Asian – Canadian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month has been celebrated since the 1990s, but it became an official Canadian observance in May 2002. Canada has a deep history of abuse and mistreatment of AAPI immigrants, which is why this year’s theme is stories of determination.
On May 24th at The Corner, we shared stories through food. The diversity of St. James Town is well reflected in our staff, and everyone was invited to bring food and wear clothes that highlighted their culture. The Asian- Canadian & Pacific Islander celebration at The Corner was a chance for us to honour and celebrate Asian North American staff in May! Staff participated in a potluck that highlighted their Asian heritage, and staff of all backgrounds brought food that reminded them of home. There were samosas and momos, spring rolls, kheer, zaatar man’oushe, fresh chutney and more! Almost everyone was dressed in beautiful and colourful clothes that showed off a piece of their heritage. We spent the evening explaining our dishes, exchanging laughs and sharing the memories attached to our foods. It was a beautiful get-together that filled our bellies and hearts.
It’s important to highlight, share and celebrate the diversity of our community, neighbours and peers. It allows us to grow, become more tolerant and understanding and love our individual differences. We should uplift Asian American folks everyday, but in May we should do so with strong intent and understanding.