Asian Heritage Month: The Story of Us – Traditions [Part 2]

For part two of our series, we’re diving into the traditions that have been a part of our families for as long as we can remember.

Welcome back to our special feature for Asian Heritage Month — The Story of Us. Our goal for Asian Heritage Month is to share our stories, traditions, and ideas that make up our heritage as Asian Millennials. Our stories and experiences make a big impact on our lives. Even if our stories are different, they make us into who we are today. If you haven’t checked out part one of our Asian Heritage Month series yet, The Story of Us: Origins , read more about how we got our start here.

For part two, we are diving into the traditions that have been a part of our families for as long as we can remember. Traditions can be defined as “stories, beliefs, rituals and customs that are passed from one generation to the next”. They teach us family values and what is important and unique to each of our backgrounds.

Here are some traditions specific to their families that these Asian Millennials chose to share with us:

Jon Chiang – @jonchiang

Photo submitted by Jon Chiang

In Chinese and Peruvian culture, meals are sacred. Even though my family lives in different parts of the city, we still have dinners on Sunday nights as a way to continue to see each other.

Matthew Murtagh-Wu – @therealdumplingking

Photo submitted by Matthew Murtagh-Wu

I think the main one would be probably the most ubiquitous — to get a good education and a job to support yourself. Also, for me indirectly, an obsession and love of food.

Osric Chau – @osricchau

Photo submitted by Osric Chau

Keeping a decent supply of peanuts around for snacking.

Cecilia Huang – @huesthatgrl

Photo submitted by Cecilia Huang

Dim sum on Christmas Day!

Julie Tu – @julie.also & @umbrellafree

Photo submitted by Julie Tu

Unfortunately, I can’t think of a tradition that has not been lost in the move and the conflicting pressures to assimilate yet remain faithful to a parent culture.

Sachi Lovatt – @sachified

Photo submitted by Sachi Lovatt

Wearing kimonos on special occasions. I wore a kimono as a child on “Girl’s Day”, when I turned 20 (coming-of-age year), at some weddings, as well as when I got married.

Kittima Raksarat – @Kittrak

Photo submitted by Kittima Raksarat

We always get together for Thailand New Year (Songkran) to spend time as a family, use water to cleanse bad luck and receive blessings from elders.

Matthew Federe –

Photo submitted by Matthew Federe

Many members of my family on both sides have served in the U.S. Navy (both grandfathers, Dad, cousins, etc.).

Steven Ngo – @stevennogo

Photo submitted by Steven Ngo

Monthly dim sum outings. While it is not a unique “family tradition” per se, this is something that we used to do as kids all the time and it continues on to this day with my cousins in the current generation.

Rafael Gi

We always make banchan (Korean side dishes) and cook together.

Tiffani Lee – @teefleee

Photo submitted by Tiffani Lee

My family has quite a few traditions but one that always brings a smile to my face is family camping with all my cousins, aunts and uncles. Now that we are older and have other commitments like work, it’s a short period of time during the summer that we all hang out, laugh and share food even if it’s just one day. It’s something I cherish with a big family.

Angie Yu – @angietiantian

Photo submitted by Angie Yu

Making sacrifices for the betterment of your children’s future. My maternal grandparents prioritized their children, no matter how poor they were. My parents did the same, working relentlessly on survival mode until my life was on par with my peers.

These shared traditions are experiences that will continue to carry on with us as we forge our own paths and lives. Hearing about the diversity of traditions between families shows us that Asian Heritage Month is not just about celebrating one kind of heritage, but multiple (even if a lot of them had to do with food).


We want to hear from you! What are some traditions that your family has passed down to you? Share a photo of yourself or your family online with a caption describing your favourite family tradition and tag @coldteacollective with the hashtag #coldteaAHM. We’d love to hear about your experiences.

Stay tuned for part three – “The Story of Us: Looking to the Future” later this month. Follow us on social to stay up to date on when part three will go live.

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