Los Angeles: Things to Do To Celebrate Asian Cultures

YI NING WONG WRITES — This month marks Asian American Pacific Heritage Month. Though,  celebrations of the diversity and rich history from the continent occur year round. If you are in Los Angeles, here are upcoming events to look out for the rest of 2019.

March 29 – June 10
Prospects of India: 18th and 19th Century British Drawings
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Garden
$25 weekdays; $29 weekends

This exhibition centers on British artists’ perspective of India as they draw upon its landscape. These drawings reveal the history of Britain and South Asia’s relationship and motivations ranging from imperial conquests to cultural exchanges.

April 1 – June 30

Origins: The Birth and Rise of Chinese American Communities in Los Angeles
Chinese American Museum
$3 adults; $2 students and seniors; Free for museum members

Origins is an educational exhibition, showing the development of Chinese American communities around Los Angeles, namely from Downtown LA to San Gabriel Valley.

March 29 – July 14
Guo Pei: Couture Beyond
Bowers Museum
Free with General Museum Admission — Students/Seniors: $12; Adults: $15

Guo Pei is an internationally-renowned Chinese fashion designer, who has designed dresses for both Chinese and American celebrities over the past 20 years. The exhibition showcases 40 of her runway shows.

May 17
#AsianHeritageMonth Creator Spotlight & Happy Hour
YoutubeSpace LA
Free, RSVP Required

The event is an opportunity for community members to connect with one another and celebrate Asian Heritage Month. It includes an evening of music, showcased creators, and happy hour refreshments.

July 13 – 14
Lotus Festival
Echo Park Lake

The Lotus Flower represents rebirth, purity, and life to many Asian cultures. Every July, the Lotus plant blooms. The 39th Annual Lotus Festival will be held in Echo Park Lake, hosting the largest lotus bed in the United States. The festival will include various activities for families and friends, including origami workshops, performances, food, and dragon boat races.

July 13 – 14
Tafesilafai Pacific Islander Festival
Long Beach Recreation Park

The Tafesilafai Pacific Islander Festival is a week-long educative platform of Pacific Islanders and Samoans and the issues they face. The festival begins on Sunday with family, moving on to a two-day prayer, followed by a community forum and dance performance. It concludes with the festival celebration in its last two days with dance, music, and food. The 23rd annual event will be held in Long Beach.

August TBD
Nisei Week
Japanese American National Museum

Nisei Week first began in 1934 in Little Tokyo. Nisei, in Japanese, describes an American whose parents were immigrants from Japan. The event originated from the Great Depression, when Issei (Japanese immigrant to America) controlled the retail area of Little Tokyo, but businesses were not expanding. Nisei at the time came up with “Nisei Week”, urging their elders to cater to Nisei in both hiring and retail practice. In its efforts to expand, it eventually aimed to expose non-Japanese audiences to their message that Issei successors were also a generation of Americans. They strived toward building a transpacific cultural bridge through dance, Japanese floral arrangements, tea ceremonies, martial arts, and more. Today, it continues its decades-long tradition and attracts tourist from all over the world.

August 30 – September 1
E Hula Mau
Long Beach Terrace Theater
$60 3-day weekend package

The 25th Annual E Hula Mau is held during Labor Day Weekend at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center, Terrace Theater. It is a celebration of Hawaiian culture and preservation of heritage, through its “Hula and Chant” competition. Participants can purchase tickets to view the performances.

September 26 – 29
LA Korean Festival
Seoul International Park

The Los Angeles Korean Festival Foundation was created in 1974, by a group of members in the Korean-American community to strengthen their bonds and roots in the United States. The four-day festival is open to all, with the goal of celebrating Korean customs and traditions, and sharing them with the diversity of Los Angeles. The LA Korean Festival Foundation is hosting its 46th annual event this September, with vendors, food, K-Pop and local performances, and interactive cultural activities.

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