Asian Heritage Month

May is Asian Heritage Month in Canada.   It’s a start in a hopeful direction…

Creating a Space for Conversation and Connection

Asian Heritage Month

May is Asian Heritage Month in Canada.  It’s a start in a hopeful direction in my opinion.

This post has been created as my offering to our community to learn more and start the conversations with each other, friends, neighbours, and people of Asian descent and heritage. 

My daughter came home wearing a golden ribbon given out in her class explaining, “it’s about combatting Asian racism and Canada’s Asian Heritage Month.”    As she is being formed in her own personhood, I was reminded that I have not been intentional enough to walk with her to help her learn and celebrate her diverse heritage.  She is like many of her friends are Canadian and are of mixed-race and multi-ethnic ancestry.   Thus, this post is my response to my own hopes for her and all of us.

I am Christian.  I am an Asian/Pacific Islander male (second/third generation descent) born and raised in North America.  My story is still in “formation” when it comes to my identity as a person of colour.    Creating this space is a gift as I am still coming to grips with my own voice.  The DNA of Asian cultures traditionally has taught us to not make waves, not draw attention to ourselves, and keep silent.   As many of us are coming out of the woodwork to share, advocate, and champion our shared stories, I hope that it will be honouring and truthful.   As all stories matter whether it be of triumph, injustice, pain, racism, or reconciliation.  

As a believer, I cling to the verse, “Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.”  As that is probably the posture we need to take to let the light shine and awaken us all to where we can be people of Shalom.

Please return to this website post as I plan to share topics and resources that I consider interesting and intriguing.   I hope topics like these will be beneficial to you:

  • Golden Ribbon Day May 20th, 2022
  • Being of Asian descent in Canada and North America
  • Anti-Asian Racism, The Church’s Response, Canada’s Response
  • The Church, Asian Church, Famous Asian Christians
  • Trending Conversations Among the Asian Diaspora Globally
  • Nuance Asian Communities, Culture, Arts in BC and Canada
  • Growing Up without Asian Representation in Media
  • Growing Up Asian and Male in North America
  • Asian Mixed-Race Identity
  • What’s with BTS, Squid Games, and the Perpetuation of Asian Stereotypes?

For many who are of Asian descent, the metaphor of a meal and “open table” welcoming guests and strangers is something that is embedded in us.   I think the origin comes from the story of the triune God as “other” and “stranger” being given a seat at a table set up by Sarah and Abraham.  The meal was one that blessed generations to come.   Who knows, by connecting with “others” we meet the face of God?   I pray you will have friends at your table and find the blessing that ripples to those that follow us.   May we all grow in understanding the “other” in us all.  May you find bridges to connect and know each other better.  May we make room for a shared life together. 

As colonized a person, I am grateful for being able to express myself on these traditional lands first walked upon by the Indigenous peoples of Canada.

I hope you find it helpful and also my introductions to the various links or videos presented.   If you want to have a call, coffee, or meal for a conversation about topics raised here, love to connect. (Kenton ML)

Resources
UBC's Santa Ono's Interview on Asian Heritage Month

MAY 20ASIAN GOLD RIBBON DAY

About Asian Heritage Month

Addressing Anti-Asian Racism

1907 Anti-Asian Riots BC360 Virtual Walk

Asian Heritage by the Numbers2021 Report

Available in Chinese (Std/Simplified), French, Tagalog, Chinese, Korean, EnglishINFO GRAPHICS TO COMBAT RACISM

IDENTITY & Journey

As Asians, Mixed Ancestry, Bi-Racial, Growing up in North America
Topics Listed
COMING SOON

SHARED STORIES

Immigration Story - Coming to Canada during Gold Rush
Coming to Canada - from Hong Kong
Southeast Asian Immigrant Stories

Japanese Community Vancouver

I did work in Downtown Eastside on Powell street and the walk there and around Oppenheimer Park is a mix of grieving and asking questions about what could have been and what is ahead.    

At the time, tents were built on the old Asahi field and the children’s playground was made off-limits.   This spring 2022, the clean has allowed for the space to breathe again.    Just a few blocks away, on a Saturday morning, we see a flood of parents dropping off their kids by car or walking to the Japanese Hall to learn Japanese.  Some of the people we met were second or third Japanese and of mixed ancestry.  It was so good to see photos and images of the Japanese Community story prominent as we visited the hall.  

See links below and do watch the documentary of the Asahi Baseball team story. 

What Happened to Vancouvers Japan Town Vancouver Sun Story - Japanese Hall National Historic Site Sleeping Tigers - The Asahi Baseball Story Documentary baseball pioneers torn apart by internment
BC's Japanese Heritage
Being Proud of Who We Are
Message From Celebrity Chef Trevor Lui

FOR KIDS

Games, Trivia, Asian FAQS
10 Ways to Celebrate Asian-Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Get a Globe or Map + Explore

Don’t have a globe, use Google Maps

You can take a 3D “walk” through different places. Use Google Earth to “visit” historic locations.

Need a guide? Keep in mind that the term “Asian-Pacific” encompasses a wide array of cultures and geographies.

  • All of the Asian continent: This includes about 50 countries – from China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, and the Philippines to (in South Asia) India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan.
  • Melanesia: New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands
  • Micronesia: Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, and the Federated States of Micronesia
  • Polynesia: New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, and Easter Island
  • Look for the countries and people represented in the Raya 2021 animated film

How many places can your child find on their own? (How many can you?) Which have they heard of? 

Read a children’s book featuring Asian characters, written by Asian authors, or illustrated by Asian artists.

Learn about traditional Asian and Pacific Island music and instruments.

Get creative with kid-friendly art that honors Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander traditions.

Do Origami, Make Paper Lei, Learn Hula, Learn Fan Butterfly Dance…  Google Search ideas.

Take a Virtual Vacation Asia, Hawaii or the Pacific Islands!

Take Out Tasting Excusion

Whether it be a Food Court or Osaka or T&T or a local Asian restaurant, taste-testing can be fun.

Here is the list of foods that are similar and easy for 4- 9-year-olds to try.

  • Chicken Karaage – in Japanese restaurants, it’s just mini fried chicken or chicken wings  (make sure sauce is on the side
  • Terikayi Chicken or Beef with Rice – mild and savour
  • Brave souls venture to California Rolls (made with cod/fish cooked to look like imitation Crab) with avocado and light mayonnaise wrapped in Nori.   We ask them to remove the cucumbers.
  • Take Out Beef Balls Dim Sum (T&T/Osaka), giant meatballs with an Asian mild sesame flavouring
  • Chinese Sticky Rice (Wrapped in lotus Leaf- T&T/Osaka or Dim Sum places) is like Asian Risotto
    • After opening it up, you can enjoy the gluttonous steamed rice and hidden in it is a small mix of chicken, mushroom, tiny egg yoke, a slice of Chinese sausage…     some kids of everything but the mushrooms.
  • Chicken Chow Mein – easy favourite and some kids love the veggies too
  • Beef Broccoli – Easy mild
  • Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice – mild  – like curry chicken

 

 

Pen Palling to Other Countries/Cultures

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