. Lau (To view the photo album, visit

The six hour program, emceed by Justin Chu, Luluk Friedland and Michael Linardi, began with a Lion Dance. The colorful Dragon Dance followed. The entertainment hour featured dances from India, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand and the Philippines. A fashion parade showcased the native costumes of Japan, China, India, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Taiwan. Music performance: “Angklung” presented by an Indonesian group. Filipino musician Philip Mahoney performed saxophone music. Orlando Taiko Dojo permed the Japanese Taiko music. Japan and China demonstrated its martial arts.

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The Asian American Heritage Council, originally established in 1980 as Asian Pacific American Heritage Council, and re-organized in 1996 as an administrative body,
not an umbrella, for Asian American organizations in Central Florida, is dedicated to preserve the culture and heritage of Asians. Proceeds from the cultural festival will benefit its annual Scholastic Awards project in November.

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