Celebrating Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Month

How students at SMHS can recognize the AAPI community



Students around San Marcos High School show their love and support for AAPI by holding up a paper that reads, “I <3 (love) Asians and Pacific Islanders." These photos were made into a collage.

The month of May celebrates a lot of awareness; however, one that is overlooked is the celebration of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage. With 20.6 million people who identify as Asian, Pacific Islander, or Native Hawaiian in America, this month recognizes the cultures, traditions, and diversity of the AAPI communities. Believe it or not, there are only 186 Asians and Pacific Islanders combined at San Marcos High. 186 out of 3,392 students The AAPI community at SMHS may be small, but they deserve their month to be recognized. AAPI month  was established in 1992 to commemorate the Japanese immigrants’ arrival on May 7, 1843. The month-long period serves as an acknowledgment of all the struggles, triumphs, and cultures of the AAPI community. It also promotes cultural understanding and combats stereotypes and discrimination.

“I feel like this month, people should take time to recognize Asian accomplishments, but it shouldn’t mean outside of this [month] as well,” said Julia Chiang, a Japanese and Thai freshman.

As part of the Asian community, Chiang felt it necessary to spread awareness of this month and created the AAPI Month poster that hangs in the student union.

“I really wanted to share such an important month with the whole school and have them be aware of the AAPI groups we have here at SMHS,” said Chiang.

An important part of AAPI is standing up for the community against hate and discrimination.

“I definitely think tolerance is the first way to start [celebrating AAPI Month], being inclusive, and not being a bystander to the Asian community,” said the ASU club president, Maddy Hensley.

The best way to celebrate this month is to be an ally rather than a bystander in the community. Look out for those people who are struggling under stereotypes, and don’t just observe all the hate that is happening.

“[Be] an ally and not a bystander when hateful things happen,” said Hensley.

So, how can you celebrate this month? Well, there are many local Asian-run restaurants here in San Marcos that you can visit. Chefs Pho or Panda Garden are run by Asian families and offer authentic Asian food for you to try. You can also stop by the Filipino Depot in San Marcos and buy ingredients from the AAPI community. Want to celebrate at home? Watch movies and shows with AAPI actors. Crazy Rich Asians and Everything, Everywhere, All at Once are amazing movies that recognize Asian culture through film. Try listening to Asian bands or singers like Mxmtoon or TWICE.

I feel like this month, people should take time to recognize Asian accomplishments, but it shouldn’t mean outside of this [month] as well

— Chiang


“It’s important for others to acknowledge the impact that these people make and overall educate themselves about current events revolving around these communities,” said Chiang.

You can even celebrate AAPI month at SMHS!

“We’re having a tie-dye event in the quad [May 24] during lunch for anyone who wants to join and support,” said Hensley.

AAPI Month is a time to celebrate the diverse tapestry, honor the contributions, and recognize the challenges of the AAPI community. By supporting local Asian cuisine, stopping by Asian shops, and even watching AAPI movies, you are helping create a society of diversity and equality. However, let’s not only recognize this community in the month of May but throughout the year! Every culture deserves recognition, and you are helping that diversity by celebrating each race one month at a time.