South Asian Heritage Month (SAHM) begins on 18 July and ends on 17 August;

  • 18 July marks when the Indian Independence Act 1947 gained royal assent; and
  • 17 August marks the date Radcliffe Line was published in 1947, which set out where the border between India, West Pakistan and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) would be.

South Asia is formed of eight countries; Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Migration from these countries to the UK during the 1950s and 1960s massively enriched diversity within the UK and SAHM should be used as a period to reflect, mark and celebrate the history and culture of British South Asian people.

Now is the time to create an open dialogue and better understand diversity and culture in Britain. We encourage everyone to take time over the coming weeks to get involved and learn. This could be in the form of; attending an online SAHM event, reading a new book (recommendations below); or spreading new-found knowledge with friends and family.

Some resources which may be of interest:

  • My Family Partition and Me
    A two-part TV documentary regarding Anita Rani’s discovery of her maternal grandfather Sant Singh's history and his tragic personal losses during the violence of the Partition of India in 1947. Link here

  • Matangi/Maya/M.I.A
    A biographical documentary film "drawn from a never-before-seen cache of personal footage spanning decades, this is an intimate portrait of the Sri Lankan artist and musician who continues to shatter conventions" (available on Netflix).

  • The Good Immigrant by Nikesh Shukla
    This book brings together 21 exciting black, Asian and minority ethnic voices emerging in today's Britain. The Good Immigrant explores why immigrants come to the UK, why they stay and what it means to be an 'other' in a country that doesn't seem to want you.

  • The Corner Shop by Babita Sharma
    This is an inspiring story of a family dealing with life in Britain, running a shop and working hard. A touching story of their lives told with humour and genuine emotion. Another tale of immigration into Britain that needs to be shared in schools and libraries to educate, inspire and teach people what Britain is truly made of.

Best wishes
The BAME Network