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Asian Heritage Month - Online Display

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May is Asian Heritage Month in Canada, a time to reflect on and celebrate the contributions that Canadians of Asian origin continue to make, to the growth and prosperity of Canada.

Asian Heritage Month has been celebrated across Canada since the 1990s. In December 2001, the Senate of Canada adopted a motion proposed by Senator Vivienne Poy to officially designate May as Asian Heritage Month in Canada. In May 2002, the Government of Canada signed an official declaration to designate May as Asian Heritage Month.1

To learn more about Asian Heritage in Canada visit the official Government of Canada webpage or the Virtual Museum of Asian Canadian Cultural Heritage.

1. About Asian Heritage Month (2020). Retrieved from: https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/asian-heritage-month/about.html

Featured e-Resources

A Girl in the River

Nominated for a 2016 Academy Award® for Best Documentary Short, this 40-minute documentary follows the story of Saba, a young woman from the Punjab region of Pakistan, who was shot and left for dead by her father and uncle after marrying Qaiser, a man once promised to her by her family. Told through the lens of a true love story, the film is a scathing examination of the contradictions between modernism and tradition within Pakistani society, as Saba struggles with pressures to “forgive” the relatives who tried to kill her – a pronouncement that would set them free. In this masterful work of high-risk journalistic storytelling, awardwinning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (Saving Face) uncovers the complex and violent forces faced by women in Pakistan, particularly as it relates to human rights and family honor.

Asian Communities in Canada Channel by National Film Board of Canada

Enjoy this curated selection of films that celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Canadians of Asian descent who, throughout history, have done so much to make Canada the culturally diverse, compassionate and prosperous nation it is today.

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Slanting I, Imagining We

The 1980s and 1990s are a historically crucial period in the development of Asian Canadian literature. Slanting I, Imagining We: Asian Canadian Literary Production in the 1980s and 1990s contextualizes and reanimates the urgency of that period, illustrates its historical specificities, and shows how the concerns of that moment--from cultural appropriation to race essentialism to shifting models of the state--continue to resonate for contemporary discussions of race and literature in Canada.

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Reunification

In this deeply personal award-winning documentary that gives an insider view on the contemporary immigrant experience, divorce and family psychology, and the personal filmmaking process, filmmaker Alvin Tsang reflects on his family’s migration from Hong Kong to Los Angeles in the early 1980s - fraught with betrayal from his parents’ divorce, economic strife and communication meltdown between parents and children. This poetic exploration of many unresolved years moves moodily across different channels and modes, bending into labor histories and Hong Kong’s colonial trajectories.

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Voices Rising

This interdisciplinary inquiry examines Asian Canadian political and cultural activism around community building, identity making, racial equity, and social justice. Informed by a postcolonial and postmodern cultural critique, it traces the trajectory of progressive cultural discourse generated by Asian Canadian cultural activists over the course of several generations.

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Your Day is My Night

Immigrant residents of a “shift-bed” apartment in the heart of New York City’s Chinatown share their stories of personal and political upheaval. As the bed transforms into a stage, the film reveals the collective history of the Chinese in the United States through conversations, autobiographical monologues, and theatrical movement pieces. Shot in the kitchens, bedrooms, wedding halls, cafes, and mahjong parlors of Chinatown, this provocative hybrid documentary addresses issues of privacy, intimacy, and urban life.

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