May, it is said, buds flowers, thanks to the April showers. But this month is also filled with many celebrations other than beautiful botanical blooms.
In May, we also celebrate Cinco de Mayo, the observance of the Mexican militia’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. It is also the month when we honor mothers and spend one Sunday letting them know how truly loved and appreciated they are. And on the last Monday in May, we pay tribute to the men and women who have given their lives serving in the military on Memorial Day.
This month is also the time we celebrate the many contributions of those of Asian and Pacific Islander decent in the United States of American. May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.
In 1978, Congress passed a joint resolution to recognize Asian Americans during the first week of May. The dates were chosen in conjunction with the anniversaries of the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in
(May 7, 1843) and the completion of the transcontinental railroad, on which many Chinese laborers worked (May 10, 1869). Twelve years after the resolution, Congress, with the support of President George W. Bush, expanded Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week to the whole month of May. In May 1992, the month was officially and permanently designated as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. America
Here are some good readings that can help folks recognize and celebrate Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. After all, Confucius does say, “You cannot open a book without learning something.”
- Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr
- Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say
- Filipino Children’s Favorite Stories by Liana Romulo
- Yoko’s Paper Cranes by Rosemary Wells
- The Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Huchet Bishop and Kurt Wiese
- At the Beach by Huy Voun Lee
- Fine Feathered Friend by Jamila Gavin
- Yell-oh Girls! Emerging Voices Explore Culture, Identity, and Growing up Asian American edited by Vickie Nam
- Rebels of the Heavenly Kingdom by Katherine Paterson
- Bound by Donna Jo Napoli
- The Kite Rider by Geraldine McCaughrean
For more information about Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, please click here.