Asian Pacific American Heritage Month kicks off

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NPS Photo

Ayse Kelce

The Asian Pacific American Heritage Month at Baruch College has officially started with an opening ceremony during club hours on April 4.

With co-sponsorships from the Office of Student Life, the Undergraduate Student Government and other clubs, the opening event was underway on the second-floor lobby. Bubble tea, stress balls and pens were given away, while music relevant to multiple Asian cultures was played. The opening ceremony was held to drum up interest for APAHM’s nighttime event.

Baruch celebrates APAHM throughout the entire month of April, despite it historically being celebrated in May.

The efforts to proclaim the first 10 days of May as Asian Pacific Heritage week started with a House of Representatives resolution by Rep. Frank Horton of New York and Rep. Norman Y. Mineta of California in June 1977, followed by a similar bill in the Senate from Sen. Daniel K. Inouye and Sen. Spark Matsunaga of Hawaii.

The weeks-long celebration became the APAHM in 1990, with President George H. W. Bush signing a bill that was passed by Congress. The month of May was chosen to pay tribute to the first Japanese immigrant to the U.S. on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869, according to the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies.

“What we are trying to do is to raise awareness on the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is important to increase awareness on different aspects of various Asian cultures,” said Nelson Cao, one of the organizers of the APAHM events and the host of APAHM’s second event, “InspirAsian Night.”

“InspirAsian Night” hosted a variety of dance and music performances. Two dance groups performed to celebrate the art and culture of Asia and the Pacific, followed by musical performances by Lewis Diep, a Baruch senior, and guest artist Michael Joon. Besides their performances, the artists also gave insights on their personal stories and what APAHM means for them. A Kahoot! game was played during the event about information related to APAHM, interesting facts about Asian and Pacific countries and the artists of the event.

There will be more events to celebrate APAHM throughout the month of April at Baruch, like the “NYC Hong Kong Club Singing Contest,” “Language Workshop,” “Dance Without Borders,” “DIY Bubble Tea,” “Miss Asia IV” and more. APAHM month at Baruch ends on April 30.