3 Ways to Celebrate Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month


In May, we celebrate Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month to recognize the history, heritage, and contributions of Asian/Pacific Islander American communities. As a first-generation Filipino American, I want to highlight my culture to my mixed-race children this month.

Here are a few ways you can celebrate Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month this May:

Educate yourself.

There are various ways to educate yourself on Asian/Pacific Islander culture. For example, the Detroit Institute of Arts has many exhibitions where you can learn all about the different cultures that are part of Asia and the Asia Pacific. Check out their calendar of events for more information!

Another great way to learn more is to check out this Goodreads list of “111 New Books to Read for Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month.” The list includes the latest novel by Celeste Ng, Chinese American author of Little Fires Everywhere. Her third novel, Our Missing Hearts, is “a story about the power—and limitations—of art to create change, the lessons and legacies we pass on to our children, and how any of us can survive a broken world with our hearts intact,” according to Goodreads.

Attend an event.

Throughout Metro Detroit, many Asian/Pacific Americans will celebrate the many cultures that make up this community. Here are just a few events to check out:

  • May 4th: Brown Iron Brewhouse in Royal Oak will have an Asian Food and Beer Pairing. The menu includes miso soup, pork banh mi sandwiches, chicken satay, and Chinese mango pudding paired with various beers that Brewhouse offers.
  • May 5th: Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs is hosting a virtual “Where Are You From? Where Are You Really From? 150 years of Asian Americans in Michigan” event where you can learn more from award-winning authors, poets, and more!
  • May 12th: Virtual APA Day is another event and will feature remarks from Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and keynote speeches from national leaders. For instance, viewers will have the opportunity to speak with State legislators from their district.
  • May 21st: The First Annual Michigan Filipino Unity Day will feature a celebration of community building and partnership and create a venue to promote Filipino culture and heritage. Stay tuned to Detroit Mom’s Instagram account where two of our contributors, Antonette and Krystle, will be coming to you on stories during the event!
  • May 28th: Another event to check out is Experience Culture at the Novi Library. There will be music and dancing, cultural displays, speakers, and food.

Try the food!

Asian/Pacific Islander food is some of the most diverse and flavorful food. There are even some great fusion restaurants throughout Metro Detroit. Here are some of my favorite Asian/Pacific Islander restaurants:

  • The Peterboro: Located in Detroit’s Chinatown, The Peterboro serves Chinese American classics such as General Tso’s Chicken, the 3 piece Cheesburger Roll, and the Korean Chicken Bao. They also have a great drink menu, including the Thai Old Fashioned with milk washed rum and Thai tea.
  • Maru Sushi: One of my favorite spots, located downtown at Fort and Griswold. Their specialty sushi rolls include the soy joy with spicy tuna and fantasy sauce, among other ingredients. It’s delicious!
  • Bangkok96: Located in Dearborn, Bangkok96 offers delicious Thai food, including the crowd favorite hot-and-sour soup. You can learn about Genevieve and Guy Vang’s story about starting their restaurant!
  • There is so much great Asian/Pacific Islander food throughout Metro Detroit–I encourage you to take a trip all month long. You can also check out Stacker’s list of highest-rated Asian restaurants published earlier in April for a longer list.

However you decide to celebrate Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we hope you learn, observe, and eat!

For more ideas on exploring all that Metro Detroit has to offer, check out Kailyn’s list of local vinyl record shops!


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