The May Project celebrates Asian Pacific American perspectives from Smithsonian staff, volunteers, interns, and friends. We are telling America's whole story. We represent our nation's diverse heritages.
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My name is Mitch Toda. And this is a picture of my family at the Honolulu Airport on our first trip home to Hawaii after having moved to California. I am the small kid in front with all of the leis around my neck. I remember receiving leis whenever I went home to Hawaii each year. As always there would be more than one; there were your flower leis, but my favorites were the candy and money leis. As I grew up I would get leis less often, but when I did it was always for significant moments in my life: high school graduation, college graduation, and on my wedding day.