May is American Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month


Celebrate and learn about Asian culture at UTSA’s Asian Festival on May 27th!

May is National American Asian and Pacific Islander Month (AAPI). We celebrate this in May because the first Japanese immigrants came to the United States in May of 1843. AAPI Month is one of the newer heritage months to be recognized (May 1990). 

Students of AAPI heritage feel the importance of this month more than any. 

“While AAPI was indeed one of the last months created, I feel as though its creation cannot truly be compared to other heritage months,” junior Lihn-lynn Bui, who is Vietnamese, said. 

Bui believes that even though the month is a general cover of American Asians and Pacific Islanders, not all Asian based areas receive the same recognition. 

“As a person from the community, I think it’s great to have a month of acknowledgment towards the many contributions, histories, and cultures that AAPI people bring forth, but I also feel as though we don’t focus enough on South Asians, which is extremely important too,” Bui said. “Media and most western societies mainly acknowledge contributions of East Asians while quietly disregarding contributions of South Asians, through lenses such as representation in the media.”

Others see this month as a learning opportunity for those not in the community. 

“In general minorities in America are very neglected so needing a month to celebrate a heritage speaks for itself. We should all be actively educating ourselves instead of needing a dedicated month to motivate us to learn about different cultures,” Junior Cassandra Roman, who is of Filipino and Puerto Rican heritage, said. “However, I do understand some people start from somewhere, and like I said before, AAPI month is a good opportunity to start learning.”

Take the time in the rest of this month to celebrate Asian and Pacific Islander culture and research those who have made major world contributions. One way to do this is to attend the Asian Festival hosted by UTSA at the Downtown Campus on May 27. Trying Asian food is a great way to gain exposure to this culture, as well. Additionally, all San Antonio art museums, libraries, and area Air Force bases host festivities celebrating Asian culture.