Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. There are many ways to celebrate throughout the month.

asianpacificheritage.gov

May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. There are many ways to celebrate throughout the month.

The month of May is Asian American Pacific Islander Month. During this month, Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States celebrate their culture and heritage. Asia and the Pacific include the Asian continent and the Pacific Islands: Micronesia, Melania, and Polynesia.

This celebration was originally only a week long. In 1977, Representative Frank Horton of New York and Senator Daniel Inouye both proposed similar resolutions to Congress; they wanted the first ten days of May to become a celebration for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the U.S. These resolutions weren’t passed.

However, on October 5th, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a resolution from the House and Senate called Public Law 95-419. This law stated that starting May 4th, 1979, it would be Asian/Pacific American Week. In 1992, Public Law 102-450 was passed by Congress, which extended the week into a month.

Junior Neina-Leilani Santer is a Pacific Islander who has been spreading the word on her social media about Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Santer is Micronesian, and she believes that it’s important to show what Pacific Islanders are known for as well as their traditions.

For me as a Micronesian we are a minority within a minority. This month is a time to shed some light of our culture.”

— Neina-Leilani Santer

Santer mentions how there are cultural events that are “meant to awareness of Pacific Islander cultures, traditions, etc.” To find more information on celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander Month, check out the Asian Pacific American Heritage website for webinars, events, and performances.