The Month of May Was an Asian Celebration
By Cynthia J. Plue
There was a celebration during the month of May—it was Asian History Month! If you didn't celebrate, you missed learning about a wide variety of educational and historical issues. The most important facts center around Asian immigration and its impact on American culture.
[Editors note: The information in this article may be outdated and is included for archival use.]
The year 1785 marked the beginning of Asian immigration to the United States. Individual differences in reasons for migration are related to hopes and expectations. There were also differences in reception by American culture.
Since the eighteenth century, many Asians, consisting of 34 diverse ethnic groups, have continued to arrive in America. These immigrants have provided labor for the railroads, fishing, farming, and mining industries. They have also brought different cultures, beliefs, religions, and languages with them.
Captioned Media Items Help Meet Needs
American-born Asians range from first- to sixteen-generation Americans. Deaf Asians have needs which can be met using the captioned media items of the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP).
In promoting and enhancing Asian educational programs in America, the DCMP helps emphasize the multicultural diversity in American society and the deaf community.
DCMP educational media provide a wide array of viewpoints on literature and the arts. They include both nonfiction and fiction. When these materials present the wealth of literary and artistic chievements of Asian Americans, they provide Asian- American viewers with sources of identity and pride. They also enable others to develop respect for the culture and to expand their readiness for empathy.
Empathy for the diverse culture that is America is developed from viewing messages in DCMP media concerning universal human experiences and emotions (e.g., love, grief, anger, protest, and death). These captioned media items provide numerous opportunities for learning about and discussing the historical and contemporary issues of Asian communities. Reaching audiences of all backgrounds introduces diverse Asian perspectives about what it means to be "American."
National Asian Deaf Congress
Those who want more specific information regarding deaf Asians should know that the National Asian Deaf Congress (NADC) is the national organization of deaf Asians in America. NADC provides important community support, observes unique Asian traditions and customs, provides opportunities to network with other deaf Asians, and shares helpful resources.
The mission of the NADC is to promote cultural and ethnic pride for the empowerment of deaf Asian Americans, their families, and prospective communities.
The DCMP and the NADC are working together to increase knowledge of the diverse deaf Asian-American culture, making advances in empowerment and respect. This collaborative relationship has the goal of providing the best culturally appropriate captioned videotapes.