- Ethnic Technologies, LLC Celebrates Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month
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In 1763 a small group of Filipinos deserted a Spanish ship in New Orleans and established the first Filipino, Asian Pacific community in the U.S.A. on a Louisiana bayou. The term Asian-Pacific encompasses 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). These groups, as of July, 2010, numbered over sixteen million individuals (over five percent of the U.S. population.)
Asian-Pacific Heritage Month originated in a congressional bill. In June 1977, Representatives Frank Horton of New York and Norman Y. Mineta of California introduced a House resolution that called upon the president to proclaim the first ten days of May as Asian-Pacific Heritage Week. The following month, Senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga introduced a similar bill in the Senate. Both were passed. On October 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a Joint Resolution designating the annual celebration. Twelve years later, President George H.W. Bush signed an extension making the week-long celebration into a month-long celebration. The official designation of May as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month was signed into law in 1992.
The month of May was chosen in order 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 (after Chinese immigrants laid down tracks through the Sierra Nevada Mountains) on May 10, 1869.
Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month is celebrated with community festivals that include parades and cultural performances. Although there is no one Asian cuisine, such traditional foods such as Indian curries, peanut and coconut mixtures of the tropical Southeast, barbecued beef of Central Asian steppes, and kaldereta stew of the Philippines are available. These are all very different yet uniquely Asian-Pacific. All events encourage the sharing of cultural diversity while promoting group unity.
Most heritage months highlight a specific group and the individuals and events that shape its American experience. Asian-Pacific American Heritage month unites multiple populations each with its own unique history and renowned personalities. Notables include Dalip Singh Saund, the first Asian elected to Congress, Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first Asian-American congresswoman, I.M Pei, architect and winner of the Pritzker Prize, Ellison Onizuka, astronaut, Levi Celireo, composer, Alex Tizo, Pulitzer Prize Winner and Vincent Chin whose murder, in 1982, is considered the beginning of the pan-ethnic Asian- American movement.
May salutes the many generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America’s history and cultural landscape and will continue to play an important role in its future.Read More
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