South Asian Heritage Month


18 July to 17 August 2022

Monday marked the beginning of this year’s South Asian Heritage Month (SAHM). Learn about what it is, why it’s important and what’s going on across Bradford District. 

What is South Asian Heritage Month?

  • South Asian Heritage Month (SAHM) is an annual awareness month that runs from 18 July to 17 August each year. 
  • SAHM seeks to commemorate, mark and celebrate South Asian cultures, histories and communities. It seeks to understand the diverse heritage and cultures that continue to link the UK with South Asia. 
  • The month begins on 18 July, the date that the Indian Independence Act 1947 gained royal assent from King George VI, and ends on 17 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. 

Why is South Asian Heritage Month important? 

  • Along with providing learning opportunities for others, the month enables people of South Asian heritage to reclaim their history and identity by sharing their own stories and experiences. 

Why is South Asian Heritage Month important to Mind in Bradford? 

  • We value celebrating different cultures, hearing different experiences and delving into history, and the chance to stand with and celebrate the South Asian communities of Bradford. 
  • We understand there can be additional barriers to seeking mental health support for South Asian communities, such as language, differences in cultural norms and expectations and generational trauma. We want to better understand these and work to make our services accessible to all. 

What’s going on in Bradford District during South East Asian Month? 

  • Sangam Festival, 18 July – 17 August: A celebration of South Asian heritage. 
  • Bradford South Asian Festival @ Kala Sangam, 12 – 14 August: Events will involve expression through artform, including poetry readings, writing workshops, visual art, musical, theatre, puppetry and crafts – across the whole weekend.
  • Check out the video highlighting some of the amazing ways South Asian Heritage Month was celebrated in Bradford last year!

How can we use South Asian Heritage Month to address mental health?

To mark South Asian Heritage Month, our SMI Programme Manager Masira Hans talks about mental health in relation to generational trauma, tokenism, belonging, difference, commonality, and the importance of people taking the responsibility to educate themselves.

Mental illnesses do exist for people within South Asian communities. That is a fact.

”One in four of us will suffer from mental illness at some point in our lives – our 2021 survey showed many more people were feeling more anxious and isolated due to the pandemic.

”I can also share how mental ill health is generally frowned upon in all communities, stigma is not a phenomenon that only exists if you have brown skin. What is true however, is that there are additional barriers that exist if one belongs to a South Asian community.”

Read Masira’s blog

Posted on: 19th July 2022

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