May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, when we celebrate the many contributions and achievements of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to the United States. This month is an opportunity to recognize and honor the rich history, culture and traditions of these diverse communities.
Regions associates share their personal reflections on AAPI heritage month:
To me, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month means family and resilience. Growing up I was taught that, to be successful, I had to be resilient in all circumstances. During difficult times, I knew I could count on my family to help me.
My favorite tradition is always when my family and I get together to celebrate Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. These get-togethers consist of many family members and relatives, and we enjoy indulging in several amounts of Filipino food.
I wish people knew that family is so important. Having a three-bedroom/one-bathroom house growing up did not matter when we had 15-plus family members come to visit. My family is so close that they are willing to sleep on the living floor side by side so that everyone is under the same roof! Also, food and feeding others is so important that they will continue to feed you until you leave the dining table. It doesn’t matter if you already had five courses to eat, the food will keep coming!
“Nothing happens by chance, by fate. You create your own fate by your actions. That’s Karma.”
As per Hindu beliefs, the Land of Action, “Karma bhumi,” is as important as your Land of Birth, “Janm bhumi.” The large and diverse Asian American community has historically struggled to maintain its identity, be included within the society, or appreciated for its contribution within its “Karma bhumi.”
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month represents an interesting and exciting time for my family, where the wider community is recognizing the contributions and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States.
My favorite tradition is the Hindu celebration of Diwali, the Festival of Lights. This festival represents the triumph of light over darkness and is a marker of our innate ability to overcome the trials and tribulations of life. We light candles, set off fireworks, decorate the house with colored sand, and bring family and friends together to enjoy good food.
I wish that more were aware of the heterogeneity of Indian community. It’s a peaceful and diverse group of people with many different religions, languages, cultures and traditions living together in harmony. Despite its social, cultural and linguistic diversity, India takes pride in its unity and being world’s largest democracy.”
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is a time to honor and celebrate our culture, history and unique contributions to society. It’s also an opportunity to raise awareness and empower AAPI individuals to take pride in their heritage and identity.
One of my favorite traditions growing up in Hawaii was lei-making with my grandma. The lei is a traditional Polynesian garland made from flowers and leaves, and the exchange of leis is an important symbol of love, respect and aloha spirit.
Family and community are at the heart of Pacific Islander culture, with strong bonds and close-knit relationships. Also, Pacific Islanders have a deep connection to the land and sea, and our culture emphasizes the importance of living in harmony with nature.
It’s really amazing to have this month to highlight Asian heritage at Regions. This truly reminds everyone of the cultural diversity here. As an associate from a foreign country but living in the U.S., I feel I have the responsibility to share my culture, experience, food, language and history with the people around me.
Lunar New Year is my favorite tradition by far. I feel very fortunate to lead Regions’ Lunar New Year celebration for the past nine years. In 2023, we have more than 300 associates gathered virtually and in person in Atlanta to celebrate Lunar New Year at Regions.
AAPI Heritage Month Ecards
Ecards are available to help you celebrate and raise awareness throughout the month.
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