AAPI Heritage Month: 75 Trivia Questions To Help You Celebrate

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The month of May not only brings flowers and warmth but also invites us to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month!

This month serves as a time to reflect on the rich and diverse contributions of AAPI individuals to the fabric of American history and culture. In the spirit of honoring this super-special month, we’ve prepared a special treat for trivia enthusiasts and history buffs alike!

Get ready to test your knowledge and dive headfirst into the world of AAPI history, people, and events. From influential figures like Duke Kahanamoku, Bruce Lee, and Amy Tan to the origins of AAPI Heritage Month itself, this quiz covers a broad spectrum of topics.

Join us on a journey through the decades, exploring milestones, overcoming adversity, and celebrating the achievements of AAPI individuals who have shaped the narrative of the United States!

Before we get started — we invite you to bookmark or save some of these other trivia quizzes for later!

AAPI Heritage Month Trivia: Influential People Throughout History

Q: Who is often referred to as “The Big Kahuna” and was a Native Hawaiian Olympic gold medalist, surfer, and actor?

A: Duke Kahanamoku

Q: Which filmmaker, born in New Zealand, directed the mockumentary “What We Do in the Shadows” and won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for “Jojo Rabbit”?

A: Taika Waititi

Q: Born in South Korea, this director won multiple Academy Awards for the film “Parasite.” Who is he?

A: Bong Joon-ho

Q: An American author of Chinese descent, known for her novels like “The Joy Luck Club” and “The Kitchen God’s Wife.” Who is she?

A: Amy Tan

Q: Born in India in 1861, this poet and philosopher is often considered a key figure in the development of modern Indian literature. Who is he?

A: Rabindranath Tagore

Q: Which Indian mathematician and scholar made significant contributions to number theory, and a movie was made about his life titled “The Man Who Knew Infinity”?

A: Srinivasa Ramanujan

Gandhi Statue

Q: Known as the “Father of the Indian Nation,” who led India to independence through non-violent civil disobedience?

A: Mahatma Gandhi

Q: Born in Tokyo, Japan, this renowned architect designed the Tokyo National Museum and is considered one of the pioneers of modern Japanese architecture. Who is he?

A: Kenzo Tange

Q: Which Chinese American astronaut became the first Asian American to fly in space and later became the first woman of Asian descent in space?

A: Mae Jemison

Q: Born in Hong Kong, this martial artist, actor, and filmmaker became a global icon and starred in films like “Enter the Dragon.” Who is he?

A: Bruce Lee

Q: A Cambodian American who survived the Khmer Rouge regime, wrote the book “First They Killed My Father,” and is a human rights activist. Who is she?

A: Loung Ung

Q: Born in India, this scientist won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the photoelectric effect. Who is he?

A: Sir C. V. Raman

Q: This Chinese American architect designed iconic buildings like the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Louvre Pyramid. Who is he?

A: I.M. Pei

Q: Which Korean-American actress rose to fame for her role as Cristina Yang on the hit TV series “Grey’s Anatomy”?

A: Sandra Oh

Q: This Indian-American actress became the first South Asian woman to headline an American network series with her role in “Quantico.” Who is she?

A: Priyanka Chopra

Q: Known for her role in “Crazy Rich Asians” and “The Brothers Sun”, this Malaysian actress and television host is also a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador. Who is she?

A: Michelle Yeoh

Q: Which Taiwanese-American actress gained international acclaim for her role in Ang Lee’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and later starred in “Memoirs of a Geisha”?

A: Zhang Ziyi

Q: This Japanese-American actress starred in the Netflix series “The Naked Director” and gained recognition for her role in “Pacific Rim.” Who is she?

A: Rinko Kikuchi

Q: Which Indian actress made history as the first Indian woman to win a Primetime Emmy Award for her role in “The Mindy Project”?

A: Mindy Kaling

Q: This Chinese-American actress and producer starred in the TV series “Elementary” and gained recognition for her role in “Memoirs of a Geisha.” Who is she?

A: Lucy Liu

Q: Which Vietnamese-American actress played the lead role in the critically acclaimed film “The Farewell,” earning a Golden Globe nomination?

A: Awkwafina (Nora Lum)

Q: Known for her performances in “Fresh Off the Boat” and “Hustlers,” this Taiwanese-American actress has been an advocate for Asian representation in Hollywood. Who is she?

A: Constance Wu

Q: A Chinese American actress and singer who gained fame in the 1930s and 1940s, often called the “Chinese Garbo.” Who is she?

A: Anna May Wong

Q: Born in South Korea, this actress became the first Korean actor to win an Academy Award for her role in the film “Minari.” Who is she?

A: Youn Yuh-jung

Q: This Japanese American actor is best known for his role as Sulu in the original “Star Trek” series. Who is he?

A: George Takei

Q: This American cellist and musician has won multiple Grammy Awards and is known for his exceptional contributions to classical music. Who is he?

A: Yo-Yo Ma

Q: An Indian American astronaut and the first woman of Indian descent in space, who tragically lost her life in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. Who is she?

A: Kalpana Chawla

Q: Who is the Taiwanese American filmmaker known for winning three Academy Awards, including Best Director for “Brokeback Mountain” and “Life of Pi”?

A: Ang Lee

Q: Which Chinese American actress is considered the first of Taishanese descent to achieve superstardom in Hollywood?

A: Anna May Wong

Q: Known as the “Chinese Marie Curie” and the “Queen of Nuclear Research,” which Chinese American physicist played a critical role in the Manhattan Project?

A: Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu

Q: Before the Food Network, which Chinese American chef was credited with popularizing authentic northern-style Chinese cuisine in the U.S.?

A: Joyce Chen

Q: Who became the first Sikh American, the first Asian American, and the first Indian American to be elected to the U.S. Congress?

A: Dalip Singh Saund

Q: Born in Hong Kong and living openly with HIV, which civil rights leader is known for being the first transgender woman and first Asian to lead the San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration?

A: Cecilia Chung

Q: The Taiwanese American research physician and virologist, Dr. David Ho, is renowned for his work in researching which two major diseases?

A: AIDS and coronavirus

Q: Which Cambodian American surgeon, actor, and author won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in “The Killing Fields”?

A: Haing S. Ngor

Q: Co-founder of Yahoo! and a Taiwanese American, who dropped out of the doctoral program at Stanford University to create the internet directory “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web”?

A: Jerry Yang

Q: Born in Paia, Hawaii, who was the first woman of color elected to the U.S. Congress and the first Hawaiian woman elected to Congress?

A: Patsy Matsu Takemoto Mink

Q: Born to Korean immigrant parents in Fresno, California, who was the first Asian American man to win an Olympic gold medal for the U.S.?

A: Sammy Lee

Q: A Japanese American historian and civil rights activist credited with coining the term “Asian American”?

A: Yuji Ichioka (along with Emma Gee in 1968).

Q: Thai American U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth lost both of her legs and some mobility in her right arm during which war?

A: Iraq War

Q: Which actor, known for his role in “Crazy Rich Asians,” became the first Asian male in 25 years to be nominated for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role?

A: Henry Golding

Q: Which actress, born in Hawaii, gained widespread recognition for her lead role in the action thriller TV series “Nikita” and has been an advocate for animal rights?

A: Maggie Q

Q: Which Korean-American actor gained fame for his role in the TV series “The Walking Dead” and later starred in the blockbuster film “Okja”?

A: Steven Yeun

Q: Who, known as “The Rock,” is a highly successful actor of Samoan descent, with roles in films like “Moana” and “The Fast and the Furious” franchise?

A: Dwayne Johnson.

Q: This American journalist, of Japanese descent, reported on significant events such as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2010 Haiti earthquake, earning seven Emmy Awards in her career. Who is she?

A: Ann Curry.

Q: Born in Hawaii and of Japanese and Chinese descent, this TV personality and dancer gained fame as a judge on “Dancing with the Stars” and is a passionate animal advocate. Who is she?

A: Carrie Ann Inaba.

Q: Ellison Onizuka, the first Asian American in space, tragically lost his life in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986. What honor was he posthumously awarded for his service?

A: Congressional Space Medal of Honor.

AAPI Heritage Month Trivia: Cultural Celebrations

Chinese New Year Red Envelope

Q: What is the traditional Chinese New Year also known as?

A: Lunar New Year or Spring Festival

Q: In Vietnamese culture, what is the name for the Lunar New Year celebration?

A: Tết

Q: In Japan, what is the name of the traditional cherry blossom viewing season?

A: Hanami

Q: What Hindu festival marks the victory of light over darkness and good over evil and is celebrated with the lighting of lamps and candles?

A: Diwali

Q: Which Chinese holiday is known for its colorful lanterns, dragon dances, and the exchange of red envelopes for good luck?

A: Chinese New Year

Chinese Dragon Dance

Q: In Korea, what is the traditional celebration that marks the first day of the Korean lunar calendar?

A: Seollal

Q: During Songkran, the traditional New Year celebration in Thailand, what common activity takes place on the streets?

A: Water fights and splashing

Q: What is the name of the Japanese festival honoring ancestors and featuring traditional dance, music, and the floating of lanterns on water?

A: Obon

Q: During Chuseok, the Korean harvest festival, what food is traditionally made and shared among families?

A: Songpyeon (rice cakes)

Q: In China, what traditional festival celebrates the harvest and involves mooncakes, lanterns, and dragon boat races?

A: Mid-Autumn Festival or Moon Festival

Q: During Tết, what symbolic food is often consumed to bring good luck and prosperity in Vietnamese culture?

A: Sticky rice cake (bánh chưng)

Q: In Indian culture, what is the festival of colors where people playfully throw colored powders and water at each other?

A: Holi

Holi Festival Of Colors

Q: In South Korea, what festival celebrates the first full moon of the lunar new year and features folk games and activities?

A: Jeongwol Daeboreum

Q: What is the name of the Japanese New Year’s celebration that involves the first visit to a shrine and special decorations at home?

A: Oshogatsu

Q: In which country is the festival of Naadam celebrated, featuring traditional games such as wrestling, horse racing, and archery?

A: Mongolia

Q: What is the traditional Thai festival, held in November, where beautifully decorated boats float on rivers and canals to pay homage to the water spirits?

A: Loy Krathong

AAPI Heritage Month Trivia: Historical Events

Q: In which year did New York representative Frank Horton introduce House Joint Resolution 540, proposing the first 10 days of May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week?

A: 1977

Q: Who introduced a similar joint resolution in the same year (1977), suggesting the first 10 days of May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week?

A: Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye

Q: In which year did Congress expand the observance of Asian/Pacific American Heritage from a week to a month?

A: 1990

Q: Under whose administration was May officially designated as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month in 1992?

A: George H. W. Bush

Q: In what year was Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month renamed as AAPI Heritage Month?

A: 2009

Q: Who became the first Asian American Vice President of the United States in 2021?

A: Kamala Harris

Q: In 2021, which Marvel movie marked the debut of the first Asian superhero, Shang-Chi?

A: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Q: In 1763, Filipinos escaping forced labor established a settlement in which U.S. state?

A: Louisiana (St. Malo)

Q: During the California Gold Rush of the 1850s, which group of immigrants provided labor for gold mines, factories, and the transcontinental railroad?

A: Chinese immigrants

Q: What landmark legislation in 1882 banned Chinese immigration for 20 years?

A: Chinese Exclusion Act

Q: In 1965, which act changed restrictive national origin quotas, allowing for a large influx of Asians and Pacific Islanders to come to the United States with their families?

A: Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965

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Elle Liang

Elle is a travel blogger and entertainment publisher by day and a trivia fanatic by night. Her favorite hobbies include hiking mountains, traveling anywhere in the world, watching documentaries, playing bingo, and brushing up on world knowledge through games like Trivial Pursuit.

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