CELEBRATE ASIAN AMERICAN AND NATIVE HAWAIIAN/PACIFIC ISLANDER HERITAGE MONTH IN SEATTLE
SEATTLE – There is much to celebrate when it comes to our Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AA&NH/PI) communities in Seattle.
There are many exciting new projects and places to visit that are run by AA&NH/PI community members. For example, Filipino restaurant Bunsoy from chef Rhabbie Coquia recently opened in the Ballard neighborhood; and Korean spot WeRo from chef Wes Yoo opened in March (also in Ballard.)
We value and celebrate our AA&NH/PI heritage, our residents, neighbors, and visitors that are tightly woven into the fabric of Seattle and have added to the vibrancy of the Pacific Northwest for generations. Here are some of their stories:
Wade Hashimoto, General Manager, W Seattle
“I have always loved the city of Seattle, even prior to being selected to lead our team here at W Seattle. And not just for our iconic landmarks. Mostly, it’s the people who have touched my spirit. Since moving here, these positive feelings have been strengthened. I truly love how we embrace diversity, and I am proud to represent the AAPI community. AAPI Heritage Month is an opportunity for us to celebrate our cultural spirit and recognize how Asian and Pacific Islander culture has helped to shape Seattle over the years. I am proud of all AAPI individuals who now call Seattle home and are setting down roots, so that the next generation can flourish.”
Wes Yoo, Chef and Owner, WeRo
“Seattle chose me. It has been an unusual path and what was supposed to be a temporary move to Seattle for the sole purpose of being closer and helping family in B.C. became home for me at age 19. Seattle is not only where I felt most comfortable, but where I wanted to take a major step in life which was to be an entrepreneur. Now that WeRo has opened, my dream and passion is to fill a void in the Korean cuisine scene by offering modernized food that brings authentic flavors and comfort which I know and love from growing up in Seoul.”
For a list of things to do and places to go to honor AA&NH/PI heritage in Seattle this May, check out the recommendations below.
Things to Do
- Chinatown-International District
The Chinatown-International District (known as “the C-ID”) is the cultural hub for Seattle’s Asian American communities. The District is made up of different Asian cultures of mostly family-owned shops and restaurants. For more on the district’s history, visit the National Park Service website. Restaurants in the area include Maneki Restaurant, Dim Sum King and Phnom Penh Noodle House. Check out this press release for more information on how Visit Seattle and Seattle Bank are partnering to bring tourism dollars to small businesses in neighborhoods such as the Chinatown-International District.
- Wing Luke Museum of The Asian Pacific American Experience
Located in the Chinatown-International District, Wing Luke tells the story of the Asian Pacific American immigrants in Seattle and beyond. In May, the museum is offering a “Redlining Heritage Trail Tour’ in person, which explores themes of gentrification and displacement.
- Seattle Center Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration
On May 1 from 12-5 p.m. in the Armory Food & Events Hall, Seattle Center presents Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration. The event will feature folk and traditional dance performances from different cultures, a hum bow eating contest and a children’s book reading.
- Seattle Japanese Garden
Experience the Seattle Japanese Garden located in the Washington Park Arboretum UW Botanic Gardens. The 3.5-acre garden features curving pathways, beautiful foliage, flowing water and a teahouse. Events in May include a Koi Day celebration on May 13, with free admission to youth 12 and younger from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., a garden scavenger hunt and opportunities to feed the koi while supplies last.
- Seattle Asian Art Museum
The newly renovated Seattle Asian Art Museum is located in Volunteer Park. Current exhibits include Embodied Change: South Asian Art Across Time.
- Book Larder Author Talk
Seattle-based first-generation Filipino American writer, Angela Garbes, celebrates her latest book, “Essential Labor” — a deeply personal and rigorously reported look at what mothering means and can be.
- Bonsai Fest
Visit the Pacific Bonsai Museum outside of Seattle in Federal Way. One of only two museums in the U.S. dedicated solely to bonsai, the museum maintains a collection of 150 bonsai with trees from Canada, China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the U.S. On May 7 and 8, the museum hosts Bonsai Fest, featuring two new exhibitions, demos, tours, food and more.
- Panama Hotel
The Panama Hotel is located in the Chinatown-International District, in what was once Nihonmachi (Japantown). The hotel had a history of providing lodging to immigrants from Japan. Its basement was used by the Japanese community as a storeroom for their possessions when they were sent to camps in WWII. The hotel was designed by Sabro Ozasa, the first Asian-American architect to practice in the Puget Sound region. Today, you can tour its bathhouse that served generations of Japanese Americans before World War II.
- Seattle Public Library Author Talk
Join the Seattle Public Library for an in-person or livestreamed conversation about the Cambodian American author, Putsata Reang’s new book “Ma And Me.” The memoir explores inherited trauma and the crushing weight of cultural and filial duty. The author will be joined by Susan Lieu, a Vietnamese American playwright, performer and author.
- Seattle Chinese Garden
Seattle and Chongqing, China became sister cities in 1983. The Seattle Chinese Garden Society was formed in 1989 to lead the effort to build a garden as a symbol of this friendship. Today, the Seattle Chinese Garden flourishes near South Seattle College. The gardens feature four elements – water, stone, plants and architecture. On May 7 and 8, visit the Seattle Chinese Garden for its 2022 Peony Festival.
- AAPI Heritage Month Menu at Living Room Bar at W Seattle
Hawaii-born Chef Steven Ariel offers offering an Asian-inspired menu for the month of May with items like Kimchi Fried Rice, Crispy Pork Belly Sliders and The Loco Moco. Proceeds benefit Michelle Li’s Very Asian Foundation.
For a list of local Seattle businesses and restaurants, owned and operated by AA&NH/PI community members, see below:
Want to learn more about the AA&NH/PI experience and history in Seattle? Check out the resources below.