From 18 July - 17 August 2021, we celebrated South Asian Heritage Month, a month of activity to explore the shared cultures and histories of the UK and South Asia. 

What is South Asian Heritage Month?

South Asian Heritage Month (SAHM) exists in order to commemorate, mark and celebrate South Asian history and culture, as well as to better understand the diverse heritage that continues to link the UK and South Asia.It was launched in the House of Commons in July 2019. 2021 marked the second South Asian Heritage Month, it took place between 18 July - 17 August 2021.

What did Our Shared Cultural Heritage do South Asian Heritage Month?

To celebrate South Asian Heritage Month, the British Council, Glasgow Life, Manchester Museum and young people curated a programme of activity involving artists and speakers from the UK and South Asia. Programme themes were selected by young people and included language, diaspora and identity, alongside a focus on music, literature and fashion. Through a series of discussions, workshops and performances, South Asian Heritage Month connected speakers, artists and young people across the UK and South Asia - in particular in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh. 

Find out more about British Council's events below:

chai breaker with Jaya Modi and Rajyashri Goody

Monday 9 August, 1 - 2pm BST; 5:30 - 6:30pm IST

An hour chai-making session and talk unpacking recipes, poems and memories about chai to reveal its history and deeper meaning. With UK-based designer and writer Jaya Modi, India-based artist Rajyashri Goody and host, cultural producer Parvinder Marwaha. 

Selector Radio South Asian Heritage Month Special

Friday 13 August, 12 noon BST
Selector host Jamz Supernova will be joined by a musical co-host from the UK South Asian diaspora for this special edition of Selector. The show will also feature a roundtable conversation examining what South Asian Heritage Month means to the UK music sector and a special playlist from a guest DJ in the mix who's also covering After Dark. 

Celebrating South Asian Beauty Practices with Bina Khan

Friday 13 August, 1 - 2pm BST; 5 - 6pm PKT 
An hour-long workshop with Pakistani make-up artist Bina Khan, using classic make-up techniques that celebrate South Asian beauty. Bina Khan has been a respected make-up artist and teacher for over 25 years. Her unique take on Pakistani bridal make-up, a combination between Hollywood red carpet glamour and the deep, rich colours that suit desi skin so well, coupled with a joy in celebrating rather than disguising skin tones, have earned her work a loyal following. 

Women Celebrating Water Heritage through Stories

Tuesday 17 August, 1-2:30 BST ; 5:30-7pm IST

A session celebrating water heritage across borders through the power of storytelling with women and young girls from the Northeast of India and the UK. Join Minket Lepcha (storyteller, India) and Gauri Raje (storyteller, Scotland) moderated by Sara Ahmed (Director, Living Waters Museum, India). Also featuring young participants from the (Re)Meeting the Roots: Visualising Water Heritage through Storytelling in Northeast India project. 

How is it funded?

This activity is part of Our Shared Cultural Heritage, a multi-year partnership with Manchester MuseumGlasgow Life and UK Youth. OSCH is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in the UK, and by British Council in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Find out more:

If you're interested in finding out more about SAHM, Our Shared Cultural Heritage or would like to get involved, please contact Isobel Cecil, programme manager for Our Shared Cultural Heritage. 

See also