Asian Pacific Heritage Month
May 3, 2019
May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, or officially known as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. During this month, Asian-Americans all over the United States celebrate their many different cultures and traditions. It was first introduced in June 1977 by representatives Frank Horton and Norman Y. Mineta who wanted the first ten days in May to honor Asian and Pacific-Americans.
However, it was in 1992 when May officially became Asian-Pacific Heritage Month and was signed into law. So, why May? May was the month when Japanese citizens began to immigrate in 1843 and 26 years later, the transcontinental railroad was completed in May.
In Santaluces, we have a small percentage of Asian and Pacific-Americans but even if their population here is small, their pride in their cultures are big enough to make up for it.
Senior Erika Gonzalez is mostly Mexican but is also prideful of her Japanese side. “I love being part Japanese,” begins Gonzalez. “I enjoy the different foods my mom and I get to make, especially when there are fresh items from our favorite Asian market, ‘Fortune Cookie.’ Because I’m mostly Mexican, we don’t have many cultural traditions we do but my mom and I love having mochi, making rice balls and visiting shrines.” Gonzalez even shares something interesting about her Japanese culture, “On Christmas Eve, Japanese have KFC for dinner instead of turkey!”
Senior Michael Murray is of Filipino descent and represents the Southeast Asian country proudly. “The thing I enjoy most about my culture is the food,” says Murray. “Dishes like adobo and sinigang were my favorites growing up.” Reminiscing about his childhood, Murray states, “Going to my grandparents house was the highlight of my childhood. Christmas Eve was always the biggest celebration for my family. We have one large meal late the night before Christmas Day.”
While this celebration only lasts a month in the United States, their cultures and pride last forever.