What to be aware of when celebrating AAPI month

It’s AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) month! Which means all people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent get to learn and celebrate their heritage! 

There are a few things to be mindful of if you’re not Asian or Pacific Islander: Please try to watch the language you use when referring to how they celebrate, be careful not to be offensive when commenting on the language they speak, and remember, their heritage isn’t a joke and shouldn’t be apart of any “funny” bit. 

Many believe that Asia is made up just a few commonly-known countries, but it’s actually 48! (Google Images)

Many also think the term “Asian” refers to only people from East Asian countries (China,Japan,Korea,Vietnam), the stereotypical assumption of the term Asian. However, this is not the case. People all over Asia are celebrating their heritage this month! Please be mindful and include people of all Asian backgrounds when talking about the celebration!

There has been a lot of media about Asian celebration, please be inclusive and don’t forget about Pacific Islanders! We’d like to be aware of all Asians and Pacific Islanders, even the less commonly known ones like Tajikistan, Somalia, Yemen, Nepal, etc. and pacific islands such as Molokai, Niue, Palau, etc. 

Remember, Asia is a continent and consists of 48 countries and each of them have their own individuality. 

While Asians and Pacific Islanders celebrate this month, they’ll eat their traditional foods and celebrate their culture in a way that fits their traditions. It’s good to remember that nobody is the same and Asian and Pacific Islanders all have their own individual traditions that should all be respected. 

Chinatown in Washington is a great place to find authentic Asian cuisine. (Google Images)

It’s also important to remember what Asians and Pacific Islanders go through in the world. How they’re treated even when they’re not present in a room. The oppression Asian and Pacific Islanders experience is still present, and is terrible. Being aware, and helping end it as much as you can is a good way to celebrate AAPI month if you’re not Asian or Pacific Islander. 

Parkdale itself has Asians who have been through tough times and felt singled out by staff and students. A few months ago, a student was racially profiled by a teacher and nothing was done by the school. The teacher (who will remain anonymous) still walks through the hallways casually, having no consequences for singling out a student for their ethnicity. 

So find a way to celebrate and appreciate the culture this month!