AAPI Month Events (Episode 6)

by Leeya

This month is Asian American and Pacific Islander History (AAPI) month. Although we didn’t get to do an edition on APPI this year, I still wanted to mention it. In celebration of AAPI month, my family and I attended several events.

On late Friday afternoon, we attended Wiley Elementary’s International Night. Since Wiley is a magnet school, children are given the option to learn one of five languages: German, French, Spanish, Japanese, or Chinese. Every year, Wiley holds an International Night to showcase what children have been working on in their classes and celebrate the end of the year. At this International Night, my brother and his dance school (Leela School of Dance), performed and taught traditional Indian dance called Bharatnatyam. In front of his entire school, my brother performed. He shared his culture with his friends and classmates no matter how scary it might have been. After the performance, his teachers taught the audience some basic dance steps and hand movement. There were all different skin colors, body sizes, and cultures, dancing and participating in the demonstration. It was great to see AAPI culture being shared with the school and celebrated.

On Friday night, we attended the AAPI Month event at Moore Square organized by North Carolina Asian Americans Together (NCAAT). You may remember that we interviewed the founder of this organization, Chavi Koneru, last month. The event had a great DJ, a breakdancing performance and demonstration, different AAPI cultural dances, and lots of vendors. It was lively and full of music. 

Across the park, was a vigil for the people shot in Buffalo, New York organized by the NCAAT and the Wake County Black Student Union. Speeches were given, candles were lit, and condolences were given.

For me, it was a beautiful juxtaposition between diversity being celebrated and diversity literally being shot down. It showcases what our country can be and what it has been lately.

On Saturday afternoon, we attended the AAPI event at the Raleigh Little Theatre outdoor amphitheater. This event focused on the political aspect of AAPI by having AAPI elected officials speak about the significance of this month and what is being done to protect AAPI lives. Before speeches, a colorful, traditional Chinese dance was done.