A celebration of South Asian Heritage in the UK, this annual event seeks to raise the profile of British South Asian heritage and history in the UK through education, arts, culture and commemoration.
South Asian Heritage Month is about reclaiming the history and identity of British South Asians. People need to be able to tell their own stories, and this is an opportunity to show what it means to be South Asian in the 21st century, as well as look to the past to see how Britain became the diverse country it is today.
South Asian influences can be found everywhere in Britain, from food and clothes to music and even our words. The streets of our towns and cities are rich with the colours, sights and sounds of proud South Asian identity. Its culture permeates all parts of British life and adds to the diversity of the nation.
The month begins on 18th July, the date that the Indian Independence Act 1947 gained royal assent from King George VI, and ends on the 17th August, the date that the Radcliffe Line was published in 1947, which finally set out where the border between India, West Pakistan and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) would be.
The start and end dates show just how much of an influence Britain has had on South Asia as a whole over the last few centuries.
The dates coincide to a large extent with the South Asian month of Saravan/Sawan, which is the main monsoon month when the region’s habitat undergoes renewal Having it take place across the two Western calendar months of July and August seemed entirely apt, as it respects the traditions of the South Asian calendars.
This period also includes several independence days connected to South Asian countries.