AAPI Heritage Month



Madison Villarba, Co-Editor

One of my favorite things about May is that it’s AAPI Heritage Month. AAPI stands for Asian American Pacific Islander, and the term encompasses people from all of Asia as well as the Pacific Islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. It’s a month-long celebration of all things Asian and Pacific Islander.

Why do we celebrate AAPI Heritage Month? Not only is it a celebration of Asian/Pacific Islander culture and heritage, but it’s also a time to recognize the influence and impact of Asians and Pacific Islanders on American history, culture, and achievements.

There’s a lot that you can do to celebrate this great month. Here are five that I would recommend starting with:

  1. Explore AAPI history.

There’s a lot to learn about the history and role of Asians and Pacific Islanders in America. All it takes is a little bit of research to gain some valuable insights. Understanding this history can help people gain a better understanding of life for AAPI and the issues that they face.

  1. Read books by AAPI authors.

Recognizing AAPI voices is undoubtedly important. Getting a myriad of perspectives is essential in understanding the experiences of others and thus being able to support them through their struggles. Some great authors to check out are Celeste Ng, Amy Tan, and Khaled Hosseini.

  1. Watch movies with AAPI casts or directors.

If you’re not a huge reader, an appreciation of AAPI culture through film is a great substitute. There are plenty of great movies and shows out there featuring predominantly AAPI casts and telling AAPI stories, both in and out of Hollywood. When checking out Hollywood films, it’s especially good to focus on stories told by AAPI writers and directors.

  1. Check out AAPI art.

Art always has an important role in the storytelling, expression, and culture of different peoples. Art has a way of portraying a community’s struggles and triumphs, as well as the emotions associated with those things. From local showcases to national museums, you’re bound to find beautiful pieces by AAPI artists.

  1. Support Asian owned businesses.

Whether they be product-making companies or local restaurants, Asian-owned businesses are something you’re sure to find in Maryland. Supporting these businesses not only helps keep them up and running, but it’s also great for both the community and environment. These businesses can also keep AAPI culture alive and allow for a greater appreciation of it.

Overall, AAPI Heritage Month is a significant time to many people. It’s an important opportunity for AAPI to celebrate in solidarity with each other and for allies to learn more about different cultures, histories, and issues.