The Weekly Rec

APAHM+Edition

Graphic made by A. Guo

APAHM Edition

A. Guo

Since the beginning of COVID-19, there have been plenty of xenophobic attacks on the Asian community. But this month is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, also known as APAHM. A good way to celebrate this month and fight xenophobia is to talk and learn about Asian American and Pacific Islander stories, so this week’s rec list is APAHM themed!

 

Reading:

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series by Jenny Han

I personally have watched and read this movie and book series 15 times all together. The story is about a Korean American teenager named Lara Jean, whose personal love letters are sent out to her real past and current crushes. It’s not about an Asian American girl falling in love, it’s just a girl falling in love who happens to be Asian American. Furthermore, the author, Jenny Han, is also Korean American and writes the series based on her own experiences, which make the books quick and really fun reads.

But the reason I love this story the most is because I feel heard and seen. Lara Jean is the most relatable character I’ve ever seen in the media, and she has made me more proud of who I am, and realize that I can be an All-American girl in my own way.

 

Watching:

New COVID-19 study Confirms: ‘Beating up Asians does NOT prevent Coronavirus’

Funny, ironic, and important are words I’d use to describe this video created by well known YouTuber, Nigahiga. Ryan Higa is a popular YouTuber with 21.4 million subscribers and happens to be Japanese American and raised in Hawaii. He’s talked about being Asian multiple times throughout his career. 

This passive aggressive video in particular talks about the recent acts of xenophobia towards Asians because of COVID-19, and how in fact, beating up Asians “may actually increase the spread” of COVID-19. 

The Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj

The Patriot Act is a Netflix original series that is also completely free on YouTube. Hasan Minhaj, the Indian-American host delves into the political and cultural realm with humor and a bunch of cool graphics. He discusses topics like affirmative action, public transportation, and retiring. As one of the very few South Asians in the public eye, Minhaj has showed that Asian Americans can be full of humor and personality.

 

Listening To: 

Asia Rising 

Asia Rising is an online video concert that features worldwide Asian talent with artists like Keshi, Beabadoobee, Mxmtoon, Rich Brian, NIKI, and more. Not only does the show prove Asians can sing, be funny, and be creative, but it also shows the diversity of Asians and Asian Americans, and that there are more countries in Asia than just China, South Korea, and Japan. 

 

Doing: Take Out

A lot of Asian restaurants have also been suffering from racism with a lack of orders, but according to the Food and Drug Administration, “there is no evidence to suggest that food produced in the United States can transmit COVID-19.” So as long as you are washing your hands, buying take out is completely safe. 

In particular my favorite restaurant has been Taipei Cafe, which is probably the most authentic Chinese food I have ever eaten in the Triangle other than in my mom’s kitchen. If you are looking to order some food from there, I find their Salted Duck and Peking Duck extremely delicious!

 

Honorable Mentions:  

  • Never Have I Ever
    • A funny and refreshing series about a first generation Indian-American teen, Devi Vishwakumar on Netflix.
  • The Half of It
    • A story about platonic love, with a main character, Ellie Chu, as a queer Chinese-American in a small white town.
  • ABG Podcast
    • “A podcast for the modern day Asian American woman,” is hosted by Melody Cheng, Helen Wu, and Janet Wang. 
  • Eric Nam
    • Korean American born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia with music and podcasts that showcase his charismatic personality.