Diversity and Shared Experiences Lend To an Insightful Asian Heritage Month Celebration with explorASIAN
Many refer to Canada as the land of immigrants. With one of the highest immigration rates it’s important for Canada to celebrate multiculturalism as a source of diverse knowledge. Asian Heritage Month helps Canadians learn about the many achievements and contributions of Asian Canadians across the country. Early Asian immigration to Canada began in the mid-nineteenth century when Chinese workers arrived to build the railroad. These workers, and future Asian immigrants, not only built Canada physically, but also through innovation, creativity, food, music, and traditions.
In 2001, Canada designated May as Asian Heritage Month, and ever since, it has become a nationwide festival. The celebration act as a bridge between different cultures and gives us the ability to learn from one another. In Vancouver, the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society (VAHMS) organizes explorASIAN, an annual festival that aims to promote understanding, and appreciation of Asian-Canadian arts, heritage, and culture. This year, due to the social distancing measures in place, the festival has opted to go virtual.
ExplorASIAN festival includes programs, activities and events produced in collaboration with partners from the diverse communities in Metro Vancouver. Such activities and events this year include:
- Reading! You can view a comprehensive list of books and audiobooks available through the Vancouver Public Library and the Burnaby Public Library.
- Colouring with these Asian Heritage Month colouring posters
- Touring the #MOAFromHome (Museum of Anthropology at UBC).
- Join the Mehfil in May Recital This will be in celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr marking the end of Ramadhan, featuring writers and performers of Asian Heritage with your host Imtiaz Popat.
- Listen to a podcast! Titas and Tomes is a Filipinx podcast on Filipino literature and pop culture.
- Try Wellness at Home! Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is offering both yoga, and meditation online, weekly.
Activities and Events For the Whole Family
It’s important we continue to celebrate and recognize the historical feats Asian-Canadian’s have been apart of. The Official Declaration of Asian Heritage Month decrees:
- Diversity represents one of Canada’s greatest strengths, and we strive to ensure that all Canadians have the opportunity to reach their full potential and participate in Canada’s civic life.
- Over the last two centuries, immigrants have journeyed to Canada from East Asia, Southern Asia, Western, and Southeast Asia, bringing our society a rich cultural heritage representing many languages, ethnicities and religious traditions.
- The people of this diverse, vibrant and growing community have contributed to every aspect of life in Canada — from the arts and science to sport, business, and government.
- Asian Heritage Month offers all Canadians an opportunity to learn more about the history of Asian Canadians and to celebrate their contributions to the growth and prosperity of Canada
This month, join us and embrace Asian cultural diversity and prosperity in Canada!