The month of May is not just Older Americans month, it is also Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.
Heritage has particular meaning when identities of South Asian Americans are being questioned. Of people who have lived here for generations! People who have contributed to the United States as serving and responsible citizens...
What is heritage, after all?
The Cambridge Dictionary puts it as "the history, traditions, practices, etc. of a particular country, society, or company that exist from the past and continue to be important".
Towards the end of the 19th century, Sikhs immigrated by the hundreds to California, and began working on farmlands and helping in construction of the railroad. In due course they married Mexican women.
What is their heritage now, 130 years later? Surely it is both Punjabi + Mexican, well layered into an identity that is absolutely American?
And this is true of all immigrant identities, whether European, African, Asian, Caribbean or any of the many regions of the world that have contributed citizens to the United States. You carry forth some values, and you embrace new practices, and with a natural fluidity your identity become more than the sum of all your many parts.
There should be no cause to deny it, we are multi-layered, multi-history, multi-culture. Let's be proud of our heritage.
And let no one question our American identity.