The SPFHS Multicultural & Mandarin Club Present the AAPI Heritage Fest


Camryn Evans, Staff Writer

May is National Asian-American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) month, and in order to honor the wide range of diverse AAPI cultures at SPFHS, the Multicultural Club and Mandarin Club planned the AAPI Heritage Fest for May 23, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. But before celebrating, it’s essential to learn some history. 


“AAPI month was created in order to commemorate the contributions of Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities to the history and culture of the United States,” said Chris Largoso, the president of the Mandarin Club at SPFHS. “[AAPI month] is held in May to honor the first Japanese immigrants who arrived in America in May 1843 and to celebrate the completion of the transcontinental railroad by Asian immigrants in May 1869.”


Sanaa Mahajan, president of the Multicultural Club, and Li Salewski, the staff advisor for the Mandarin Club both believe that AAPI culture is a hugely important part of the community in SPF and it’s important to share more about it.


“The Mandarin Club and Multicultural Club join in hosting a celebration to honor the Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched Scotch Plains-Fanwood culture. It is also the 2nd year AAPI History has been added to NJ High School Social Studies curriculum,” Salewski said. “Hopefully, by bringing awareness of AAPI culture, we will help students to recognize the diversity of our community, [and] recognize how immigration of people from Asia and the Pacific Islands has shaped our community.”

“SPF is not a very diverse community, and while the Asian community here is very closely connected, it’s not always easy to explore your heritage,” Mahajan told The Fanscotian. “I think this [is] a great way for people to come together to explore their culture and heritage while also sharing with other people the beauty of it all and how amazing everyone’s culture is.”


In planning the festival many opportunities for student involvement and performance were key, as well as making sure the festival was beneficial to everyone who attended.


“We’re gonna have performances, we’re gonna have games and activities, we’re gonna have a lot of food,” Manajan said. “It’s going to be overall a really good time for anyone that comes by even if you’re not Asian; it should be a great learning experience.”


“Sharing AAPI culture at [is] important because the AAPI Festival was created in order to celebrate and commemorate the contributions of AAPI communities to American history,” Largoso said. “Not only that, this festival also features food donated by different local restaurants, and as such, this festival will be raising awareness for many local AAPI businesses.”


The AAPI Heritage Fest will be held in the SPFHS cafeteria on May 23, from 5:30 to 7:30, with tickets selling for $8, so make sure to stop by!