This May, Asian Heritage Month’s theme—“Recognition, Resilience, and Resolve”—embodies the myriad sentiments that peoples of Asian descent in Canada have experienced, and honours their contributions and their diverse stories which are rooted in resilience and perseverance.
It is also a call to action for all Canadians to come together to combat all forms of anti-Asian racism and discrimination. Let us celebrate the incredible diversity that is our strength, and be resolute in our stand against all forms of anti-Asian racism and discrimination.
In response to the rise and escalation in xenophobia and hate crimes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, myself, Mo Phùng, and my sister, Thanh Phùng, will be collaborating with The Coast to launch Pan-Asian Palate, a give-back campaign to the Asian Canadian communities and neighbourhoods in Kjipuktuk and surrounding areas.
From May 6 to May 31, we’ll be celebrating Pan-Asian heritage by connecting with and supporting locally-owned Asian restaurants that have been heavily impacted by COVID-19-related media, closures and community restrictions.
Not only do we want to support and uplift our friends and family in Asian communities, but we are lovers of all things food. It defines and gives comfort, and has built the foundation of our culture and diasporic identities. Asian Heritage Month is more than supporting with your wallet—it’s a reminder to connect with others around you.
As young kids living in Yarmouth we could not access the spices, sauces and foods that our parents loved to cook and eat. The Cloud Nine shuttle bus would deliver us boxes of food and ingredients from Tian Phat. Now, we want to give back to the Halifax and Dartmouth communities who have sustained our livelihoods and our pantries for decades, and we’ll be doing so by visiting 11 restaurants in HRM over the next month, inviting you to get to know the owners and what inspires their dishes.
The hope is that you’ll get out and support these restaurants, while deepening your understanding and appreciation of Pan-Asian communities here in Halifax.
Stay tuned—we hope you’re hungry.
Related The Bangkok-born chef of Kajohn Thai Restaurant: Serving up dishes reflective of central Thailand—a balance of sweet and spicy
Related Grill Way Catering brings authentic Syrian flavours to Halifax: We break down a favourite, the mix kebab plate
Related Get a taste of Vietnamese comfort food with I Love Pho: A small family owned business that needs your support.
Related Famous Curry Garden’s got Northern Indian Cuisine sorted: Home of the staple dishes you will find in almost every Northern Indian household
Related General Khan’s Spicy Chicken: A house favourite from Khan’s HFX: Central and South Asian fusion that tells the story of displacement.
Related Authentic Filipino street fare in Fairview from Silong Express: Named one of the 25 Best Filipino Restaurants in Canada for a reason
Thanh Phùng (she/her) is a Việt/Người Kinh immigrant who was born in Vũng Tàu, in southern Vietnam. She is a small business owner, pharmacist, digital content creator, brand strategist and mother of two based in Kjipuktuk (Halifax). Her current work focuses are building her lifestyle brand, Love And Sundays, and growing her new small business called blushco., an initiative established from the idea that small businesses can uplift others while creating meaningful connections in their communities.
Mo Phùng (they/them) is a queer non-binary Việt/Người Kinh second-generation immigrant who was born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. They are a marine biologist, ocean technologist, visual artist, and photographer based in Kjipuktuk (Halifax). They currently work as an Alchemist of Ancestral Services at Future Ancestors Services, an Indigenous- and Black-owned, youth-led professional services social enterprise that advances climate justice and equity with lenses of anti-racism and ancestral accountability, and act as a National Advisor for two BIPOC-led organizations called the Platform and the Tribe Network.