A reflection from our co-founder, Siwat Siengsanaoh:
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. I’ve spent some time trying to describe what it’s like being a first-generation Asian American, but I don’t believe my own words fully capture it. Therefore, I’d like to build off of a quote from Andrea Jung, the President, and Chief Executive Officer of Grameen America: “My parents kept the best aspects of the Asian culture, and they Americanized our family." To me, these are the themes and values that come to mind:
- Family is the most important, and always show respect to people who are older than you.
- Humility goes a long way and be grateful to those who have helped you throughout your life.
- Develop discipline and focus early on. Life is a marathon, not a race.
- Opportunities are there for the taking - go out there and get them.
- Be inquisitive and curious about everything.
- Stand up for what you believe in.
Siwat's Asian-American heritage is an important part of our company and at the heart of Recoup's creation. Recoup was inspired by the ginger-based home remedies that Siwat's mom created for him as a child. He spent the first three years of his life in the hospital and went through ten major surgeries before he was twelve. His mom would create Thai home remedies with ginger to help with digestion, nutrient-absorption, and nausea. Ginger played a big part in his recovery, and inspired him to create a beverage that could help others feel better and live well. (photo is Siwat and his mother with him in the hospital)
A brief history and of AAPI Heritage Month
Asian American Heritage Month is celebrated annually in the United States during the month of May. The celebration is dedicated to honoring the achievements and contributions of Asian Americans throughout history. As a certified minority owned: Asian-American owned business, it is important for us to understand and appreciate the significance of this observance.
The origins of Asian American Heritage Month can be traced back to the 1970s, when a group of activists in California proposed the idea of a week-long celebration to recognize the contributions of Asian Americans. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a resolution designating the first week of May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.
Over the years, the week-long celebration gained popularity and support from various organizations and individuals, leading to its expansion into a month-long observance in 1990. In the same year, President George H.W. Bush signed a bill officially designating May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.
May was chosen as the month to honor Asian Americans because of the significant events that occurred during this time in history. For example, May 10, 1869 marked the completion of the transcontinental railroad, which was built largely by Chinese immigrants. May is also the month when Japanese immigrants first arrived in the United States in 1843, and when the first Filipino immigrants arrived in California in 1898.
Asian American Heritage Month provides an opportunity to reflect on the diverse experiences and rich cultural heritage of Asian Americans. As an Asian-American owned company, we are proud to celebrate this observance and honor the contributions of our community. We strive to promote diversity and inclusion in our business practices and products, and we hope to continue to celebrate and support Asian American Heritage Month for years to come.
Learn more about about #STOPASIANHATE and anti-racism resources.