Asian American Pacific Islander Month



                                                                Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month is observed annually in May to celebrate the contributions that generations of AAPIs have made to American history, society, and culture in the United States. Asian/Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.

South Orange Village and Maplewood Township have joined forces to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month, 2021 and are offering a line-up of activities, projects and events that highlight the AAPI heritage in our community!

Click the links below for complete listings of all SOMA events and keep scrolling for some highlights.

South Orange AAPI Events

Maplewood AAPI Events

Press Release | Full Activities List


SOMA Wishing Trees

Make a wish for a bright future and to end to all anti-Asian racism and in honor of all in the AAPI community directly and indirectly affected by violence and hate. 

Make a wish. Write it on a tag.
Tie your tag to the string on any SOMA wishing tree location. In South Orange Visit Spiotta Park. Wish ribbons available at Sparkhouse and Kitchen a la Mode. 

All Month Long - May 2021. 

Ask your friends and family to do the same.

You can make our collective wishes come true by taking action to understand how the exclusion of Asians from racial discourse and community visibility leads to anti-Asian racism and enables the continued dismissal of Asian relevance in racial justice, community diversity, and school integration agendas.

Sponsors: SOMA Asian, Township of Maplewood, South Orange Village, SOMA Action Racial Justice, SOMA Action Religious Justice, SOMA Justice



Lion Dance

Lion dance is an important ritual in Chinese tradition believed to bring good luck and drive away evil spirits on auspicious occasions. 

What better way to kick off the Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month than see the Lion Dance known to bring good luck and happiness?

Join us as we watch the Lion Dance by the New York Chinese Freemasons Athletic Club along Maplewood Avenue on Friday, May 7, 2021, at 6 pm.

In a dancing mood? Then watch or dance to the Masala Bhangra with Mimi Stella at 7 pm. The Masala Bhangra workout is a complete cardiovascular workout that blends traditional Bhangra dance steps with the exhilaration of Bollywood (Hindi film) moves. It is derived from two Indian words: “Masala", which means spicy in Hindi, and “Bhangra”, a traditional folk dance from the northern state of Punjab, India.

Still in a party mood? Senor Carberry will be playing some KPop and more Bollywood dance songs. Balle! Balle!

Sponsored by: SOMA Cross Cultural Works, Maplewood Township, Division of Arts & Culture, South Orange Village, Adamson Ramsey Homes - Keller Williams Realty, Elizabeth Tapia - Guaranteed Rate, Kokoro, Maplewood Village Alliance, Seton Hall University and BCB Bank



Enjoy Hula Dance performances and lei-making lessons in Spiotta Park with Pua Aliʻi ʻIlima o Nūioka 

Grab refreshments from one of our many Asian restaurants or stay after the performances for dinner out. Restaurant details and specials TBA. 

Bring a lawn chair and enjoy the performances by this premier dance company. 

Sponsored by local realtor, CAROL VELEZ FARDIN | 917.450.8843, Cross Cultural Works, South Orange Village, and Maplewood Township. 

Halau Hula Revised 050221___________________________________________________

AAPI Heritage Month Family Pool Party 

South Orange Village President Sheena Collum and Maplewood Mayor Frank McGehee invite you to celebrate the Asian American Pacific Islander Communities of South Orange and Maplewood with a Pool Party!

Friday, May 28, 2021

5:00pm - 8:00 pm

South Orange Community Pool

Enjoy delicious food from local restaurants* or bring your own. Music generously provided by DJ Manoj Thakrar and children's story hour led by the talented Manman Huang.

Free Admission

Advance Registration required: Link to register available 5/17/21

Age 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult

Register early!

Attendance is limited to adhere to NJ State COVID-19 guidelines.

*Food options will be emailed in advance to registered guests for you to order on your own in advance. Food can be ordered for delivery or picked up in advance.