Ways to Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month in the Inner Northwest

Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is celebrated each year in May. We focus on members of the AAPI community.

SPOKANE, Washington – Americans in Asia and the Pacific Islands make up about 6% of the US population. That’s over 20 million people. Not only that, but the ancestral roots of AAPI people make up over 50% of the world.

Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is celebrated each year in May. It is celebrated in May to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad. The nearly 2,000 mile section of track was completed on May 10, 1869.

It was the first continuous railway line to cross North America and the majority of the workers laying the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

These are the counties included in the Asian American and Pacific Islander category. There are a total of 48 countries in Asia, including China, India, Philippines, Russia, Iran, and many more. The regions of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia are sub-regions of Oceania. Polynesia is made up of more than 1000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean. They are also included in the celebration of Heritage Month in May.

KREM 2 highlights AAPI members in our community. Here are some of our favorite local businesses, restaurants and events you should visit in the Inner Northwest.

Chinese Spokane Association

The Chinese Spokane Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing together people of Chinese culture in Spokane. They are organizing an AAPI Heritage Day on Saturday June 12 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will be held at West Lawn Plaza at Centerplace.

The event is an opportunity for people to experience Chinese culture without having to travel to China, an option that was not available due to the coronavirus pandemic. Activities like learning to write names in Mandarin and picking up pee with chopsticks will be available along with prepackaged food. They ask participants to wear masks and stay socially distant.

President Weiling Zhu has joined the Up with KREM team. She taught them the best way to use chopsticks and how to write the word “blessing” in Mandarin. She even wrote down the names of the anchors in Mandarin and told them their meaning.

Learn to use chopsticks like a pro:

Learn to write in Mandarin:

Learning Mandarin Names:

Northwest Hula Company

Northwest Hula Company is the only professional hula dance entertainment company in Spokane with over 100 students learning hula in camps and classes each year.

They taught Danamarie McNicholl how to do the hula and explained the meaning of the movements. Danamarie then taught the other Up with KREM anchors what she had learned on air!

Asian bistro d’bali

Mamma Jeanie Choi is an expert in Southeast Asian cuisine. She is the owner and chef of Asian bistro d’bali. While the AAPI community includes many countries, d’bali includes a wide range of comfort food with a South East Asian focus.

Indoor curry

Noreen Hiski is the chef and owner of Indoor curry. His restaurant recently organized a “Show up for India” fundraiser inspired by Hiski’s family who live in India. They have raised more than $ 12,000 in coronavirus relief for India.

RELATED: How to Help With the COVID Outbreak in Spokane India

She joined the Up with KREM team to explain what curry is and what it isn’t.

WSU AAPI Student Center

Dominique Faga-autau is the retention advisor for the Central United States of America and the Pacific Islands at Washington State University. He told Up with KREM what it was like to help AAPI students feel connected, despite most conversations happening through Zoom.

Mangrove Coffee

Ratree Shadduck moved to the United States after meeting her husband in Thailand while in the Air Force. They are now co-owners Mangrove Coffee, a restaurant located in a renovated house in Spokane Valley! They serve a mix of flavors she learned while living around the world, including Thai cuisine and freshly baked goods.

Jamie Aquino with the kitchen engine

Jamie Aquino is a culinary instructor at Kitchen motor in Spokane. She teaches herbal dishes and has a special knack for Filipino cuisine. She showed the Up with KREM team how to prepare her grandmother’s pancit.


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