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. This month’s theme is Advancing Leaders Through Opportunity. As a first-generation Filipino American, I want to highlight my culture to my mixed-race children this month.

Contributors: Krystle English and Antonette at Filipino Hertiage FestivalHere 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 “New and Upcoming Books to Discover This AAPI Heritage Month.” The list includes the “Goodreads Buzziest Book of the New Year,” The Dream Builders by Oindrila Mukherjee. The Dream Builders “explores class divisions, gender roles, and stories of survival within a society that is constantly changing and becoming increasingly Americanized. It’s a story about India today, and people impacted by globalization; a tale of ambition, longing, and bitter loss that asks what it really costs to try and build a dream,” 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 13th: Learn to cook egg rolls with Chef Ming Louie at the Bowen Detroit Public Library. This free event is limited to 50 participants.
  • May 19th: Asian Movie Night at Pontiac Public Library is another event that will feature cultural food, performances, guest speakers, and a showing of “My Neighbor Totoro”.
  • May 23rd: PNC Diversity and Inclusion will be hosting “Afdhel Aziz, leading expert on corporate and brand purpose, conscious leadership and how business can be a force for good.” This free event includes remarks from some of PNC’s Asian-American leaders.

Try the food!

Asian/Pacific Islander food is among the most diverse and flavorful. 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 three-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.
  • Isla Detroit: As a Filipino-American, I love our food and culture. However, I don’t always have the time to cook, so a quick trip to Sterling Heights will do just the trick! Don’t forget to get the Buko Halo-Halo while you’re there!
  • Takoi: Located in Corktown, this Asian fusion restaurant has eats and drinks for everybody’s taste buds. Recently reopened to dine-in, Takoi is a top spot for a date or group gathering.
  • 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 Visit Detroit’s top 8 Asian Restaurants in the metro Detroit area for other ideas.

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!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.