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


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In honor of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in May, Cross Cultural Works is thrilled to bring back – HAPI Fest NJ! This year, we’ll be celebrating at The Woodland in Maplewood, New Jersey on Saturday, May 21, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month is observed annually in May to celebrate the contributions that generations of AAPI 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 community of South Orange and Maplewood and beyond. Together with the Township of Maplewood and South Orange Village, they are celebrating this year’s AAPI Heritage Month and offering a free range of events that highlight AAPI heritage in our community.

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

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

  • Gender Sindaw is a New York-based nonprofit dance theater company comprised of carriers of indigenous traditions, Filipino American artists, and educators. Kinding Sindaw will perform and recreate the traditions of dance, music, martial arts, storytelling and orature of the indigenous people of Mindanao in the southern Philippines.
  • Pua Aliʻi ʻIlima or Nūioka is the New York extension of the hālau hula (school of traditional Hawaiian dance) founded by Kumu Hula (master teacher) Vicky Holt Takamine. Carol Lau and Roberta Uno lead New York’s hula halau and share about mele (poetry/song) and learn about the hula tradition.
  • Trio PAʻI, Claudia Goddard, Chris Davis and Andy Wang will present live music to the hula dancers as they perform a Kahiko (traditional) and ʻAuana (contemporary) hula program. They will share Hawaii’s unique acoustic guitar style, loose fingerboard, ukulele styles and rich storytelling that transports audiences to Hawaii.
  • PIMA Academy of Jersey City will demonstrate Doce Pares and Eskrima, a Filipino martial art known for illuminating rapid movements using weapons (staffs, knives, swords and daggers) as well as trapping and striking techniques with their bare hands, including disassemblies and locks. Learn more about this type of martial arts.
  • We are grateful for our HAPI Fest NJ Sponsors including Seton Hall Universityour presenting sponsor; Carol Velez Fardin of CVF Propertiesand Orthodontic Bags to support our events.

Groups and organizations that want to share an activity or information are still available until May 10. If you are interested, contact Anna Liza Montenegero at us. Keep up with the latest news by following @hapifestnj on Facebook and instagram and using #hapifestnj

The Asian American or Pacific Islander (AAPI) population is the fastest growing ethnic group in the country and is expected to reach more than 40 million by 2060, according to the release. For New Jersey, the AAPI community exceeds 10% (941,057) of the population.

“Yet they are the least understood and understudied community among the general population, policymakers and civic leaders, as noted in a report by,” a statement read. “As the Essex County Community Foundation noted, 27,000 of Essex County residents identify as Asian, hailing from a multitude of countries.”

About cross-cultural works:

Cross-Cultural Works is a nonprofit community behind the Diwali Fest NJthe most famous South Asian Festival of Lights; NJ Lunar Partythe beginning of the year according to the lunar calendar; Hola Festcelebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, and the HAPI-Festival, celebrating AAPI Heritage Month. The organization supports and celebrates the rich cultural diversity of the community of South Orange and Maplewood, New Jersey, and beyond. For more information, visit


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