By Jasvir Singh OBE and Dr Binita Kane, Co-Founders of South Asian Heritage Month

(External Content - posted on behalf of author)

South Asia is formed of 8 countries - namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Every single one of those countries has been hugely impacted by it's relationship with Britain, primarily through war, colonisation, and ultimately via the British Empire. People of South Asian heritage are a significant part of the British population, with about 1 in every 20 people in the country being of South Asian heritage.

South Asian Heritage Month runs from 18th July to 17th August. The dates are significant for a number of different reasons:
  • 18th July is the date that the Independence of India Act 1947 gained royal assent
  • 14th August is Pakistani Independence Day
  • 15th August is Indian Independence Day
  • 17th August is 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 dates also 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.

  • 14th August is Pakistani Independence Day - 6
  • 14th August is Pakistani Independence Day - 7
  • 14th August is Pakistani Independence Day - 8
  • 14th August is Pakistani Independence Day - 9
  • 14th August is Pakistani Independence Day - 10
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.

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 our opportunity to show what it means to be South Asian in the 21st century, as well as look into the past to see how we got here.

South Asian influences can be found everywhere in Britain, from our food and clothes to our music and even our words, while the streets of our towns and cities are rich with the colours, sights and sounds of proud South Asian identity. It's culture permeates all parts of British life and adds to the diversity of the nation.

South Asian Heritage Month aims to transform how people connect with South Asian culture and identity in three simple ways: through the celebration of arts, culture and heritage, through the commemoration of the history and anniversaries and ultimately through education.

Events during the month range from photography exhibitions to history lectures, from cookery lessons to quizzes, and from film screenings to music playlists. All of the events in 2020 are taking place online, which means you can take part in the month-long festivities and commemorations from the comfort of your own home.

Please get involved with the month - use the hashtag #SouthAsianHeritageMonth on social media and follows us on the following:

- YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmAXRQlPX2YyQU0GEF_RJ2w

- Twitter - https://twitter.com/SAHM_UK

- Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/southasianheritagemonth_uk/

- Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/southasianheritagemonth/

- Website for SAHM 2020 - https://www.mminquarantine.com/south-asian-heritage-month

We hope you enjoy all that South Asian Heritage Month 2020 has to offer.


  • 14th August is Pakistani Independence Day - 11
  • 14th August is Pakistani Independence Day - 12
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