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Asian Heritage Month

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Check out the books available in our ULC (attachment on your left under RESOURCES)


May 14

Book: Ru by Kim Thuy

 

Asians in Canada

The first record of Asians in Canada dates back to 1788. 50 artisans from China accompanied Captain John Meares to assist in the building of a trading post. This post was made to encourage the trade of sea otter pelts between Nootka, British Columbia, and Guangzhou, China. 

 

Attached is a resource by the government of Canada which mentions some Asian communities and their history in Canada.

https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/asian-heritage-month/important-events.html

This resource is a timeline by the Canadia Encyclopedia that shows when members of some Asian communities arrived in Canada and the challenges they faced.

https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/timeline/asia-canada



May 13

Book: A Burning by Megha Majumdar

 

What is a stereotype?

An assumption or belief generalizing a specific group of people.

See this TED Talk by Canwen Xu, as she tells us about herself and how she is more than the stereotypes she is surrounded by as an Asian-American woman.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pUtz75lNaw&list=TLPQMjQwNDIwMjFF3ODxwoS3oQ&index=1



May 12

The Chinese Head Tax

 

            Although Canada may seem like an exemplary country, there has been a history of racial injustice towards Asians that traces back to the early 1800s. The first big wave of Chinese immigrants came to Canada between 1881-1885 to become labourers working on the Canadian Pacific Railway. Once the railway was finished, Parliament passed the Chinese Immigration Act in 1885 to discourage more immigrants from arriving in Canada. A tax was placed of $50 on each Chinese person wishing to immigrate, and by 1900 rose to $100. Three years later this amount rose to $500, which was equivalent to two years of salary at the time. 

 

The Chinese Head tax was later abolished in 1923 only to be replaced with the Chinese Exclusion Act. This act essentially closed doors to all Chinese immigrants. It only got abolished in 1943, which isn’t that long ago, even less than one hundred years. 



May 11

Book: The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

 

What is Whitewashing?

https://youtu.be/v3GUy25_uhE 

Whitewashing is the term used when white actors are cast as non-white characters. Although whitewashing can apply to all people of colour, the whitewashing of Asian characters is something the film industry has only begun to acknowledge in recent years.

 

Despite a gradual increase in Hollywood’s diversity, there is still progress to be made. More Asian actors are needed in leading roles that are well-rounded and not based solely on racial stereotypes.

 

Here are two films representing Asian Americans in which their race is not focal point of the characters:

Searching

starring John Cho



Always Be My Maybe

Starring Ali Wong and Randall Park 



May 10

Book: Emergency Contact by Mary H.K Choi

 

What is Karoshi?

Karoshi translates to “Death by Overwork” - an ongoing phenomenon in Japan since the 1950s, when the Japanese economy was being revitalized post-World War II. This overwork death involves Japanese workers committing suicide or experiencing heart failure due to long work hours and extensive overtime.

See This brief video explaining Karoshi from NowThis:

https://youtu.be/Qp_KiDqfjGo

How is Karoshi being handled?

A Work Style Reform bill was passed in April 2019, and companies have taken greater initiative in order to reduce the amount of time that workers spend at the office. The government has put restrictions in place to prevent employees from working more than 100 hours of overtime each month. Dentsu, an advertising company, turns off its office lights at 10pm in an attempt to get workers to go home.


May 7

Book: Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen

 

End of Mental Health Week

Although May 9th is the end of Mental Health Week, we encourage that everyone continue to speak up about mental health. Help to break the stigma surrounding mental health, in both the public eye and at home. Normalize the conversation by educating yourself and sharing that information with others. Help to break down cultural barriers you may face by speaking to relatives and showing them that it is not a weakness but a sign of strength to show vulnerability.

 

Self Reflection Prompt

What can you do/are you doing to take care of your own mental health? Are you in a place where you can support others? How can you help to normalize the conversation with your peers, family, and in your community?

 

Resources you can use for support

https://kidshelpphone.ca - offers services in French and English through their website, by phone, or through text

http://www.chimoservices.com - offers services in Mandarin, Cantonese, Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, Tagalog, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Italian, French, Russian, Dutch, and English.

 

https://www.asianmhc.org - A collective that raises awareness about mental health and the stigma in Asian cultures. Offers lists of Canadian-Asian Therapists

 

ttps://asiansdotherapy.com - An organization working to reduce stigma in Asian communities, as well as increasing accessibility to therapy and mental health services. Also offers stories about how some Asian North-Americans went about seeking help and their experiences with therapy. 



May 6

Book: The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi

 

Talking to your Parents About Mental Health 

            A lot of the time, it can be a challenging process trying to tell family members of mental health struggles and need for support. It is especially frustrating when one’s family does not understand the concept surrounding mental health issues. One tip is to educate yourself about your own mental health situation, and recognizing the support you have. By evaluating and learning about yourself, you can help family members determine what kind of help you will need. There are times where parents might not have the tools in their arsonal to help, but this way they are informed on what is going on in your life. It can be a stepping stone to have more open conversations about mental health with your family. 

 

Resources you can use for support

https://kidshelpphone.ca - offers services in French and English through their website, by phone, or through text

http://www.chimoservices.com - offers services in Mandarin, Cantonese, Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, Tagalog, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Italian, French, Russian, Dutch, and English.

 

https://www.asianmhc.org - A collective that raises awareness about mental health and the stigma in Asian cultures. Offers lists of Canadian-Asian Therapists

 

ttps://asiansdotherapy.com - An organization working to reduce stigma in Asian communities, as well as increasing accessibility to therapy and mental health services. Also offers stories about how some Asian North-Americans went about seeking help and their experiences with therapy.



May 5

Book: Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

 

Breaking stigma and Normalizing the conversation

Although stigma is difficult to overcome alone, you can start by bringing up mental health in conversations at home, with friends, in your classrooms, even in your community. Helping reduce stigma can be as simple as asking someone how they’re doing, or by spreading awareness to mental health issues through online platforms or social media. Attached below is a link that was published by the UBC Department of Psychiatry. It mentions tips to help start the conversation surrounding mental health, specifically in Asian households.

https://psychiatry.ubc.ca/2018/06/22/dr-h-mok-matured-in-huffine-post-why-asian-parents-dont-understand-mental-health-and-how-to-change-that/

 

Resources you can use for support

https://kidshelpphone.ca - offers services in French and English through their website, by phone, or through text

http://www.chimoservices.com - offers services in Mandarin, Cantonese, Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, Tagalog, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Italian, French, Russian, Dutch, and English.

 

https://www.asianmhc.org - A collective that raises awareness about mental health and the stigma in Asian cultures. Offers lists of Canadian-Asian Therapists

 

ttps://asiansdotherapy.com - An organization working to reduce stigma in Asian communities, as well as increasing accessibility to therapy and mental health services. Also offers stories about how some Asian North-Americans went about seeking help and their experiences with therapy.



May 4

Book of the day (find it in the ULC!): Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo

May 3rd - May 9th is recognized as Mental Health Week.

 

What is mental health?

According to the CDC, mental health “includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices.”

 

Mental Health Stigma in Asian Cultures

Globally, there is a large stigma surrounding mental health. This stigma is prevalent in Asian cultures, as many people are discouraged from talking about their struggles with mental health.  To some members of Asian communities, sharing details about one’s mental health can be seen as a sign of weakness. To learn more about mental health stigma in Asian cultures read an article by McLean Hospital’s Geoffrey Liu MD.

https://www.mcleanhospital.org/essential/why-asian-americans-dont-seek-help-mental-illness

 

Why is it important to acknowledge mental health?

Mental health not only affects one’s emotions and their well-being, but can affect one’s physical health. Without taking care of one’s mental health, you can develop symptoms such as trouble sleeping or waking up, unhealthy eating habits, struggling to do everyday tasks. It is important to acknowledge how you are doing and do not hesitate to reach out if you need support. Ask yourself these questions. How are you feeling today? Is there anything you can do to relieve some of the stressors in your life? Do you need to reach out to someone, and if so whom?

Resources you can use for support

https://kidshelpphone.ca - offers services in French and English through their website, by phone, or through text

http://www.chimoservices.com - offers services in Mandarin, Cantonese, Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, Tagalog, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Italian, French, Russian, Dutch, and English.

 

https://www.asianmhc.org - A collective that raises awareness about mental health and the stigma in Asian cultures. Offers lists of Canadian-Asian Therapists

 

ttps://asiansdotherapy.com - An organization working to reduce stigma in Asian communities, as well as increasing accessibility to therapy and mental health services. Also offers stories about how some Asian North-Americans went about seeking help and their experiences with therapy. 



May 3: ESTABLISHING AHM

UHILL CELEBRATES ASIAN HERITAGE MONTH

What is AHM?

The month of May was declared as Asian Heritage Month in 2002 by the government of Canada. It is a time to celebrate the Asian communities in Canada and praise the accomplishments of Canadians of Asian descent. With the increase of anti-Asian racism taking place globally, we want to uplift and show solidarity by bringing forth media that starts conversations. Our goal is to share meaningful posts to combat stereotypes surrounding Asian-Americans/Canadians, as well as honouring Asian culture. 

Listen to this interview with Former Senator Vivienne Poy speaking on Asian Heritage Month:

https://www.rcinet.ca/patrimoine-asiatique-en/le-mois-du-patrimoine-asiatique-au-canada/#:~:text=In%202002%2C%20following%20the%20adoption,has%20become%20a%20nationwide%20festival.


In honour of AHM, the ULC has also created an enormous book display!  Check out this video: https://vsbworld-my.sharepoint.com/:v:/g/personal/2084549_learn_vsb_bc_ca/EQXyRe3cyA1Dl3KgPrJK-S0BqgMgfeQC4D1WuhZCGDQURQ?e=pKUZT7

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