Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Honoring Our Roots
Maybe it's because I'm getting older but I've been yearning to get in touch with my roots. Growing up in Texas as a first generation Taiwanese American, all I wanted to do was assimilate into a more caucasian American culture. Like many other Asian American children in the late 80's and 90's, we were often made fun of for the shape of our eyes, strange accents, or the out-of-the-ordinary bagged lunches we brought to school. I didn't think much of the food my mom was making back then and I regret it because it's fucking delicious. There's nothing like mama's home cooked meals and I miss it every day.
My parents came to this country with nearly nothing in the bank account, made it through college with limited spoken English, and landed jobs after school. Starting fresh in a strange new land with literally nothing was rough. Trips to McDonald's and KFC were a luxury and that's where they would splurge for birthdays and anniversaries. I could never thank my parents enough for all the hardships they've endured so we can live the American dream. It takes grit to succeed. We've given the best of ourselves to this great country and I'm proud to be a daughter of immigrants, y'all.
Coming out of the cannabis closet wasn't easy growing up in a fairly conservative Asian and Southern household. It took a lot of research and education before my parents finally came around to supporting my career choices. Did you know, the first recorded medical cannabis use came from China and hemp was first discovered in what is now modern day Taiwan? Yes, cannabis originated in Asia but because of the opium war, it got lumped in with all drugs and is now widely stigmatized in modern Asian culture. We're making great strides in normalization, but there's still a lot of work to be done in the Asian communities, which was why I started Asian Americans for Cannabis Education back in 2015 with Tiffany Wu and Ophelia Chong. Shout out to Ophelia for taking the reins!
Since it's Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I want to spend some extra time showcasing the incredible flavors that I grew up with, recipes from my family, and guest appearances from amazing friends and collaborators in the cannabis industry. Stay tuned!