Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is upon us, and unfortunately, it often goes unrecognized by many Americans.
From gorgeous traditional clothing, opulent decorations, and some of the most scrumptious foods you'll ever try, this is one month of celebrations you'll want to get involved in.
If you're ready to show your Asian Pacific pride, join Tiffany Moon as she shares her favorite ways to honor and celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.
Table of Contents
- Why Is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Important?
- 6 Ways to Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
- How Do We Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month With Our Children?
- Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Is About Family
Why Is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Important?
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is important because it is an entire month dedicated to celebrating the ...
- Contributions; and
- Honor of ancestors
... of Asian Pacific Americans.
Like many other ethnic minorities, Asian Pacific Americans have often been discriminated against based on their race or ethnicity.
During Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, it is also important to advocate for the equity and safety of APIs.
6 Ways to Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
#1: Spend Time With Family
When celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, families spend lots of time together by:
- Enjoying traditional food
- Making traditional crafts with children; or
- Simply by watching a movie together
Tiffany Moon enjoys the flexibility and freedom to spend quality time with her family. She explains that there is no formal way of celebrating like some other holiday seasons.
#2: Don Traditional Dress
For many people, wearing traditional dress is significant for celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.
The three most common traditional Asian Pacific dresses include:
- Áo dài: A Vietnamese traditional garment
- Lehenga choli: A South Asian Indian traditional wear
- Qipao: A Chinese traditional dress
Tiffany wears the traditional qipao, which is made of silk. It’s often worn by women during celebrations, such as weddings and traditional holidays.
Qipao has been worn for centuries and is an important part of cultural heritage.
In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Tiffany Moon likes to wear a qipao dress, a symbol of strength and courage. She is always proud to wear it.
Today, many people wear versions of the dress in celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.
No celebration is complete without decorations. For Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, you will see plenty of red, green, and yellow for festivity decor.
Tiffany Moon and her family enjoy decorating their home with some of the traditional items associated with her culture, such as:
- Origami; and
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#4: Remember Ancestors
Ancestors and heritage are important parts of Asian culture and holidays.
During Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Tiffany honors how heritage and ancestry are important parts of Asian Pacific American culture by:
- Connecting with ancestors through prayer; and
- Sharing stories of their heritage with family and friends
Remembering how her ancestors and their contribution to Asian Pacific culture makes her feel proud.
#5: Eat Traditional Foods
APAHM promotes cultural preservation in the Asian community, and one way is by preparing and eating traditional foods.
Some traditional foods that are commonly eaten for APAHM include:
One of Tiffany’s favorite foods to enjoy is her mother’s Chinese traditional dumplings.
Dumplings are small, round, thin dough with a filling consisting of meat, fish, vegetables, or just about anything else you want.
They can be served in many different ways including:
- Pan-fried; and
Tiffany has crowned her mother as “The Master Dumpling” and looks forward to preparing them together as a family.
#6: Read Biographies and Stories
Many of the stories and biographies about Asian Americans who have contributed to the betterment of society are not widely publicized.
Here is a list of stories or biographies of Asian Americans who have left their mark on history to check out:
- “Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People” by Helen Zia is about the racial and ethnic identity and culture of Asian Americans, as well as their history and influence in America.
- “Living for Change: An Autobiography” by Grace Lee Boggs, tells the fascinating story of an activist and philosopher who spent her life fighting against injustice and inequality.
- “America Is in the Heart: A Personal History” by Carlos Bulosan is a memoir about the Filipino author's life and his journey as an immigrant in America.
Most times, these stories are lost to history and may never be known outside of a small circle of friends and family.
#7: Enjoy Asian Pacific Art
To celebrate APAHM, take time to enjoy Asian Pacific art.
From learning about the different genres of art to exploring the wonders of Asian Pacific culture, you'll love embracing learning about history and heritage.
If you are not sure where to go to see Asian Pacific art, try visiting …
- Galleries; and
- Art Exhibitions
… like the National Museum of Asian Art in Washington, DC.
#8: Attend Local Events
Attending local events is a great way to celebrate APAHM and learn new things about your community and meet other people from other cultures.
If you live in an area where celebrating this month is popular, attend events like:
- Music concerts
- Educational talks; or
- Cooking demonstrations
How Do We Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month With Our Children?
Many Asian-American children don't have a history of their own in their families and heritage.
By providing an educational experience that includes the lives, culture, and history of Asian Americans here in the United States, Tiffany believes she can help her children understand the richness of their culture in the world.
The following are some ways that Tiffany Moon celebrates APAHM with her children.
Many do not know the struggles of the Asian American community or their contributions to the American dream.
Tiffany believes the story of Asian and Pacific Americans deserves to be heard and shared widely, especially with our children. Here are some ideas:
- Spend the weekends as a family playing an Asian/Pacific heritage trivia game
- Host a neighborhood Lunch and Learn for children and their parents to share about Asian inventions and inventors
- Take a virtual tour of the Great Wall of China
Another way to get children involved in celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is to make arts and crafts.
There may be opportunities to learn some culturally expressive arts, such as:
- Drama; or
Whatever you choose to do, be creative and have fun to get the kids engaged and active.
Read Children’s Books About Asian Pacific American Heritage
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is the perfect time to add some books to your children’s bookshelf.
Tiffany enjoys reading books to her children so they can learn more about their family history and heritage.
Here is a list of some of the children’s books curated by PBS specifically for APAHM:
- Eyes that Kiss in the Corners (Ages 3-7): Written by Joanna Ho and illustrated by Dung Ho
- Dear Juno (Ages 4-8): Written by Soyung Pak and illustrated by Susan Kathleen Hartung
- Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix (Ages 5-9): Written by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and June Jo Lee and illustrated by Man One
- The Fearless Flights of Hazel Ying Lee (Ages 5-9): Written by Julie Leung and illustrated by Julie Kwon
- Asian-Americans Who Inspire Us (Ages 6-10): Written by Analiza Quiroz Wolf and illustrated by Tuire Siiriainen
Visit a Museum
Museums offer resources for cultural celebrations and opportunities for learning about the contributions of people who are Asian and Pacific Islander Americans.
On the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month website, there is a curated collection of exhibits and museums that children and families can visit to further learn about APIA heritage.
The website includes over 100 online and in-person historical archives, art exhibits, and media collections, representing a variety of museums in the United States, including:
- Asian American artists and selected works at the Smithsonian
- Chinese porcelains at the National Gallery of Art; and
- Laotian American song and dance at the Library of Congress
Share Stories About Grandparents and Other Family Members
For many Asian and Pacific Islander children, they don't have the opportunity to know their grandparents or other family members well — which can lead to a lack of connection between generations and a sense of disconnection.
Tiffany believes sharing stories about elders can:
- Break down barriers
- Create more connections; and
- Nurture a sense of love across generations in families
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Is About Family
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is a way for us to celebrate different cultures and find the connection that so many Asian and Pacific Islander Americans have been yearning for.
Tiffany invites you to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with her and her family this year.
Whether you participate by …
- Purchasing Asian goods from your local store
- Visiting a museum exhibit or an online library
- Trying out some APIA traditional foods; or
- Supporting Asian and Pacific Islander owned-businesses
… Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is an opportunity for everyone to celebrate.
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