April showers bring May flowers. And what do May flowers bring? Imperialism, disease, I think the list can surely continue.
But most significantly, May ushers in something that could be more celebrated in my superfluous opinion.
And if you don’t know me by now, let me cue you in on some pertinent information – I identify as Asian. A lot of my posts are going to be about Asian things because that’s one of the few aspects in my life that I have some semblance of knowledge and experience on.
With that said, I’d like to wish you all a happy Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPIHM)!!
What is AAPIHM, why does it exist, and why in the month of May? Those are all reasonable questions that could be answered quickly with a search engine in less than .05 seconds, but I’ll enlighten you.
AAPIHM like other heritage months observed here in the United States (Black History Month in February, Jewish American Heritage Month is also in the month of May) is the celebration of the diversity that made the country what is it today. There are many contributions by Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the history of the United States that often gets overlooked or disregarded, but still played a significant role in the solid foundation of the country we reside in today.
Did you know AAPIHM didn’t even use to be a whole month? It wasn’t until 1992 when President George W. Bush extended the celebration of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders from 10 days to the entire 31. According to the official AAPIHM website, May was chosen because it was the first recorded date of an Asian immigrant – a Japanese person on May 7, 1843. What I found a little funnier for all the wrong reasons was their second reason for picking the month of May was because the transcontinental railroad was finished May 10, 1869.
More of a challenge to my work ethic, but I am planning on posting something every day in celebration of AAPIHM ranging all subjects and varying identities that make up Asian and Pacific Islander. The Asian Pacific Islander culture is so multi-faceted and such a range of beauty that is only romanticized at best here on the Western side of the world. Hope we can learn and share dialogue over the next month!