Every May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, meant to celebrate the heritage of Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States.
According to Asianpacificheritage.gov, this is a rather broad term.
“Asian/Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island).”
The month began as a week, after a house resolution failed to pass. In 1978 President Jimmy Carter signed a law allowing him to name a week starting May 4 as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. It wasn’t until 1992 that congress passed a law declaring the entire month of May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage month.
“The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants,” according to Asianpacificheritage.gov.
Every year ECC celebrates the month with different events, though this year was different.
“The ECC Asian Pacific Month (APM) is typically celebrated for 3 weeks in April culminating to a closing event that is in collaboration with the Multicultural Education Outreach Foundation. This year, we decided to host a virtual Asian Pacific Month Celebration week during the first week of May. We celebrate APM in April at ECC due to finals week in early May; nationally, it is celebrated in the month of May,” said Gaea Atta Moy, student life coordinator and committee chair for the Asian Pacific Month Committee.
Due to campus being closed the celebration had to be completely changed.
“None of the previously planned events were moved to an online format. All events this week were planned specifically to celebrate Asian Pacific Month virtually. Celebrations include: Student Life Weekly Pick-Me-Ups Asian Pacific Month Edition, APM Trivia Hour, Cooking with Student Life, the Asian American Reflection, and APM Talent Show,” Atta Moy said.
Despite the change of plans the month was still enjoyable for students and teachers alike.
“All the events were a great way to celebrate Asian Pacific Month for varying audiences,” Atta Moy said.
For more information on Asian Pacific Heritage Month you can go to https://asianpacificheritage.gov