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How Our AAPI Little Sleepies Community Keeps Culture And Traditions Alive

How Our AAPI Little Sleepies Community Keeps Culture And Traditions Alive How Our AAPI Little Sleepies Community Keeps Culture And Traditions Alive

April is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. It's the perfect time to reflect upon Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans' influence on American culture. So, we took the opportunity to speak with some of our AAPI Little Sleepies community!

They shared some of their favorite traditions and how they incorporate culture into their childrens’ lives. They even lent us some ideas for cultural resources to share with your kiddos!


How did your parents teach you about your heritage? What traditions still hold sentimental value to you today? 

Both my parents are immigrants and they taught me about my Korean heritage through the foods we eat, the traditions we celebrate and the language we speak. In Korean tradition, you eat a bowl of seaweed soup for your birthday and also as a postpartum recovery soup for the first few weeks after giving birth. That tradition is very sentimental to me because it not only reminds me of my mom’s labor of love for me on my birthdays, but it now reminds me of my postpartum recovery journey. 

- Jasmine Kim, @jasmnekim 

Growing up we had so many traditions, especially during the holidays. As a child I was always reminded about where my family came from and about the Vietnam and Cambodian War. The one tradition my family did have when my grandparents were alive was family dinner (which turned into a weekend party) every weekend. It was a time of laughter and so many good home cooked foods made by my grandmother. I hold onto these memories dearly.

- Quyen Ly, @cleanbeautyquyen

I was born and raised in Korea and moved to the US when I was 10 years old. So I knew a lot about my culture and traditions already. The rest of my childhood was spent trying to adapt and immerse myself in this new place that we now called home, but my parents made sure that we never forgot the importance of showing respect to elders and to be humble and hard-working. Every year at Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving), we would always eat dumplings,  rice cake soup and play yutnori - a tradition that I most definitely want to keep alive.

- Min Kwon, @kidfriendly.meals 

Even though I was raised in America, I always found that I identified as Thai more than anything because of the heavy cultural influence they instilled in me. My first language was Thai, we spent the entire summer in Thailand every year, and nearly every meal we ate was Thai cuisine. They would never let me forget my roots. To this day I will choose a nice plate of my moms Massaman curry over anything in this world.

- Peter Sing, @thesingfamily

Every holiday, regardless of the holiday, my parents did their best to celebrate with a Vietnamese twist. For example, an American traditional Thanksgiving dinner consists of turkey, green beans, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, etc... My family celebrated with a turkey, crab asparagus soup, trays on trays of egg rolls, duck, rice cakes, and so much more! Today, I do my best to incorporate those dishes into the holidays.

- Alissa Nguyen, @gaming_foodie 

Frequent visits to the temple, weekly family gatherings, and lots of cooking of traditional foods.

- Alexandria and Joey Nguyen, @alchanning

How do you incorporate your culture into your childrens’ lives? 

The same way my parents incorporated it into my life. Through food, traditions and language! My husband and I speak to our daughter mostly in Korean at home, as we know she’ll learn English out in the “real world". This will help her to grow up learning two languages! Since she now eats a ton of solid foods, I make sure to cook Korean foods that she will continue to eat as she grows up. 

- Jasmine Kim, @jasmnekim 


I tell them stories about their grandparents and great grandparents. I try my darndest to speak to them in my native languages but sometimes I slip and speak in all English. During holidays like Lunar New Year or Moon Festival I definitely practice most of the customary things (like making sure the house is clean, decorating the house, wearing red and paying respects to our ancestors).

- Quyen Ly, 


We’d love for our kids to grow up knowing the Korean language so we make it a priority to speak it at home as much as possible. We also like to celebrate all the traditional holidays, like Chuseok and Lunar New Year, and to teach them about the meanings and traditions associated with them, including food and games. Although it takes twice as long to get anything done, I really enjoy being in the kitchen with my kids cooking, tasting, and teaching them about mom’s favorite Korean dishes. 

- Min Kwon, @kidfriendly.meals 

Frequent trips to the Asian market to try new traditional foods and snacks. Weekly visits with grandparents so they can become more familiar with the language differences, and celebrating traditions events (Lunar New Year, Su Kwans).

- Alexandria and Joey Nguyen, @alchanning

I lean on my parents a lot. I also do my best to only speak Thai when addressing my children and Elena handles all the English speaking. I am lucky to have a partner who also comes from a multicultural household so she is really supportive and encouraging when it comes to honoring my culture. It makes it easier when we can both carry the load.

- Peter Sing, @thesingfamily

Since my kids are half Vietnamese, I talk to them in Vietnamese. It’s hard holding family conversations when my husband/ their dad is around since he does not speak Vietnamese, so only then is when I will speak in English. Other than that, I talk to my kids only in Vietnamese. 

- Alissa Nguyen, @gaming_foodie 


And now, here are some cultural resources our community shared for teaching your little ones about their heritage!  

Reading Age: 1-4 

Bee-Bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park

An illustrated book that introduces Korean culture and cuisine through a fun story about a family preparing their favorite dish.


Reading Age: 2-7 

I Dream of Popo by Livia Blackburne

A touching story that follows a young Taiwanese girl's journey to cope with her grandmother's absence through cherished memories after she immigrated to America.


Reading Age: 3-7 

Danbi Leads the School Parade by Anna Kim

This story follows a young girl from Korea’s journey as she overcomes her fears as a new student in America and celebrates diversity with her classmates. 

Dear Juno by Soyung Pak

A sweet children’s book about a Korean boy who uses pictures to communicate with his grandmother who lives far away. 

Reading Age: 4-7 

Tet Together by Alice Trinh

An introduction of Tết, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year.

Reading Age: 4-8 

Amah Far Away by Margaret Chiu Greanias

A heartwarming story of a girl's growing relationship with her grandmother in Taipei. 

Tomorrow is New Year’s Day: Seollal, A Korean Celebration of New Year by Aram Kim

In this story, Mina shares her favorite day of the year, Seollal, with her classmates and educates them on the Korean New Year celebration.

Reading Age: 7-9 

A Kid's Guide to Asian American History: More than 70 Activities by Valerie Petrillo

This engaging book presents the rich and diverse history of Asian Americans in the United States through interactive and fun activities.


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Do you have any favorite ways to share your culture with your children? We’d love to know. Let us know if you have any long standing traditions or ways to keep your culture alive that other families might love knowing about!


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