Thursday, May 17, 2007

Half the month of May...

gone ... and I've just realized it's ...
Asian/ Pacific American Heritage Month.
Whilst Googling a related topic, I discovered that the annual designation of A/P AHM is here - today - now.
(In 1992, GW's dad did something right when he signed to expand Asian Pacific Heritage Week to a month long observation.)

For me, the month of May goes by with the usual nod to Mother's Day and several family birthdays, and I tend to miss Asian Pacific Month.

Just how do I manage to overlook all the hype: on tv, radio and press?!?
Perhaps because there's not no (that is to say - ain't) media build up to take note of.
Though awareness of APAHM might be more evident in major cities like San Fran, L.A., Seattle, Honolulu and NYC, there's nary a whisper or mention of it here in little ol' Placer County.

Asians have played a significant role in the settling of this area.
My own great great granddad traveled here from China in 1849 and headed straight for the gold fields. Like most Chinese who came to 'Gum Sahn', he intended to strike it rich, then go home. Reality check: it came to be that Chinese miners were only allowed to pick over spent claims abandoned by whites, so did my ancestor make a fortune of any size in the placer fields? Family stories have always been sketchy at best, so we may never know. It is indeed unfortunate that such an important part of my family's history may be completely lost with the passing of time and generations.

I do know, though - that the man was here.
The sojourner stayed awhile beyond the gold venture. Somehow, against all odds, he managed to raise a family (born in the U.S.A.!) before finally returning to China to live out his days...

It doesn't appear that Asian/Pacific Heritage Month is cause for celebration round these parts. No special programs for the community, no book signings, no presentations by school kids. No Hallmark cards.
Go figure.

Thankfully, two weeks remain to focus on the Asian/Pacific awareness factor; time enough for me to pay homage to the contributions made by my people to this country. After all, this is an official, government-endorsed period for recognition of Asian-ness, so I'd best acknowledge. What kind of full blooded flag waving All-American would I be otherwise?

Yellow Power (and Peril) aside, this gal will honor her heritage. Even more than she already does, if that is possible.