In 1992, May was officially designated Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) by the United States federal government. It encompasses the Asian Continent and the Pacific Islands. President George H.W. Bush signed the proclamation after several decades of advocacy, passion and persistence by figures such as Congressmen Frank Horton of New York and Norman Mineta of California and Senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga.
In 2004, The George Washington University (GWU) presented its first annual Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Celebration (APIHC). The school designated April as the official GW APIHC, allowing members of the community to participate before the end of the academic school year. Furthermore, they recognized a need to celebrate unique identities and culture individually, giventhe diverse ethnic groups, cultures, traditions and histories within the Asian Pacific Islander and South Asian cultures. Ultimately resulting in GW presenting its first annual South Asian Heritage Celebration (SAHC) in 2013.
SAHC celebrates and promotes the values and traditions of Central and South Asian cultures. In doing so, the GW community is able to gain an in depth view into the South Asian experience through customs, arts, social institutions and its being at large. Be sure to keep a lookout for the various programs surrounding the SAHC. These include, student cultural shows, performances, distinguished guest lectures, seminars and educational events. The 2019 SAHC’s theme is, “Unapologetically Brown #NoFilter”, so don’t forget to join in, support and celebrate!
The Multicultural Student Services Center (MSSC) provides logistical, content and ideological support for South and Central Asian organizations to collaborate and promote cultural awareness throughout SAHC. Students, faculty and staff with varying leadership experience and skill sets are encouraged to participate in SAHC. All activities related to SAHC are facilitated by MSSC senior staff and graduate student coordinators. The minimum requirement for involvement is to have a commitment to and passion for South and Central Asian culture. For more information, call 202-994-MSSC (6772).