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The Importance of AAPI Heritage Month

By Kyle To and Christina Chen

May is the start of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. May 1843 was the arrival of Japanese immigrants to the United States. Then in 1949, Chinese people immigrated to the United States. Both groups were demonized and seen as inferior. While being blamed for White people being unemployed. AAPI Heritage month was started in 1979, when President Jimmy Carter signed the first presidential proclamation for AAPI Heritage Week. Later in 1992, it became a celebration for a month.

AAPI Heritage month is the celebration of Asian culture, food, skills, voices, music, fashion, and food. In the Bay Area, this month is a time for celebration. In such a painful, hard time for many Asian Americans, this month is especially important.

To celebrate this month Asian Music is something that is especially being celebrated. Radio stations in the Bay Area are playing Asian Artists such as 88rising. Many music platforms such as Apple Music and Spotify are putting together an AAPI Heritage Month playlists where you can listen to a variety of music from Asian Artists and another playlist featuring interviews with Asian Artists. Throughout this hard time Asain Americans are still finding a way to come together whether it be online or in person. 

Despite the fact that AAPI Heritage month wasn’t very well known, students at Las Lomas are also learning about and celebrating AAPI Heritage month this year. “It celebrates Asian and Pacigic Islanders accomplishments and go[es] over its culture and history.” said sophomore Cole Ang when asked what he thought AAPI heritage month was about. When asked what she thought the importance of AAPI Heritage month was, sophomore Hillary Dao said, “To acknowledge the contributions from Asians.”. Ang said, “The importance is to see past accomplishments of Asians and Pacific Islanders. This also helps humanize a culture that is not American, just like black history month and see what challenges they had to overcome in the past.”

Bringing light to AAPI Heritage Month can not only educate people about AAPI history, but can also help bring the AAPI community closer together through things like similar experiences and backgrounds, strengthening the AAPI community as a whole.