celebrating Asian America all month long
We’re 1/3 of the way into the month of May, and we’re supposed to be celebrating our Asian heritage as a nation. I haven’t heard all that much buzz about it personally, have you?
In 1978, a joint congressional resolution established Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. The first 10 days of May were chosen to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants (May 7, 1843) and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed on May 10, 1869. In 1992, Congress expanded the 10-day observance to a monthlong celebration.
The estimated number of U.S. residents in July 2005 who said they were Asian or Asian in combination with one or more other races. This group comprised 5 percent of the total population. By 2050, the Asian American population is estimated to be 33.4 million, which would represent 8% of the total U.S. population by that year.
The percentage of the foreign-born from Asia who are naturalized U.S. citizens. [This means 48% are American-born and probably English-speaking! Hello!]
The percentage of Asians, age 25 and older, who have a bachelor’s degree or higher level of education. Asians have the highest proportion of college graduates of any race or ethnic group in the country.
Median household income for Asians in 2005, the highest among all race groups. However, median household income differed greatly by Asian group. For Asian Indians, for example, the median income in 2005 was $73,575; for Vietnamese-Americans, it was $50,925.
Poverty rate for Asians in 2005, up from 9.8 percent in 2004.
A big celebration in Washington DC this Saturday is called Fiesta Asia, the annual Asian American Heritage Festival. The mixed metaphor bothers me a bit. Fiesta is a word of Spanish origin. “Block Party” is all American. Don’t we have an word of Asian heritage for celebration or party?