Asian American Day Festival comes back to Boston Common
Participating organizations and board members attend the Seventh Asian American Day Celebration at the Boston Common on Sept. 9. (Image courtesy of Valerie Li.)
The annual Asian American Day marked its second year of being a statewide official holiday to commemorate Asian American heritage on Sept. 9. In 2016, the Boston City Council declared every second Saturday of September as Asian American Day, which makes it the first proclamation in a major U.S. city.
It was the first time for Jade Li, a young immigrant whose roots trace back to Suzhou, China, to volunteer at the event in Boston.
“I came here about six months ago and I decided to continue doing some volunteer work because it offers a great opportunity to meet like-minded people,” Li said.
Boston City Councilor At-Large Michelle Wu (left) spoke at the event, bringing her son Blaise, with attorney Edward Ye Huang on the right. (Image courtesy of Valerie Li.)
According to organizer Asian American Association of Boston (AAAB), the festival gathered more than 30,000 people to Boston Common to celebrate different cultures across Asia. Long lines were formed at some of the 30 food vendors present.
“Tell your friends, family and colleagues about Asian American Day because we have become an official holiday in the city of Boston,” said attorney Edward Ye Huang, AAAB president.
Huang announced AAAB received a proclamation from Gov. Charlie Baker to adopt Asian American Day in Massachusetts this year. “Asian American Day is to recognize the contributions of Asian Americans to this beautiful country. The significance of Asian American Day is profound. It is not a holiday for only Asian Americans, it is for everyone to celebrate diversity,” Huang added.
Girls from MA Sharon Chinese Language School prepare to dance. (Image courtesy of Valerie Li.)
Boston city councilor at-large Michelle Wu congratulated AAAB on its seventh annual celebration and its work to showcase the wonderful and diverse cultures of Asian Americans.
“It is so important for all of us to come together because the Asian American community is one of the most diverse communities in the nation. We have so many different languages and different countries of origin. It is a celebration that brings everyone in. It’s important for community building but also to remember what makes us strong,” said Wu.
Wu mentioned upcoming community events with a Vietnamese mid-autumn celebration in September and a celebration of China’s founding in October.
The festival provided workshops ranging from how to start a small business to guidance for nonprofit organizations. “The mission of Small Business Administration (SBA) is to make sure that small businesses have the resources to protect their business interests. That’s why we set up the workshops for people, whether you’re looking for counseling or exporting products,” said Norman Eng, an SBA specialist.
Wang Lei, Deputy Consul General of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in New York, thanked the organizers and sponsors for putting together a spectacular event to celebrate Asian American heritage and wished the crowds a happy holiday.
A member of Wah Lum Kung Fu & Tai Chi Academy got ready for the opening lion dance. (Image courtesy of Valerie Li.)
7th Annual AAday