Asian Heritage Month is proudly recognized during the month of May at the Toronto District School Board. More than 40% of TDSB students self-identify as Asian. The selected theme for this year is, “Discover. Share. Celebrate.”
Asia has great political, economic, social, ethnic, cultural and religious diversity; this diversity creates challenges when we attempt to define Asia in geographic and political terms. The inclusive and broad definition of Asian used by the TDSB Asian Heritage Month committee includes, but is not limited to all people whose ancestors came from the following:
✓• East Asia (China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan);
✓• South Asia (India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan);
✓• Southeast Asia (Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Philippines);
✓• Central Asia (Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan)
This year’s Asian Heritage Month activity includes the Asian heritage impact to the liberation of Holocaust survivors to recognize the 75th Liberation Anniversary. The two individuals being highlighted are: Ho Feng Shan, Chinese diplomat, and also Dr. George Bluman who shares his family’s escape from the Holocaust due to the action of Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara.
Ho Feng Shan, Chinese diplomat: Mr. Ho Feng Shan was a Chinese diplomat who passed away in 1997. Upon his death, his action to help Jews escape Holocaust camps came to light.
He was the 'Chinese Schindler' who saved thousands of Jews. Learn more.
Dr. George Bluman, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the University of British Columbia: Dr. George Bluman recently shared his family history in January 2020 at the 15th annual Raoul Wallenberg Day commemoration. He shared that his parents fled to Lithuania after Germany invaded Poland in 1939. His parents received transit visas from Chiune Sugihara and their journey to Canada began. An estimated 15% of Sugihara survivors became Canadians, many of them remaining in Vancouver. Learn more.
Further, we are pleased to share with you once again the photography slide show that were displayed last year to recognize Asian Heritage Month.