For those not in the know, which is probably most of you – it’s AAPI Month (Asian American Pacific Islander Month) which celebrates those of the Asian and Pacific Islander persuasion in America – and I’ll also say Canada as well because we are pretty much America’s little brother. The only reason that I ever remember this is because I’ll typically get an email from HR or some corporation will send out a tweet. It’s not something that I look out for or celebrate – as I don’t even know how to celebrate being Asian? What should I do? Start my day with a bowl of miso soup and do Asian grandma stretches at the local park, then at night down a bottle of yoghurt flavoured soju, then sing JJ Lin at karaoke? Let’s be honest here, nobody cares. I don’t care, you probably don’t care, the only person who cares is the HR lady Tammy. So I propose a few fast and loose rules on how we should celebrate Asian month.
First order of business, I want reparations for all those Chinese miners who died building that railroad. I want free train rides for life. Or you could go up to an Asian person and say sorry. If they look at you and say “Hey I’m not Chinese” then you apologize for Japanese internment camps, or the LA riots, or colonization (that should cover all Asians/Pacific Islanders), or Mark Wahlberg. But how is this reparation? Well you have to do it while kotowing, therefore allowing us to “lil bro” you.
If you’re a white person dating an Asian person, you need to apologize for any embarrassing micro-aggression from family members, friends from high school, and just fellow white folk in public. For once in your life, you – one person, you’re going to represent an entire race just like Asians/minorities. So imagine you’re at a restaurant and you order something with mayonnaise you have to think “Are the non-whites going to look at me like I’m a stereotype?” Every time you pass a stranger on the street and do a fake no teeth smile I want you to think “Was that too white?”
Also, if you are the type of person to get your nails done, or go to a convenience store, or get your dry cleaning done – you must tip in order to give back to Asian owned businesses. It’s about time we got paid more for taking care of your bodies in a way that you don’t need them to be taken care of. And yes we are talking shit, you know we are, we know you know we are, we know that you know that you don’t know how to speak the language – let’s not hide this.
However, to celebrate AAPI month you will eat the national comfort food for all Asian/Pacific Islander Americans which is instant noodles with a fried egg – bonus points if you also add a slice of spam. You are also allowed to eat tons of dessert, but not normal desserts. The desserts have to be made from rice, beans, or soy. When you finish the dessert you have to say “Not too sweet” under your breath as Asians don’t like desserts that are too sweet. Also, we are celebrating weabs. If you pass by a grade schooler with an anime shirt you have to say “Hey! Nice shirt” even though it means absolutely nothing to you.
After reading this, I hope that you understand what needs to be done in order to have a successful AAPI month. I know that these rules are a little loose and quick but I’m also not trying to gatekeep this holiday, something that I know Asian Americans are really good at (maybe that’s another article). Will this change your life and outlook towards yellow and brown people? Probably not, you will go on and not care about racism about Asians or Pacific Islanders – as you do in your daily life. But if I can get you to think about us a little more as people and less as novelties or accessories – that’s a win for our community.
Also can we talk about Asian month being the same as mental health month? That’s ironic.