What Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Means to Me

NAU celebrates AAPI Month in April so students can take part in cultural events together

Megan Ruangchamneil | NAU Social Intern / May 2022 graduate, studying Strategic Communication with emphases in Advertising and Public Relations

What culture(s) and/or ethnic group(s) do you identify with?

Megan and her dad drinking Taro Milk Tea Boba

What does being an Asian-American Pacific Islander mean to you?

It means that I have the privilege of having unique experiences that I can call mine. It means that the hard work and struggles that my family went through in order to get to where they are today does not go unrecognized and can be seen in me.

Family portrait taken in Thailand with traditional Thai clothing

How do you celebrate AAPI month?

Can you share a favorite tradition from your culture(s)?

Beauty pageant at the Thai Temple in 2016

What’s your favorite cultural dish?

Pad thai and mango sticky rice

How can people be better allies to the AAPI communities?

By making efforts to learn, understand and immerse yourself into these incredible cultures instead of sitting in comfort of ignorance.

What’s one misconception about being AAPI you’d like to clear up?

Suzanna Low | NAU Social Intern / Freshman, class of 2025

What culture(s) and/or ethnic group(s) do you identify with?

What does being an Asian-American or Pacific Islander mean to you?

How do you celebrate AAPI month?

Can you share a favorite tradition from your culture(s)?

Photo by Matthieu Joannon on Unsplash

What’s your favorite cultural dish?

How can people be better allies to the AAPI communities?

  • Learn about the history. There so much propaganda and hate that is overlooked and normalized in society.
  • Recognize that Asian representation at any level is important.
  • Support AAPI organizations and businesses.

What’s one misconception about being AAPI you’d like to clear up?

The misconception I want to clear up is that we are not the same. We are not all Chinese or Japanese or Korean. We are a diverse race of people who come from all over Asia. It’s difficult being lumped under an umbrella term where there are numerous counties in Asia. We are not the same.

Allyson Calamayan | Administrative Assistant & Intern at Health Promotion / Senior at NAU

What culture(s) and/or ethnic group(s) do you identify with?

What does being an Asian-American Pacific Islander mean to you?

Can you share a favorite tradition from your culture(s)?

What’s your favorite cultural dish?

How can people be better allies to the AAPI communities?

Be willing to learn, respect, and appreciate other cultures. Keep an open mind and be considerate of the questions you ask or words you say.

Jyothsna Venkatesh | Junior graduating in 2022 / Social Media Manager and content producer for CIE

What culture(s) and/or ethnic group(s) do you identify with?

What does being an Asian-American Pacific Islander mean to you?

Being Asian to me means being part of something that is bigger than me. I am constantly surprised by the depth of my culture and the power it holds.

Growing up, I never realized the value of my land’s history, the wisdom of my ancestors, and the kindness of our people. But after studying in a foreign land, I realized the cultural differences which made me appreciate my own culture even more.

Being Asian and Indian to me is powerful because I know I will always belong to my people and my land and my languages. Being Asian and Indian to me is becoming and representing the values my culture holds to help the world the way I can around me.

How do you celebrate AAPI month?

Can you share a favorite tradition from your culture(s)?

What’s your favorite cultural dish?

How can people be better allies to the AAPI communities?

What’s one misconception about being AAPI you’d like to clear up?

Azah Dolores Quach | 1st year Master’s Student / Services Coordinator in the Office of the Dean of Students

What culture(s) and/or ethnic group(s) do you identify with?

What does being an Asian-American Pacific Islander mean to you?

Being an Asian-American Pacific Islander means I am able to share my culture with my close friends and educate them about different aspects. Being open and willing to share my story and my experiences.

How do you celebrate AAPI month?

What’s your favorite cultural dish?

How can people be better allies to the AAPI communities?

Jeanine Horio | Junior studying Business Management

What culture(s) and/or ethnic group(s) do you identify with?

What does being an Asian-American/Pacific Islander mean to you?

Can you share a favorite tradition from your culture(s)?

What’s your favorite cultural dish?

How can people be better allies to the AAPI communities?

Listen and have an open mind when it comes to learning about the different cultures. Don’t just assume something and avoid believing that the stereotypes of the AAPI community are true. Do your research, educate yourself, ask questions if you don’t know something or are curious.

What’s one misconception about being AAPI you’d like to clear up?

Hi’ilani Helenihi | Sophmore and an RA

What culture(s) and/or ethnic group(s) do you identify with?

What does being an Asian-American/Pacific Islander mean to you?

Can you share a favorite tradition from your culture(s)?

How can people be better allies to the AAPI communities?

I believe people can be better allies by learning about our culture as well as being open minded!

What’s one misconception about being AAPI you’d like to clear up?

Chopin Bingyin Cao | International Education Leadership, Master of Education

What culture(s) and/or ethnic group(s) do you identify with?

What does being an Asian-American Pacific Islander mean to you?

Creating ways to strengthen the bonds through education between the U.S. and China will also benefit the rest of humanity.

Can you share a favorite tradition from your culture(s)?

Chinese/Lunar New Year, also known in China as the Spring Festival, celebrates the arrival of spring which symbolizes rebirth and renewal. It’s an opportunity for a new start and a chance to erase the past and start over with a fresh slate.

On Chinese/Lunar New Year, people all over Asia have a tradition of wishing good fortune and wealth to each other. People great with “Gong hei fat choy” in Cantonese or “Gong xi fa cai” in Mandarin to each other. Those phrases don’t mean Happy New Year; It’s wishing you good fortune.

What’s your favorite cultural dish?

Nowadays, this small sandwich is commonly consumed on the go. It is sold by street vendors in t Shaanxi. Its popularity goes beyond the borders of the province and it is now found all over China. In the West, it is also sold as street food, attracting many burger lovers.

What’s one misconception about being AAPI you’d like to clear up?

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