May is Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Heritage Month, a time of celebration to recognize the contributions and influence from the AAPI community. In Italy, there are countless Asian-Italian figures and businesses. Here are just a few to highlight and support this month and beyond:
Zhang, 25 launched Mulan Group’s online store one week after Italy’s Covid-19 lockdown hit the Asian packaged foods business’ 6,000 networks of vendors. Nominated for the 2021 Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe Retail & ECommerce list, Zhang, born in China, grew up working in her parents' restaurant in Cremona, Italy. She also led a campaign to tackle a flare-up of anti-Asian racism.
“My aim was really to promote more and more common sense, less racism, and to dispel misinformation. And what was really nice is that through my voice, I convinced Italian President Sergio Mattarella to visit a Chinatown to empower my message,” Zhang, who has also donated meals to medical workers in Lombardy, one of Italy’s worst-hit regions of Covid-19, said in an interview with Forbes. “I really think food is a universal language. And after all the difficulties I had integrating in Italy, I see my job today to promote food as a super powerful tool for intercultural dialogue,” said Zhang.
Teresa Lin and Marco Wong
Lin and Wong are the first Italian-Chinese city councillors in the city of Prato, Tuscany. Teresa Lin, 24 years old, was born in Florence and studied Economics in the United States. Wong, born in Bologna, is a business entrepreneur; in the past he has worked in Tim and Huawei and he is the board member of Extrabanca, a bank that serves migrant communities not only in Tuscany.
Elvira Ricotta Adamo
Adamo is Senior Account Manager at Etnomarketing, focusing on Diversity and Inclusion, and Social and Digital Communication. Originally from the Philippines and raised in Sicily, she has been engaged for many years in politics and civil rights.
Bhuiyan is an actor and director, known for Bangla (2019), Yoroi (2017) and Bangla the series (2022). He was born and raised in Rome, and his family is originally from Bangladesh. His film “Bangla”, a romantic comedy set up in the multicultural area in Rome of Torpignattara, was awarded at the David di Donatello.
Salvo is an activist for Asian representation in Italy and for LGBTQIA+ rights. He was born in Rome, and his family is originally from the Philippines. He is a content creator and works with Kube community and Kube Talents, the first Italian media platform that has focuses on inclusivity.