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Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month: Embracing Heritage, Unity, and Inclusivity

Hey there, The Curative Plate Fam!

The end of May is already here, a transitional month where the air warms up, flowers bloom, the kids are wrapping up school, and here in Texas, we prepare for summer. (think: the opposite of what y’all do up north for winter, ha ha) It’s also a special time to celebrate the vibrant and diverse Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, as it’s also AAPI Heritage Month. We get to honor the rich history, cultural heritage, and remarkable achievements of individuals with Asian and Pacific Islander backgrounds. In this blog post, we'll take a journey through time to explore the historical significance of AAPI Month, delve into its current relevance, and uncover the personal meaning it holds for many. So, grab a cup of tea, sit back, and let's embark on this joyful celebration of AAPI Month together!

The Historical Significance of AAPI Month

Let's delve into the historical roots of AAPI Month, a celebration that emerged in the 1970s to give voice to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Back in 1977, AAPI Heritage Week was established by passionate individuals like Jeanie Jew and Ruby Moy, who recognized the need to honor the diverse experiences and incredible contributions of the AAPI community. Around the same time, a monument commemorating the Chinese immigrants who played an integral role in building the Transcontinental Railroad was unveiled. These significant events marked a turning point in acknowledging the importance of the AAPI community, leading to the establishment of AAPI Heritage Month as we know it today.

Protesting Asian discrimination
photo credit: The Washington Post

The Current Relevance of AAPI Month

Fast forward to the present, and AAPI Month continues to hold immense significance in our society. It serves as a platform to challenge stereotypes, promote understanding, and foster inclusivity. AAPI Heritage Month provides a remarkable opportunity to celebrate the tapestry of cultures, traditions, and histories that make up the AAPI community. It's a time to recognize the unique contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in various fields such as arts, sciences, technology, business, politics, and more. By embracing the diverse and vibrant AAPI community, we move closer to creating a world that values and respects every individual's voice and experiences.

Personal Meaning: Embracing Heritage and Inspiring Change

For countless individuals within the AAPI community, AAPI Heritage Month holds deep personal meaning. It's a cherished time to honor their heritage, celebrate their identities, and pay homage to their ancestors who paved the way for them. AAPI Heritage Month allows them to reconnect with their roots, embracing the cultural traditions and values that have shaped them. It serves as a reminder of the strength, resilience, and determination that flows through their veins. AAPI Heritage Month is not just about celebration; it's a call to action. It encourages us to challenge stereotypes, inspire change, and create a world where diversity is celebrated and unity is cherished. While there were incidents of racism that went viral on social media – one even right here in Austin – it’s important to not to give in to that kind of behavior and to continue to foster positivity and inclusivity.

One remarkable aspect of the 2023 celebrations was the collaboration between various organizations. AAPI-focused groups joined forces with other community organizations to create inclusive events. These partnerships facilitated meaningful exchanges, dialogue, and understanding. Together, they created safe spaces for conversations and shared experiences, fostering an environment of mutual respect and appreciation.

Asian American Resource Center grounds, CelebrASIA 2023, Austin
Asian American Resource Center grounds (photo credit: TCP)

This year, The Curative Plate was asked to participate in the 10th Annual CelebrASIA Austin event, put on by the Austin Asian American Resource Center. This indoor/outdoor event offers performances, food vendors, exhibits, and cultural experiences for the entire family. It was pouring rain all morning, and Rachel got soaked outside, but brave Austinites showed up cheerfully, and by afternoon the rain had stopped.

The Curative Plate at CelebrASIA 2023
Rachel working hard for her customers, despite the rain.

CelebrASIA Austin 2023
Some of those lovely customers.

It was a fun time for everyone, showcasing rooms for different countries and their culture, food tents and trucks, musical performances, dancing, and even a fashion show.

Taiwan CelebrASIA 2023
The Third Prince in the Taiwan room.

Japan CelebrASIA 2023
Silk Kimono display in Japan room.

South Korea CelebrASIA 2023
Lovely ladies in hanboks in South Korea room.

South Korean woman with drums, CelebrASIA 2023
A South Korean woman playing a Buk, a Janggu, and a Sogo, three different types of drums.

CelebrASIA 2023 Fashion Show
The fashion show!

Food trucks CelebrASIA 2023
Waiting in the rain for yummy food.

The Curative Plate dished up Kimchi Jeon Quesadilla, Sesame Onion Fried Rice, and Kimchi bulgogi fried rice, which was so popular, it sold out early! Sonya was also there selling jars of our Vegan and LowFODMAP(ish) kimchi. (click the link to buy some jars for yourself!)

Kimchi Jeon Quesadilla The Curative Plate
Delicious Kimchi Jeon Quesadilla .

The Curative Plate at CelebrASIA 2023
Staying dry inside at our sales table for jars of CP Kimchi.

It really was a great day for people from all races and cultures to get together and “celebrASIA.” The city of Austin the AARC did a wonderful job, and we would love to go back next year. Did you go to any celebrations in your community?

As we conclude our journey through the significance of AAPI Month, let us remember the importance of embracing diversity, promoting unity, and celebrating the rich heritage of the AAPI community. AAPI Heritage Month provides us with an opportunity to honor the past, appreciate the present, and work towards a future where every voice is heard and valued. So, let's continue to uplift the AAPI community, challenge stereotypes, and advocate for inclusivity. Together, we can create a world where diversity is celebrated, and unity thrives.

Until next time, happy AAPI Heritage Month, from Our Heart and Our Hands to Your Plate.

The Curative Plate CelebrASIA 2023
The ladies of The Curative Plate enjoying CelebrASIA 2023


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