All About the Holidays: Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month

3 minutes

(male narrator) May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, a time for the United States to give special recognition to the many contributions to our history and society with roots in Asia and the Pacific islands. Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders are a diverse group of people coming from almost 50 different countries, including China, Japan, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Tahiti. Although islands, like Hawaii, Guam, and Samoa, became U.S. states and territories, their inhabitants are still considered to be Pacific Islanders by heritage. Having come from so many places, they speak over 100 languages and dialects. With such a variety of customs and traditions, they have contributed a wealth of literature, art, music, games, and cuisine to American culture. Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders have been responsible for some of America's greatest scientific, technological, and economic achievements too. In fact, the early immigrants from the mid-1800s laid nearly 2,000 miles of track for the transcontinental railroad, which opened on May 10, 1869. To commemorate this anniversary, President Jimmy Carter, in 1979, declared the first week of May to be Asian-Pacific American Heritage Week. In 1992, President George H.W. Bush signed a law to extend the holiday for the entire month of May in order to celebrate all the past, present, and future achievements of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders. Now, throughout the month, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders showcase their heritage at festivals and celebrations across the country. At these festivals, you might learn to dance the hula, make a Chinese paper lantern, write your name in Japanese calligraphy, or taste new foods like spicy curry or poi. What would you like to learn about Asian-American and Pacific Islander cultures?


Now Playing As: Captioned (English) (change)

Report a Problem

In the United States, May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. Many people use the month to honor the accomplishments of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The month celebrates their diverse heritage. Part of the “All About the Holidays” series.

Media Details

Runtime: 3 minutes

All About the Holidays
Episode
2 minutes
Grade Level: 4 - 8
All About the Holidays
Episode
1 minute
Grade Level: 4 - 8
All About the Holidays
Episode 1
2 minutes
Grade Level: 4 - 8
All About the Holidays
Episode 2
2 minutes
Grade Level: 4 - 8
All About the Holidays
Episode 3
2 minutes
Grade Level: 4 - 8
All About the Holidays
Episode 4
2 minutes
Grade Level: 4 - 8
All About the Holidays
Episode 5
2 minutes
Grade Level: 4 - 8
All About the Holidays
Episode 6
1 minute
Grade Level: 4 - 8
All About the Holidays
Episode 7
1 minute
Grade Level: 4 - 8
All About the Holidays
Episode 8
2 minutes
Grade Level: 4 - 8