Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month

Several children stand around a library instructor, everyone strumming a ukulele.
Ukulele series Play, Practice & Perform, HCLS Savage Branch.

by Sahana C.

This Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebrate the incredible diversity and cultural influence of folks under the AAPI umbrella. AAPI culture has become more prominent recently, though it has long been an integral part of our community and our county. Going from K-Pop to Bollywood, from Vietnamese cuisine, Thai food, and Chinese staples, to things like ukuleles and tattooing that hail from the Pacific Islands, there are traces of and homages to AAPI influence across society. Howard County Library System has a World Language Collection, and while the specific materials may differ between branches, we have DVDs, books, and other materials in a wide variety of languages, including Bengali, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Hindi, Korean, Japanese, Tagalog, Thai, and Vietnamese, to name a few.

I grew up listening to Bollywood and watching Bollywood movies that we would bring home from the library. Having the World Language Collection as a staple within the library has always been incredibly significant to me. It’s a tangible connection to my culture. I try always to recommend that folks looking for new and different movies give Bollywood a try, and the expanse of our World Language selection makes that possible.

This spring we have a wealth of classes to highlight AAPI authors, traditions, art, food, and culture. We’ll jam out at Savage Branch using ukuleles (that can be requested and borrowed!) with Savage Ukes. We’ll create origami flowers and learn about the history of kusudama, participate in Anime Clubs at Savage and Miller branches to talk about our favorite anime and manga, and read books like Interior Chinatown together (with the Reading Human Rights book discussion group) so that we can discuss in community.

We would love to see you at the branches, attending any of our events. Discover more on our classes and events calendar.

Asian Cuisine Made Easy!
For adults. Register here.
Thu Huynh, a registered dietitian nutritionist with the Health Living Team at Giant Food, presents seven top tips on how to incorporate Asian cuisine and lifestyle into your life.
Wed, May 3 | 7 – 8 pm

Nonfiction Addiction
For adults. Register here for the in-person session and here for the online/hybrid session.
Explore the genre of nonfiction.
In May: The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui.
Thu, May 18 | 7 – 8 pm
East Columbia Branch

Glenwood Goes to Hawaii
Ages 0-5. Ticketed; free tickets available 15 mins before class starts.
Shake off winter blues and go Hawaiian as we catch a wave. Enjoy tropical music, games, and stories under palm trees on beach blankets. Tropical attire encouraged.
Fri, May 19 | 10:30 – 11:15 am   
Glenwood Branch

High Tide in Hawaii: A Magic Tree House Special
Ages 6-10. Ticketed; free tickets available 15 mins before class starts.
Join Jack & Annie in the Magic Tree House as they escape high tide in Hawaii. Enjoy games, music, and a craft under palm trees and sunny skies. Tropical attire encouraged. Catch a wave!
Fri, May 19 | 2 – 3 pm     
Glenwood Branch

National Museum of Asian Art
All ages.
Investigate scenes and objects of daily life in works of art across Asia to discover what people in the past valued and how they celebrated through food and rituals. Through the objects you examine, compare daily life in the past to today.
Fri, May 19 | 2 – 3 pm
Elkridge Branch

Global Neighbors – Republic of Korea
All ages.
Experience the culture and contributions of one of the largest demographics in our community. Enjoy a presentation and celebration showcasing traditional Korean music, Taekwondo, Korean Fan Dance, K-Pop dance demonstration, and Korean origami and calligraphy. Celebrate the diversity of our community!
Sun, May 21 | 2 – 4 pm
Miller Branch

Craft Pop-up Shop: AAPI Heritage Month Edition
Ages 4 and up. Allow 15 minutes. Drop in.
Pop in and make a craft inspired by AAPI Heritage Month.
Tue, May 23 | 5:30 – 7 pm
Miller Branch

Recipe Exchange: Asians Chefs and Asian American Cuisine
For adults.
Learn about Asian chefs and the history of Asian American cuisine. Meet other foodies to learn new recipes or share some your favorites.
Wed, May 24 | 7 – 8 pm
Savage Branch

Sahana is an Instructor and Research Specialist at the Savage Branch. They enjoy adding books to their “want to read” list despite having a mountain of books waiting for them already.

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