系列报道五| 在亚太裔传统月,看亚裔族群的身份认同有多难?

系列报道五| 在亚太裔传统月,看亚裔族群的身份认同有多难?



这一系列报道与费城华埠发展会(the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation)合作,和Sojourner Consulting协同,并获得独立公共媒体基金会(the Independence Public Media Foundation)的大力支持。

This article is the fifth  of a series of nine stories which seeks to increase visibility and understanding of the diverse Asian American communities in the Philadelphia region and their strengths, challenges and histories. Now more than ever, we must ensure Asian voices have a platform to speak out against the issues impacting our communities.

This series is developed by New Mainstream Press in partnership with the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation and in consultation with Sojourner Consulting, with support from the Independence Public Media Foundation.


记者:Eleni Finkelstein

中文编辑:李 蓓

4月30日,费郊蒙哥马利郡社区学院(Montgomery County Community College)里人头攒动,鼓乐齐鸣。身着传统服饰的舞者们在大楼周围排成鼓队,展示了她们的热情和天赋。当她们行进到大厅中央的时候,观众们掌声雷动。这个大费城地区的韩国艺术节,拉开了韩裔美国人协会(KAAGP)庆祝亚太裔传统月活动的序幕。作为KAAGP成立50周年的纪念活动之一,这个艺术节也是该协会首次以线下活动的形式庆祝亚太裔传统月。

The inside of Montgomery County Community College was loud on April 30th, as the The Korean-American Association of Greater Philadelphia (KAAGP) kicked off May’s Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month with their Korea in Philly festival. Korean elders sporting traditional dress proceeded around the building in a drum line, showing their passion and talent for the music, and eventually ending in the lobby where they were greeted with endless applause. The festival was the organization’s first in-person celebration for AAPI Heritage Month and doubled as a commemoration of KAAGP’s 50th anniversary.


Photo credits to koreainphilly official website


这样的庆祝活动贯穿整个五月, 特别是在亚裔人口聚集的地方。二战和朝鲜战争之后,上世纪五六十年代,费城周边有很多难民定居点,大量韩国人在这里安家落户。在大费城地区,特别是蒙哥马利郡(Montgomery County),生活着很多韩裔美国人。到1970年,韩国人是费城人口最多的10个移民群体之一。

Events like this are common during the month of May, especially in geographic centers of Asian populations. While the Korean population in the City is mostly concentrated in Olney and Cheltenham, in the region, Montgomery County also has a large Korean population, largely due to settlement that dates back to the 50s and 60s as a result of World War II and the Korean War. By 1970, Koreans were one of the top 10 immigrant groups in Philadelphia based on population.


Photo credits to koreainphilly official website


亚太裔传统月(AAPI Heritage Month)始于1977年美国国会通过的一项决议, 众议院第540号联合决议提议将5月的前10天宣布为亚太裔传统周(Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week)。从历史上看,这个节庆活动起源与华裔和日本裔有关,选择5月的部分原因是为了纪念第一批日本移民和横贯北美大陆铁路的建成

AAPI Heritage Month began with a resolution passed by U.S. Congress in 1977,introducing House Joint Resolution 540, which proposed proclaiming the first 10 days of May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. Historically, the holiday has its roots in the Chinese and Japanese populations, as May was chosen in part to coincide with the anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants and the completion of the transcontinental Railroad.

1990年,美国国会把活动时间从一周扩大到一个月。1992年,乔治·H·W·布什(George H.W.Bush)政府把每年5月定为每年一度的亚太裔传统月(Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month)。

In 1990, Congress expanded the observance from a week to a month. May was annually designated as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month in 1992 under the George H. W. Bush administration with the passing of Public Law 102-540. 


2009年,美国总统巴拉克·奥巴马(Barack Obama)将该名称加入了“岛民”(Islanders),希望能包容下所有亚太岛民文化。虽然还有很多人认为,关于亚太族裔的对话仍然倾向于关注东亚群体,而忽视了其他亚太和岛民群体。

The name of the month was changed to Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in 2009 by President Barack Obama in an effort to be more inclusive of all Asian and Pacific Islander cultures. Many advocates note that conversations about AAPI still tend to focus on East Asian groups, and neglect the issues of other Asian and Pacific Islander groups.


Photo credits to


我们有关费城亚太裔群体系列报道的初衷是为整个亚裔群体发声,并扩大到整体AAPI社区。在我们的报道进行一半的时候,这些问题浮出水面:亚裔美国人(Asian American)或者亚太裔美国人 (AAPI)的身份对于这个群体意味着什么?这些专用词汇源自何处?为什么有人接受,但是有人则拒绝使用这些身份?

Throughout this series on Asian Americans in the Philadelphia region, we have featured a range of voices from across Asian America, and we aim to grow our source network and continue to expand coverage across AAPI communities. As this paper is halfway through our series , we pause to explore the question: what does it mean to be Asian American or AAPI? What is the history of these terms and identities and why do people use them or reject them?



In this article, we conducted interviews with three individuals who identify as being of East Asian descent about their work with the broader AAPI community. Throughout this series, we have featured a range of voices from across Asian America, and we aim to grow our source network and continue to expand coverage across AAPI communities.



 History and Healing 


日裔历史学家和社会活动家市冈裕次(Yuji Ichioka)在20世纪60年代末提出了“亚裔美国人”(Asian American)的概念。这也成为当时“社会和种族正义运动”的一部分,这场运动让来自亚洲不同国家和地区的移民们走到一起,为亚洲移民及其后裔争取更公平的住房、食品和医疗以及其他公平的社会权利。这场运动还带动了美国的其他种族群体的平权运动,比如非裔和拉丁裔。

The term Asian American was coined by activist Yuji Ichioka in the late 1960s as part of a social and racial justice movement. The movement brought together people of various Asian backgrounds who had migrated to the United States to fight for fairer housing, food, and healthcare, and other social justice issues for those of Asian descent. The movement also helped other groups in the United States who were targeted for their ethnicities such as Africans and Latinos.

市冈裕次 (图中右一) 图片来源:时代周刊

Yuji Ichioka Photo credits to Time



Today, advocates debate the usefulness of the identity as a term that has the potential to paper over the diversity of AAPI groups or act as an effective unifying identity for political gain.


罗伯·布舍尔(Rob Buscher)是费城亚裔美国电影节(the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival)的董事会主席,他也是费城日裔美国公民联盟(JACL)的主席。布舍尔表示,虽然他以自己是日本裔感到自豪,也很尊重不同族裔间丰富的文化差异,但他同时认为,来自不同地区的亚裔人口非常有限,一个团结的亚裔美国人社区在谋求政治权益上非常必要。这些族群面临着共同的问题,比如反亚裔种族歧视,但是当共同的问题得以解决之后,反作用力也很大。他说,与亚裔人口比例更高的地区相比,“在某些方面,费城反而做得更好”。

Rob Buscher is the Board Chair of the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival and President of Philadelphia’s Japanese American Citizens League (JACL). Buscher emphasizes that while he proudly identifies as Japanese and emphasizes the rich cultural differences of each ethnic group, a united Asian American community is needed for political advancement as there is a limited population of certain ethnic groups in the area. He says groups act together on common issues they share politically, such as anti-Asian racism, but their oppressions are largely where the similarities end. Compared to other places where there is a larger proportion of Asians, “In some ways, Philadelphia works better together,” he says.

Rob Buscher在2019年费城多样性和包容性会议上发言图片由本人提供

Rob Buscher, President of Philadelphia JACL Chapter, speaking at the Philadelphia Diversity and Inclusion Conference, 2019,Personal photo



Prior to World War II, only about 100 Japanese lived in Philadelphia, mostly students who came for the universities. Today there are only about 3,000 people of Japanese ethnicity in the Greater Philadelphia Area, one of the smallest Asian ethnic populations in the area.


1942年,美国总统富兰克林·D·罗斯福(Franklin D. Roosevelt)签署了第9066号行政命令,规定日裔美国人将被关押在拘留营。1941年12月7日,日军偷袭珍珠港事件发生后,该命令被视为美国国家安全防御措施。

In 1942, United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which read that Americans of Japanese descent would be held in detainment camps. The order was perceived as an act of safety and prevention for the country after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.



The Executive Order caused pain and suffering for generations to come. Buscher, who is a third generation Japanese American, says he still experienced internalized racism and hatred due to the trauma instilled in his ancestors. Buscher watched his grandmother, a Japanese immigrant, and mother’s generation battle with wanting to become assimilated to American culture rather than proudly display their Japanese heritage. In his family, the Japanese language was quickly lost.


However, he emphasizes that “we can’t live in a space where we only think of bad things.” Buscher has noticed more celebration of Japanese culture in recent years and hopes it continues past AAPI Heritage Month. “Slowly, over decades, there has been this reclamation and intentional celebration of Japaneseness.”


Cherry Blossom Festival performers  File photo



Buscher was the first family member to relearn the Japanese language, and his son is the first since his grandmother to be learning the language at home while growing up. Today, Buscher celebrates the rich history of Japanese people in the United States and Philadelphia while acknowledging that the pride comes after a painful history. He believes that for Americans of Japanese descent, their advocacy for other social justice issues stems from this moral grounding through the experience of forced incarceration.”These are experiences that have unfortunately created intergenerational trauma.”



As Board Chair of the Asian American Film Festival, Rob Buscher brings to light that this creative outlet allows Asian Americans a space to heal and share their stories with others. “The most important aspect of the media movement is reclamation of the narrative and authenticity of the storytelling from [Asian American] individuals.”



Buscher also connects storytelling and filmmaking with the opportunity to improve gaps in American education around Asian American history. He recounts his own personal public school education and the meager, sanitized content related to Japanese Americans. “Unfortunately, our narrative has been absent from mainstream entertainment and from mainstream history books.”


Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders: A Philadelphia Story,  Photo credits to WHYY




Recently, Buscher has worked with WHYY to develop Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders: A Philadelphia Story, a project which came out of a five part documentary series on Asian American history which was aired in 2022 on PBS (the series can be viewed for free here).


 Creating Bridges 


2021年4月,就在大家紧张筹备AAPI传统月庆祝活动的时候,发生了亚特兰大按摩中心枪击案,被杀的8人中,有6人是亚裔女性。该枪击事件不仅在整个亚裔社群引起了震动,而且在全美范围内掀起了“停止亚裔仇恨”(Stop Asian Hate)的浪潮。

Last year’s AAPI heritage month took place after the Atlanta spa shootings in April 2021, in which eight people were killed, six of them Asian women. The shootings sent shock waves throughout the Asian community and led to calls for change.




Within the past year, violence and dangerous rhetoric has continued to plague the Philadelphia Asian American community, including violent attacks on SEPTA. Many gatherings have taken on a more solemn approach and as a result of current events, individuals have sought healing from racial-based traumas and fears.


亚特兰大枪击案之后,费城华埠发展会(Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation,PCDC)推出了一个“移民家庭情绪健康计划”(Chinese Immigrant Family Wellness Initiative,简称CIFWI)。计划中有一个为期12周的课程,用冥想和正念的方式来促进“愈合”,帮助参与者认同他们的亚裔身份,并坦然面对亚裔族群受到的创伤。

One of the programs within the CIFWI initiative is the Asian American Racial Healing and Mindful Transformation, which began in the wake of the Atlanta shootings. This 12-week program was designed to help participants identify and accept racist beliefs and racial trauma they hold due to their Asian American origins. The program uses meditation and mindfulness to promote healing.


Photo credits to CIFWI official website


费城华埠发展会项目经理埃丝特·卡斯蒂略(Esther Castillo)博士是移民家庭情绪健康项目的管理者。在她看来,这个项目重点关注亚裔美国人社区中的两个主要群体——第一代移民父母和他们的子女。“项目的目标是治愈我们的种族创伤,接受这些创伤,让我们能直面种族问题和种族主义……人们有很多感受,他们需要表达出来。”

Dr. Esther Castillo, a program manager at Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation (PCDC) and in her free time, an activist. She manages the Chinese Immigrant Families Wellness Initiative, CIFWI, a wellness program that focuses on two main groups within the Asian American community–first generation immigrant parents and their children.“ The goal of this program is to heal from our racial trauma, to accept these traumas, and to equip ourselves with the muscle to talk about race and racism…I think people have a lot of feelings and they need to express them.”

Esther Hio-Tong Castillo博士 移民家庭情绪健康项目负责人,图片由本人提供;Esther Hio-Tong Castillo, PhD, Founder and Program Director at CIFWI,Personal photo



Others point out the importance of creating bridges, within and also across specific groups. For example, even in the Chinese community, there is a lot of diversity resulting from differences in generations, immigrant statuses and socioeconomic backgrounds, says Dr. Esther Castillo.



CIFWI began with an initial survey of Chinese families which found that among the older generation, top issues of wellness and mental health were related to family communication and economic pressure while the younger group voiced problems with family dynamics as well as racism and gender equality.

该项目在和“老华人”一起探讨家庭压力、代际沟通以及自我照顾等问题的同时,派生出一个向所有亚洲家庭开放的新项目:“青年领导力计划”(Youth Leadership Program)。这个项目由华裔,柬埔寨裔、越南裔和菲律宾裔的青年人参与,由心理健康专业人士和不同背景的亚裔年轻人们共同探讨种族,性别、包容和健康人际关系等方面的问题。

The program spoke to parents about family pressure, communication with their kids, and self care. The program started out focusing on Chinese families, and a resulting youth leadership series has now opened up to all Asian families. Members now include persons of Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Filipino descent as well. With the youth, a program titled the Youth Leadership Program brought in mental health professionals to speak about race and gender, consent, and healthy relationships, common issues Asian American youth from all backgrounds voiced they were experiencing.


Asian Women’s Wellness Day 2021,Photo credits to CIFWI official website


“年轻一代有很多共同之处,”卡斯蒂略说,“不同种族的年轻人关心和面对的问题往往非常相似。” 尤其是年轻一代,虽然亚裔年轻人的文化和传统的认同和原生家庭密切相关,但是同时,他们会通过学校和朋友圈更公开地接触到种族歧视等社会问题。

“Younger generations share a lot of commonality” says Castillo in regards to shared concern among youth of different ethnicities. Many of the issues shared by ethnic groups internally are also similar, especially for younger generations who are navigating family ties to Identity the culture and tradition as well as schooling as well as being more publicly exposed to issues like racism through school and social circles.



Castillo recognizes that as Asian Americans, people are not always ready to address the hurt and fear that has been instilled in them after events such as the Atlanta shootings. She explains that the purpose of her initiatives is to create space for a dialogue. However, from personal experiences, she realizes not everyone is quite ready to use that space. With this in mind, Castillo is hopeful that by having spaces in place, such as the CIFWI initiative, people will be able to speak about their experiences once they are ready.


 Moving Forward 


费城市长吉姆·肯尼(Jim Kenney)和隶属于费城市政府的亚太裔美国人事务委员会也参与到亚太裔传统月的活动中。市长公共参与办公室主任罗曼娜·李·秋山(Romana Lee Akiyama)在接受采访时表示:“我们想在亚太裔传统月的活动中,融入一些欢乐和自豪的元素。”

Mayor Kenney and the Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs plan to commemorate AAPI heritage month as well. “There is an element of joy and pride we want to lean into,” says Romana Lee-Akiyama, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement.


Romana Lee-Akiyama, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement,Personal photo


在认识到亚裔族群和历史和挑战之后,费城在2017年成立了市长亚裔事务委员(Mayor’s Commission on Asian American Affairs)。这个委员会由25名志愿者组成,来自不同地区和背景的成员们充分体现了费城亚太裔社群的多样性。罗曼娜说,该委员成为亚裔社群提出自己需求的窗口,成员们既全面考虑不同族群面临的不同挑战,还允许在不同种族群体之间更好地调整资源。

Ms. Lee-Akiyama notes that one of the ways the city has stepped up to acknowledge the unique challenges and histories of different AAPI ethnicities is by forming the Mayor’s Commission on Asian American Affairs. Founded in 2017, the MCAAA is composed of 25 volunteers who represent the diversity of the local AAPI community. The commission stemmed from the idea for “an opportunity to elevate the needs of our community,” says Lee-Akiyama. This system identifies the unique challenges different groups face and allows commissioners to align resources more appropriately between ethnic groups.


费城市长办公室和亚太裔美国人事务委员会将于5月26日举办题为“ 崛起:致亚裔美国人和太平洋岛民的情书”的活动,与作家杰夫·杨(Jeff Yang)和菲尔·余(Phil Yu)一起纪念亚太裔传统月。

The Mayor’s Office and the Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs will commemorate AAPI Heritage Month with an event entitled “Rise: A Love Letter to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders”on May 26 with authors Jeff Yang and Phil Yu.


Photo credits to



Philadelphian organizations are continuing to host festivities across the city and suburbs for the month of May to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month.


在由KAAGP主办的费城韩国节活动中,大家可能欣赏到传统鼓乐表演、韩国美食,和韩国历史文化展示活动。该组织联合主席所罗门·金(Solomon Kim)表示,以韩国不同时代的传统时装和服饰为特色的时装秀也是大家最期待看到的活动之一。

The Korea in Philly festival hosted by KAAGP featured a traditional drumming show, vendors, cultural culinary favorites like mochi rings, and live displays of Korean history. Solomon Kim, co-chair of the organization, most looked forward to the fashion show featuring traditional Korean fashion and dress throughout the decades.


Photo credits to koreainphilly official website


对于参加庆典的孩子们来说,庆祝活动更多的是一种来自故乡的归属感。来自巴克斯郡韩文学校(Bucks County Korean School)的孩子们说,“我们中的许多人都出生在韩国,因为新冠疫情无法回国。参加这个文化节,我们好像回到了故乡。”学生们分享了韩国传统建筑的工艺和照片,还表达出对韩国音乐组合K-pop的喜爱之情。这个来自韩国的组合在美国年轻人中拥有众多的“粉丝”。

To the children who attended the festival, some serving as volunteers from the Bucks County Korean School, the celebration represented a sense of home and belonging. “ It’s like we’re coming to Korea…many of us were born in Korea and cannot go back to visit because of Covid.” The students shared crafts and images from traditional Korean architecture for guests to enjoy and take home with them. They also voiced their excitement for the K-pop display, which has risen in popularity for many young people in the United States across various demographics.


Photo credits to koreainphilly official website



The Philadelphia School District is hoping to get people of all ages involved in the celebration by holding various events throughout the month including an Asian American Children’s Literature Speakers event where they will educate school teachers on how to incorporate AAPI authors into their classroom curriculums. Teachers will have the opportunity to request books to be sent to their classrooms for the Fall. On May 25, the school district will hold an event educating participants on how to bring AAPI dialogue into middle school and high school classrooms.


Photo credits to


随着亚太裔传统月庆祝活动的展开,大费城地区的亚太裔群体对自己身份认同的反思还在继续着。就像费城日裔美国公民联盟(JACL)主席罗伯·布舍尔(Rob Buscher)所说,“ 亚太裔传统月是一个契机,我们在庆祝多元美国文化的同时,更要庆祝亚太裔社群为之做出的巨大贡献。”

As the month of celebration continues, Asian American communities across the Greater Philadelphia Area and the United States will reflect on what it means to be an Asian American in today’s age and climate. Buscher says, “ This [month] should be an opportunity to celebrate the rich heritage of the United States and the many contributions that our communities have made here.”



系列报道四 | 罗斯福公园翻建在即,存在了35年的东南亚市场会消失吗?

系列报道三 | 后疫情时代,在困境中挣扎的亚裔小企业亟待重振

系列报道二 | 文化互鉴和多样化课程能停止费城校园里的反亚裔霸凌吗?

系列报道一 | 东南亚的灾民,给人们在安家往来的启示


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