May is Asian Heritage Month in Canada.
This is a time to celebrate the achievements, contributions, and culture of Canadians of Asian descent. It is also a time to draw awareness to the issue of anti-Asian racism and discrimination.
(In the United States, there is the very similar Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, which also happens in May. This month includes Americans who trace ancestry back to countries in Asia, as well as in the Pacific islands of Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia.)
To help add to these celebrations, officials choose a theme for the month every year. For this year—the 20th anniversary of the month—the theme is: Continuing a Legacy of Greatness. Here is the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister for Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, talking about the theme.
One continent, many legacies
The idea of Asian Heritage Month in Canada can be traced back to the 1990s. It was made official in 2002, when the government signed a declaration to establish each May as a time to recognize the achievements and cultures of Canadians of Asian descent.
And a whole month is more than needed!
Because what we are all celebrating this month are continued legacies of greatness. Canadians of Asian descent may share a continent, but we're talking about the biggest continent on the planet. Coming from many dozens of countries, found in every imaginable climate and terrain, Asian immigrants to Canada have brought so many different cultures, cuisines, and traditions.
These exciting legacies have enriched Canada's tech, music, films, literature, theatre, industry, thought, spirituality, medicine, and, of course, FOOD. Yum! Whether it is pride in one's own heritage or gratitude from some of your favourite things in this country, we all have so much to celebrate this month. And there's lots to learn about one another as well!
To finish off this post, we want to send a warm Eid Mumbarak to all those who are currently celebrating Eid al-Fitr, which ends this evening. One of the holiest times in the Muslim year, this holiday marks the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting from dawn to dusk. Though exact traditions vary depending on one's background, for all Muslims it is a time of family and feasting!