UO Celebrates Asia-Pacific American Heritage Month in May
The University of Oregon will again celebrate Asia-Pacific American Heritage Month in May to honor the contributions and achievements of Asian Americans, Desi and Pacific Islanders, support members of the community and provide educational and cultural opportunities for all.
To more accurately reflect the diversity of the community, the UO refers to the month as Asian, Desi and Pacific Islander American Month. “Desi” refers to the people and culture of the Indian subcontinent and South Asia, including Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan.
In his essay “ADPI Heritage Month 2022: What we can learn from racial triangulation theory”, Vice President for Equity and Inclusion, Yvette Alex-Assensoh, discusses the situation of Asian, Desi and Pacific Islander communities over the past two years and the ensuing national discussions which “are ask what people are actually doing to stop hate crimes, in addition to talking about themselves. Members of US ADPI communities across the country are understandably concerned about their safety and frustrated with the lack of substantive action.
“Obviously the work needs to go further,” Assensoh said. For those at the OU, she writes, “There is no shortage of places and activities for people to deepen their understanding and advocacy for the vast diaspora of American ADPI communities. One of the most obvious opportunities is Asian, Desi and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. »
ADPI Heritage Month activities will provide opportunities for understanding and advocacy.
The Filipino Student Association will offer “Bayanihan: Feels Like Home Pilipino Culture Night 2022.” The free event will take place in the Erb Memorial Union Ballroom on May 7, starting at 7 p.m. It will celebrate Filipino culture through food, dance and other performances.
The Asian Night Market organized by the Union of Asian and Pacific American Students will be held in person on May 13. The annual event celebrates ADPI identities and features several on-campus clubs that identify as Asian-Pacific Americans. The free event takes place on the lawn of EMU with performances and food available for purchase.
OU Hui ‘O Hawai’i will perform its 47th annual Lu’au, “Ke Alaula,” or “The Light of Dawn,” in person for the first time in two years. Live music, authentic Hawaiian cuisine and traditional Hawaiian dancing will be part of this year’s event at Mac Court on May 21.
The UO’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural and Cultural History will also offer Heritage Month events. The history museum will feature archaeologists Jon Krier, Marlene Jampolsky and Chris Ruiz on May 19. They will discuss recent excavations of an early 20th century Chinese restaurant and gift shop in downtown Eugene, a successful business that operated amid racist laws and a majority Euro-American community.
The free event is open to the public and runs from 6-7 p.m. Seating is limited and reservations are required. RSVP either online at museum websitecall 541-346-3024 or email email@example.com.
On view at the art museum through August 22, “Remember This: Hung Liu at Trillium.” Renowned contemporary Chinese-American artist Hung Liu explored subjects ranging from portraits to landscapes to still lifes. It reflects on history, memory, tradition, migration and social justice focusing on “the forgotten”, uplifting and conferring dignity and individuality on the poor, the afflicted and the displaced; and women and children, prostitutes and prisoners.
Ducks after Dark will offer two ADPI films during the month. “Spirited Away” is an animated film from Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki about 10-year-old Chihiro and her parents who stumble upon a seemingly abandoned amusement park. It will be screened on May 5.
“Minari,” about a Korean American family who moves to a farm in Arkansas in search of their own American dream, will premiere May 12. Both films are at 7:15 p.m. at the Erb Memorial Union’s Redwood Auditorium. Movies and snacks are free for UO students with proper ID.
Off-campus, a partnership between the Asian American Council of Oregon and the City of Eugene’s Cultural Services Division will present an Asian Night Market on May 20 from 5-10 p.m. in downtown Eugene. The event will include cultural performances, cuisine from Asian stalls and food trucks, a craft market and Asian films.
The films are the result of a partnership with the DisOrient Film Festival and Taiwanese director Lu Mian Mian; the films will be screened at the Broadway subway. To see the Asian Council of Oregon website for more information.
Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month originated in 1978 with a congressional bill to proclaim Asian and Pacific American Week in May; in 1990, Congress extended it to the entire month of May. May was chosen to honor the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States in 1843 and to commemorate the anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in May 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.
For more information on the month’s events and history, see the Equity and Inclusion Division website.
—By tova stabin, University Communications