The month of May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.
Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month is a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States.
A rather broad term, Asian/Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, and Easter Island).
There’s so much to learn about these cultures and the way these people groups have contributed to American society. Learn more here.
It’s been very interesting to discover the history of Asian Americans in New Mexico. Japanese and Chinese immigrants first arrived in this region in the 1800s along with the intercontinental railroad. And after the fall of South Vietnam in 1975, 3,000 Vietnamese landed in New Mexico as part of a federal resettlement program. Since then, even more Asians and Pacific Islanders have chosen to make New Mexico their home, making New Mexico all the more rich and culturally diverse.
Something that we New Mexicans can be proud of is that almost all cities in our state (save one in southeastern New Mexico) did not participate in the internment of citizens of Japanese descent during World War 2. In fact, in Albuquerque, internment was opposed by local Hispanic groups and the issue never even went to a vote.
Below is a round-up of resources meant to amplify Asian/Pacific Americans’ voices.
St. Louis Mom
“May is Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month! As I grow older, maybe wiser, I find myself drawn to my ethnic roots. I want to connect on a deeper level to the people who existed before me. People who immigrated from different countries and fought the battles to be recognized as citizens, all so that I could grow up here – in the United States, with opportunities that far surpassed my ancestors’ expectations.” Read more.
Ventura County Mom
“I am proud to be an Asian American. I belong here. After the recent Atlanta spa shootings, I saw so many photos shared on social media of mourning, scared, and outraged people holding signs that say ‘Stop Asian Hate’ or ‘I Am Not A Virus.’ Read more.
Birmingham Mom Collective
Are you wondering how you could celebrate this month? Check out these selections for children and adults all written by AAPI authors. Read more.
DC Area Mom Collective
“One of the most frustrating things about my upbringing as an Asian daughter was the constant reminder from my mom of what other people thought. It wasn’t enough that we had real issues to deal with in our own lives, we had to also manufacture more issues related to other people’s feelings or views of us.” Read more.
Kansas City Mom Collective
“It isn’t always the easiest trying to raise an Asian-American kid in the Midwest. I try to overcompensate for the lack of Asian-American representation by exposure to food and arts, spending time with extended family, and focusing on our mother tongue. This is what I envision my toddler son would say/think as a teenager, about how I’ve tried to merge our culture and his environment.” Read more.
“Ever since I learned that the novel coronavirus originated in a Chinese food market, I braced myself for the blame that I knew would come. It wasn’t long before I heard about Uber drivers refusing service to people with Asian-sounding names and stories of people calling Asian people ‘disgusting’ and other horrible things.” Read more.
Asians and Pacific Islanders, we honor your values, traditions, and perspectives here at ABQ Mom. Thank you for your contributions to this country.
Originally published May 2021.
The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ABQ Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.