The Year of Compassion 🐲

At midnight tonight, Asian communities, including Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean, are ringing in the Lunar New Year! To those who celebrate, AAPI Equity Alliance wishes you a year of peace, prosperity and progress.

The Year of the Dragon is particularly known for its traits of power, nobility and wisdom, however, an overlooked quality is compassion. During a race to determine the order of the zodiac signs in Chinese folklore, the dragon stopped to save the rabbit, who was stuck in a river, instead of flying past it.

AAPI Equity Alliance is renewed in our mission to carry the same value of compassion when building Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) power this election year, just as the dragon would. Together, our coalition of 40+ community-based organizations are activating AAPI voters in Los Angeles County with voter resources. In case you missed it, read our past newsletter!

We learned how our team centers Lunar New Year around the universal value of family and community. Behind the red envelopes, loud firecrackers and traditional dishes lie a strong network of community members banding together to prepare for this massive holiday.

“My mom grabs fresh flowers and fruits from local shops in Little Saigon, Orange County. In exchange, she gifts them bánh chưng (sticky rice cakes) or kẹo đậu phộng (candied nuts) made from scratch by my friends’ families. No social media, no marketing – my family heavily relies on word-of-mouth and the community-centric nature of Tết to have a festive celebration.” – Tina Pham, AAPI Equity’s Communications Coordinator

“My family celebrates 설날 (Seollal), Korean Lunar New Year, by eating 떡국 (Tteokguk), a traditional rice cake soup believed to bring prosperity and a fresh start to the new year. After going away for grad school during COVID, I learned how to make Tteokguk myself and shared it with my roommate. Through this time-honored tradition, I felt connected to my family and the wider Korean diaspora. It also made me feel proud to share with others.” – Miso Jang, AAPI Equity’s Program Manager