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Asian Heritage Month opportunity to embrace diversity

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 11:54 PDT, Fri May 7, 2021

Last Updated: 2:13 PDT, Wed May 12, 2021

May is Asian Heritage Month, and the City of Richmond encourages everyone to take this opportunity to learn about and celebrate our community’s Asian heritage and the rich diversity of our residents.

Asian Heritage Month is an annual celebration of how British Columbians with roots to over 30 Asian and South Asian countries have contributed to our province’s economic and cultural success. With two-thirds of Richmond residents born outside the country and the majority having connections to Asian cultural roots, Richmond is one of the most diverse cities in Canada.

“Now, more than ever, is the time to recognize how our City has been shaped by many diverse cultures and to learn more about the many achievements and contributions of Asian Canadians to Richmond,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “This is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic when we have seen increased incidents of anti-Asian racism. Everyone should stand up against all forms of racism and hate and stay true to our shared values of respect, inclusion and diversity.”

The theme for Asian Heritage Month 2021 is Recognition, Resilience, and Resolve which embodies the sentiments that peoples of Asian descent in Canada have experienced. It honours their contributions and diverse stories that are rooted in resilience and perseverance, and calls for all Canadians to come together to combat anti-Asian racism and discrimination.

With more programs and learning opportunities going online, discovering Asian heritage can take place from anywhere at any time through online resources that include:

• A Richmond Public Library special presentation of Unwanted Soldiers, a film looking at the experiences of a Chinese-Canadian veteran of World War II that examines the legacy of discrimination and racism against British Columbia’s Chinese-Canadian community.

Richmond Public Library’s Asian Heritage Month online celebration on May 20 at 2:00pm that will include stories, crafts and more to highlight the many cultural perspectives for ages three and up.

• Union, a stimulating and thought-provoking body of works from the Richmond Art Gallery that looks at ancestral roots in a futuristic setting.

The Canadian Heritage website.

• Over 50 virtual Asian Heritage Month online events and exhibitions at explorASIAN.

• Memories of the Japanese Canadian experience through the eyes of the Murakami family at Britannia Shipyards.

• A virtual walking tour of Chinatown presented by the Chinese Canadian Historical Society of BC.

• The Royal BC Museum Punjabi Legacy Project which aims to preserve, explore and share the contributions that Canadians of south Asian descent have made to BC and Canada.

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