Asian/Pacific Islander Month

Asian/Pacific Islander Month

Jillian Parks

Originally celebrated as a week of recognition, Americans designate the month of May as Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. George H.W. Bush signed a bill passed by Congress extending Asian-American Heritage Week to a month in 1990, and May was officially chosen two years later. With the term Asian/Pacific Islander, there is a common misconception that the word solely refers to people from East Asian countries such as China, Japan, Korea, etc. However, AAPI also refers to people from Micronesia, Polynesia, Melanesia, India, Cambodia, Nepal, Philippines, to name a few. 

To give a better look into the individuals spanning the AAPI category, different students have spoken about the way this month and their heritage impacts their daily life. 

Kate Lee- “As someone who’s Asian American and has lived amongst Pacific Islanders in Guam, I am honored and ecstatic that the rich history and culture of these groups are brought to attention.” 

Daniyaal Qazi- “I wish they understood more about our holidays and took the time to appreciate them, I know we get a lot of time off for tradition Christian/American holidays but it would be nice to appreciate Asian holidays.”

Akshara Ramsamy- “From the food I eat to the language I speak at home, I am reminded of my heritage everyday. Though I moved to the U.S at a young age, my parents made it a priority for me to learn about my Indian heritage by always exposing me to the culture.”

Amelie Hidijat- “While I don’t think about Asian/Pacific Islander month a lot, it does feel nice to get some recognition! It’s a pleasant surprise when I see something about it on the internet.”

Hayley Jue- “My ethnicity is a large part of who I am.  I have values that are backed by traditional virtues, and I was raised to embrace the Asian culture, despite living in the United States. I would say that there is too much stigma surrounding the “model minority” myth, especially since it ostracizes lesser-achieving Asians.  Everyone has different dreams, and this applies to the Asian culture as well.”