At Orange, we think every month is a good time to honor the image of God in each other and learn from each other’s unique experiences.
May is Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in the United States. This month is an opportunity to specifically learn from the experiences of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to honor their contributions to our communities and the United States.
As we honor this month, it’s crucial to remember that ‘Asian American’ and ‘Pacific Islander’ are umbrella terms that encompass diverse cultures and experiences. Asian Americans can trace their roots to places like East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia, while Pacific Islanders hail from regions like Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia. Native Hawaiians are considered Pacific Islanders, as Hawaii was settled by Polynesians centuries ago; but they have a unique identity as they created and forged their own culture. This rich tapestry underscores that the AANHPI community is not a monolith but a vibrant collection of unique identities and experiences.
This month, we encourage you to celebrate our AANHPI family, learn more about their experiences, and listen to their stories. The following are a few ideas on how!
One of the most fun ways to honor this month is by trying new things, engaging in art and music, and participating in cultural events.
Here are some ideas for how to celebrate this month:
- Look for festivals, events, and museum exhibits celebrating Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and/or Pacific Islander cultures and artists in your community.
- Try a new restaurant with Asian, Hawaiian, or Pacific Island cuisine. Bonus if it’s owned and operated by people from the AANHPI community!
- Watch a movie, listen to music, or read a book by Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, or Pacific Islanders.
Here are some books we love for kids and teens:
- Ohana Means Family
- Anni Dreams of Biryani
- Cora Cooks Pancit
- The Name Jar
- Lupe Wong Won’t Dance
- Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim
- Amazing: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Who Inspire Us All
One of the ways we can honor this month is through learning more about the histories of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. During heritage months, it’s important to learn not just from history that highlights resilience in the face of oppression, but also excellence, achievement, and the ways that the people we are honoring have contributed good to our world.
Take time to learn more about the history and heritage of the AANHPI community. Pay attention to their unique mark on history, as well as the current and past systems of oppression that we can continue to challenge and change in our world today.
Here are some resources to check out:
- List of Famous Asian and Pacific Islander Immigrants
- The Making of Asian America
- Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning
- The Latinos of Asia: How Filipino Americans Break the Rules of Race
- Nisei Daughter
- Hawai’i’s Story by Hawai’i’s Queen
- Proclamation from The White House of Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Any month is a good month to listen to the stories of others and learn from their experiences. This month, in particular, is a great opportunity to listen to the stories of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, not only to learn more about their ‘third culture’ experiences, but also what they have brought and continue to bring to the Church.
Here are some resources that highlight the stories of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, specifically as it relates to faith and the Church:
- The Asian American Christian Collaborative
- Be The Bridge Podcast: Ep 266 | AANHPI Heritage Month: Reclaiming History with Pastor Raymond Chang
- Blog: The Napkin Hoarder
- Blog: Hawai’i Appleseed
- Seminary Now: Intersections of Asian American Identity and the Church Live Event
In the midst of the rightful feelings of invisibility by the AANHPI community, this month and every month is a good time to be intentional about celebrating the impact, learning about the histories, and listening to the experiences of the AANHPI community.