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    Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month

    May is AAPI Heritage Month and one of my favorite times of the year! 

     

    As a third culture kid, I always looked forward to May as it signaled the final month of school. That meant that my family, like so many other Asian families, would pack up and migrate “home” or to a place that felt more like home. My summers meant connecting with my Hakka grandparents in Florida or my Hong Kong relatives overseas. Time would become sticky and blurred with humid trips to markets, restaurants, and scores of Auntie’s houses. Each day was an opportunity to devour and consume what made me Asian and to drink up the sounds of Hakka and Cantonese until my heart was full. Each summer, returning from family with my cheeks pinched, my belly full, and my tongue freshly reacclimated to my first language, I started the new school year filled with the joy of my heritage. 

     

    So what better honor to bestow on the month of May than the regalia of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month? Do you know why AAPI Heritage Month is celebrated in May? It’s because several significant dates are tied to the contributions of AAPI folks to the United States. 

     

    May 10th marks 155 years since Golden Spike Day, the ceremonial celebration of the completion of the first transcontinental railroad. These railroads accelerated the advancement of science, nutrition, and industrial progress throughout the United States. 

     

    If you look, many of the articles about Golden Spike Day will have a footnote-sized blurb about the contributions of Chinese immigrants. In reality, most of the work that connected the transportation grid was done by immigrants who gave life, liberty, and happiness in the pursuit of a better future—the same sacrifice my family made when they emigrated from China, leaving behind all they knew and loved. So, join me this month in celebrating the joy and contributions of the APPI community that progressed America. 

     

    ~ Ming Montoya-Tang

    Strategic Business Operations Lead, L. Norwood & Associates

     

    Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya. Raise Your Voice. 2022. Museum of the City of New York. Photograph by Brad Farwell

    Credit: Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya. Raise Your Voice. 2022. Museum of the City of New York. Photograph by Brad Farwell

     

     

     

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