India Post News Service
The San Francisco Bay Area has long been home to a large Asian American community including immigrants and native-born residents. Today, 27 percent of Bay Area residents – just over two million people – identify as Asian American or Pacific Islander (API), second only to the Honolulu metro. The Bay Area’s Asian community is among its fastest-growing groups and is also incredibly diverse, representing dozens of different ancestry backgrounds and a multitude of cultures. Since 1990, the U.S. government has designated the month of May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, celebrating the achievements and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the United States.
Fremont is one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse cities in the Bay Area, with 49% of our residents being born outside of the United States and 63.2% speaking a language other than English at home. The first Asian heritage month was celebrated on May 27 at the Fremont downtown event center on Capitol Avenue. The event was organized by Fremont Hindu temple and Hongkonger Community Center with other Asian organizations. The day included performances, craft and food.
The festival provided a platform for local Asian artists and performers to showcase their talents and share their culture with the wider community. The festival also included exhibitions, and activities that promote Asian traditions and history. There were culturally rich performances showcasing various art forms from India, China, Philippines, Hong Kong, Burma, Nepal, Vietnam, Korea, Japan. Many youth groups demonstrated kungfu, lion dance and many forms of Chinese culture. Most of these groups had an exhibition booth at the festival showcasing their culture and art works.
Mayor Lily Mei, Councilmember Yang Shao, Council member Desire Campbell attended the event and addressed the gathering. Benjamin Yee, Fremont Planning commissioner and Dr Romesh Japra, Chairman, FIA greeted the gathering and thanked all the organizations and ethnic groups who had attended and made this maiden event a huge success.
“I really hope that everyone who comes to AAPIconic today just learns something about our culture, whether that’s food, whether that’s our talent, whether that’s supporting small businesses that do exist within Fremont City” Mayor Mei said. She hopes events like this will encourage more open conversations among friends, family and coworkers. Perhaps it will instill more curiosity and eagerness to learn as well.
It’s very important for the entire society to know our culture and know the value we appreciate and we are all a part of this society,” said Dr Romesh Japra, Chairman, FIA. These initiatives allow residents to learn about the different Asian cultures and traditions and foster understanding and appreciation for the Asian community.
In recent years, there has been a frightening rise in anti-Asian discrimination and hate-fuelled violence against Asian communities. We have to continue our collective efforts to condemn, denounce and combat racial discrimination in all its forms.
There were culturally rich performances showcasing various art forms from India, China, Philippines, Hong Kong, Burma, Nepal, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Tibet. Many youth groups demonstrated kungfu, lion dance and many forms of Chinese culture.