National Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
This month we celebrate the history and impact of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Culture. To better understand what cultures we are discussing, we have provided the following list:
Asian: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia or the Indian subcontinent.
East Asian: A person of Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese, Hong Kong, Japanese or Mongolian descent.
South Asian: A person of Indian, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, Nepal, Pakistani Maldivian, Iranian, Bhutanese or Afghani heritage.
Southeast Asian: A person of Filipino, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Laotian, Indonesian, Burmese, Malaysian, Thai or Singaporean descent.
Central Asian: A person with origins in the original peoples of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tibet.
Pacific Islander: A person with origins in the original peoples of Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia, including Carolinian, Chamorro, Chuukese, Fijian, Guamanian, Hawaiian, Kosraean, Marshallese, Native Hawaiian, Niuean, Palauan, Papua New Guinean, Pohnpeian, Samoan, Tokelauan, Tongan, Yapese.
West Asian: A person with heritage from in the original peoples of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cyprus, Georgia, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
Just like many other heritage month's, Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month started off as a week-long observance. It wasn't until 1992 that the month of May was designated by President George H. W. Bush as a nationally recognized, month-long observance. Throughout history many Asian American's faced harsh discrimination and racially motivated attacks. Large scale massacres such as the Rock Spring Massacre of 1885 and Hell's Canyon Massacre of 1887 were some of the first responses to Asian immigration into the United States. Despite any hate crimes committed against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, their culture still thrives and continues to influence American culture. It is important that we both celebrate the contributions and culture while still acknowledging the struggles and hardships people of minority cultures went through. We encourage everyone to learn something new about these cultures and their impact in honor of this month.