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East Asian American Traditions

The earliest East Asian immigrants often had a difficult journey making their way to the United States. Many carried little with them but the cultural traditions they knew, such as language, stories, religious customs, foodways, music, song, and dance. Chinese Americans Chinese immigrants, mainly Cantonese speakers from Guangdong, were among the first Asians to come […]

What is it About May?

I confess. I always get a little giddy in May. Maybe it’s because the longer, warmer days of May mark the impending arrival of summer, my absolute favorite season. Yes, I am one of the rare lovers of brutally hot, humid DC summers. Or maybe May brings out the giddiness in me because I admire […]

Vasant Panchami: A Celebration of Learning

January 24, 2015 is the date for the Hindu festival Vasant Panchami or Saraswati Puja, celebrating both the coming of spring and the birthday of  Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom, learning, crafts, and fine arts.  The date for the celebration of Vasant Panchami varies from year to year, as it is calculated by a lunar calendar. It falls on […]

Vintage Researcher Photo: George Takei

In honor of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, we present this vintage AFC researcher photo. (And by “vintage,” I mean “prior to the existence of Folklife Today.”) This photo shows the stage, film, and television actor George Takei, best known as Mr. Sulu from the original Star Trek, who visited the AFC Reading Room on April […]