We are currently in the middle of South Asian Heritage Month (SAHM). With East and Southeast Asian (ESEA) Heritage month beginning in September.
What is South Asian Heritage Month?
SAHM runs from 18 July to 17 August every year. 18 July 1947 marks the day the Indian Independence Act gained royal assent, and 17th August 1947 was chosen because it is the date when the Radcliffe Line was declared as the boundary between India, West Pakistan and East Pakistan. To better understand cultural connections between the UK and South Asia, this heritage month was created.
South Asia includes the following countries (by alphabetical order):
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, The Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
All of these countries have an important history with Britain. This is mostly a result of war, colonisation, globalisation, and the British Empire. Today, people of South Asian heritage are a significant part of the British population. It is thought that about one in twenty people in the UK are of South Asian heritage.
This year’s theme is celebrating the stories that make up South Asian life.
Here are some ways you can celebrate South Asian Heritage Month:
1. Learn About South Asia's Diverse Cultures
It is valuable to keep in mind that South Asia includes a wide range of countries and communities, each with their own unique traditions, religions, customs, cultures, and languages. To thoughtfully celebrate South Asian Heritage Month, consider learning about these countries' vast and diverse areas and peoples instead of lumping them together.
2. Explore the Contributions of South Asian Individuals
This includes thinking about overlooked historical figures from South Asia who have contributed to art, science, medicine, politics, and social change – as well as present-day artists, activists and so on. South Asian Heritage Month offers individuals a chance to educate themselves on the contributions of these individuals. They can continue learning throughout the year, elevating, and amplifying their support and progress for society's betterment across industries. You may explore the contributions of South Asian individuals by reading, watching, or listening to relevant content.
3. Spread the Word
South Asian Heritage Month might be underrepresented in the mainstream media. To combat the lack of awareness around South Asian Heritage Month, you can spread the word with friends, family members, and colleagues about the month's existence and ways to celebrate it.
Save the date: Thursday 7 September
An open event to listen to members of the South Asian and East South-east Asian communities discuss the importance of representation.
Mark your calendars for the upcoming South Asian and East South-East Asian event by the Diversity and Inclusion Team, taking place on Thursday, 7th September 2023 at the Student Life Building. ‘Cultivating Representation. If you can see it, you can be it.’
Staff, students and the Liverpool community are invited to join us for an inspiring afternoon of possibilities as we engage in conversation about the power of influence through representation and celebrate our South Asian, and East South-East Asian communities. Sign up to the event here.