For decades, May has been designated Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. It’s a time for us to not only celebrate our diverse country but a time to learn something new as well. This year celebrate with a few mindful tips.
History of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
Asian immigration to North America dates back to the 1600s, but immigration to the United States occurred later. Chinese sailors were in New York by the 1830s and the first Japanese immigrant arrived on May 7, 1843. These immigrants played a vital role in the American labor force, including mining, farming, and working on America’s transcontinental railroad. The railroad was completed on May 10, 1869, and because of this and the arrival of the first Japanese immigrant, May was chosen for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.
This celebratory month began as a weeklong celebration in the late 1970s, and it was eventually expanded into a month-long commemoration by early 1990s. Today, there are celebrations and observances around the nation. Cities like New York, Seattle, and Philadelphia host festivals. In Washington D.C., the Smithsonian hosts family day events, plays, and demonstrations, and in San Francisco, there are the Asian Pacific American Heritage Awards. This May lets celebrate our country’s Asian heritage together. Listed below are three Mindful tips that can help.
Celebration Tips for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
- Immerse yourself in a different culture. First, check to see if any festivals or events will be held in your local area. With the music, food, and entertainment, there’s a lot of fun things to do and see. You can also check with your local museums and see if there are any new exhibits featured for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.
- Read things from a different point of view. If you can’t get a festival or a museum you can always enjoy a nice book. Try reading a book by an Asian or Asian American author. Your local library will usually have featured books in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, so talk to a librarian for suggestions.
- Create your own film festival. Some television channels will be showing films in honor of Asian American month, so try to catch a few. You can also rent a few films and create your own film festival for your family.