Why You Have To Celebrate This Month

This month a fellow Asian explains why we need to celebrate Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have made an impact on society


Graphic by Louise Angeline Vegas

Growing up as an Asian immigrant can be difficult, knowing that a part of you feels that you don’t belong in this new world full of judgment and high standards. It was a tough experience since there was no book or guide to tell you how to adapt and “fit in.” When it was the time to overcome that fear, it was an awakening to realize how beautiful you really are and the importance of embracing your culture.

Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Month has been a great pleasure. It has provided us a chance to rediscover our roots and the magnificent cultures of being Asian.

Historically, it was the month of May when the Japanese first immigrated to America and Chinese immigrants completed the transcontinental railroad.

This long month celebration also let us celebrate other Asian ethnicities who found their new home in America. Asian immigrants contributed to the U.S. in many different ways, especially in the aspect of diversity by bringing their cultures to this country.

Asian cultures have influenced the ways we live today. There are so many different cultures to experience when deciding where to eat. Whether you are enjoying a bowl of ramen, drinking the latest boba tea flavor or dipping garlic naan bread in curry, these all go back to the roots of Asian culture.

There are also many outlets that allow us to celebrate the Asian community. From the books to read, movies to watch and music to listen to, there are tons of ways to support, celebrate and show appreciation to the Asian Community.

Here are books to check out with Asian representations:

“Last Night at the Telegraph Club” by Malinda Lo

This book explores a coming-of-age story where a young girl navigates her way through life during the Red Scare that took place in 1950s Chinatown in San Francisco. The main character Lily, questions life about who she is in the world and what her future holds. Not only does the story represent Asian culture but also the means of being a queer person of color.

“Dating Dr. Dil” by Nisha Sharma

Enemies to lovers. Fake Dating. Desi representation. This romance novel not only shows the developing relationship between the two main characters, Kareena and Prem but also the family dynamics, friendships and the importance of culture. The witty banter and grand gestures will have readers swooning over the chemistry between the two lovers.

“These Violent Delights” by Chloe Gong

Two families feuding. Two individuals trying to save their city. This is not your typical Romeo and Juliette story. Set in Shanghai, our main characters Roma and Juliette work together to find the monster who is terrorizing their city before everyone else is doomed.

“Yolk” by H.K. Choi

This story takes two sisters who try to reconcile and fix their relationship after finding out that one of them has cancer. Their complicated relationship has undergone miscommunication where they try to heal and reconnect. This book also explores the topics of mental health, self-image, and eating disorders.

Here are some movies to watch that represent the Asian community:

Crazy Rich Asians

A love story between two individuals who come from the same world but live in very different economic statuses. Rachel finds out that her boyfriend comes from a super rich family in Singapore. A trip to a wedding is full of glamorous parties, long-lived family traditions and a mother that will do anything to ruin their relationship.


This film is about a Korean-American family who moved to Arkansas in hopes to find the American dream. This film depicts the importance of family and finding the true essence of home.

Raya and the Last Dragon

This Disney film takes place in the fantasy world of Kumandra where humans and dragons live in peace, but that was not always the case. Ages ago, danger approached when a monster invades and threatens the people, and in order to save humans, the dragons had to sacrifice themselves. Now, years later, when the monster comes back it’s up to Raya to save Kumandra and find the last dragon.

Stream these Asian musical artists:

“Slide” by H.E.R.

H.E.R. is a Grammy award-winning R&B musical artist who has Asian roots. Her vocals combined with sick beats evolutionized her music into a good vibe and chill mood.

“Indigo” by 88rising, NIKI

Anything by 88rising is a vibe. The collaboration they make with other Asian artists are chart-topping geniuses. Their songs include cool beats and catchy lyrics. This song with Indonesian singer NIKI is great to vibe alone or with your friends.

“skeletons” by Keshi

Need a song while studying or maybe even cleaning your room? Keshi brings that chill mood with upbeat instrumentals.