Observing Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Posted Thursday, May 4, 2023 by Sri. Tagged JOURNAL

Thursday, May 4, 2023.

I know, today is also Star Wars Day, and I feel compelled to acknowledge that the first Star Wars Trilogy was a "formative movie" for my tween years. The last time I felt any excitement was when The Force Awakens came out with Rey, Finn, and Poe as promising new characters, but with all the tonal shifts in the subsequent movies my enthusiam took a punch to the gut. Toxic fandom and the Disney push to deluge the world with Star Wars All The Time killed my interest for good. Rest in peace, Star Wars.

What's really on my mind is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, which is observed here in the United States for the month of May by presidential proclamation. I became aware of these cultural heritage months when doing some freelance work on diversity training, but I have never made the observance myself. With Taiwanese American Heritage Week fast approaching, I'd like to do something other than use my heritage as an excuse to have a Taiwanese food blowout. Which is still going to happen, mind you...there is nothing more Taiwanese (or indeed Asian) than having a feast with friends and family.

Me and my sis, playing in front of the Presbyterian Church of Millstone County in rural (in the 1970s) New Jersey.A faded photo showing two young Taiwanese-American children in front of a 150-year old American churchA faded photo showing two young Taiwanese-American children in front of a 150-year old American church (full size image)

For this year, I'm thinking of collecting stories of how my family came to the United States. I'm a first-generation Taiwanese American, meaning that I was born here in the States to my immigrant parents. As I've talked to the handful of non-related Taiwanese Americans, it's become apparent that my family's story is a bit different than most so I think it's worth sharing. I'd also like to collect bits of Taiwanese American information to create a nice resource for myself and my other friends and relations. One idea is to create a dinner ritual inspired by a Passover Seder; I had attended one a few years ago in California and I loved the familiarity of trying to maintain a connection to one's heritage and find the meaning in it. I'd like to find the meaning in my experience as well.

For now, I've made a placeholder at /topic/taiwanese-american/ as a reminder to my future self.