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Spam and Karaoke! 6 Ways to Celebrate API Heritage Month in Quarantine

By Non Kuramoto

It’s May! HAPPY ASIAN AND PACIFIC ISLANDER AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH!


It’s hard to feel celebratory with all APAH-love events of past years being cancelled and the uptick in violence towards Asians. We love gathering and sharing food, so things are rough. But corona can’t distract me from all the accomplishments by people of API Heritage! Here are things I’m doing this month to say hell yeah to being Asian. 


1. Catch up on Radical Cram School


Radical Cram School is a web series by performance artist Kristina Wong. She teaches Asian Asian American and Pacific Islander girls how to resist racism. It’s adorable, educational, and uplifting. Everything I want while I eat my third bowl of oatmeal because I’m tired of cooking. 


2. SPAM Time


Speaking of cooking, people are buying up SPAM, causing shortages in grocery stores everywhere. Yes, this Specially Processed American Meat is great survival food. Looooong shelf-life and the perfect saltiness that elevates any carb. We all know who prepares it the best and in the most creative ways. Us.  


Check out Specially Processed American Me’s Facebook Page for a range of recipes, from simple to experimental to try out for yourself. 


Specially Processed American Me is a project by Jaime Sunwoo, a multidisciplinary artist, that “celebrates Asian American Stories and reflects on the Korean war (2020 is the 70th anniversary of the Korean War!).” - Jaime Sunwoo.


3. Virtual Karaoke


Who are we without a good karaoke night? Using Zoom and Watch2Gether, I hosted virtual karaoke feat. songs by Japanese Breakfast, Bruno Mars, Rina Sawayama, Lea Salonga, and more!


4. Make a quiz about yourself. ACE IT. 


I love a trivia night. So I made a quiz for myself where the answers were all something I like about myself. Guess what, I got 100%. It’s a helpful exercise to halt my spiraling in isolation. May is also mental health awareness month - ironic considering the lack of mental health acknowledgement in the Asian American community. 


Real talk: I find that Asian Americans, especially femme Asian Americans, have been conditioned to fear happiness and self-love. The combination of the Japanese belief that any show of happiness is gaudy and American media depiction of the suffering Asian woman as beautiful made me eat that self-flagellation up. 


And I’m saying FUCK THAT. 


I’m dope. We’re dope. Do what’s pleasurable for you. Eat yourself up. 


5. Call my API friends


Then I spread the love to my friends. It’s basic but important. Hearing loved one’s voices is the second best way to up oxytocin levels after hugs. We shower each other with praise. We tell each other how enough we are. We eat our respective SPAM Musubis together. 


6. Watch Model Majority’s Live Stream Show on 5/16


Model Majority is a New York based all-Asian Sketch Team and we’re doing our first ever livestream! Out of towners, now is your chance to see a MM show! 


Ok I’ll admit it.  I’m in Model Majority and I want you to see our show. We’re doing a special APAH themed show and a dance party with DJ Bën Kím! Come through, it will definitely be celebratory.


FINALLY:


If you’re not Asian, leave us alone, and DON’T PUNCH US!


Image: Non Kuramoto

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