- The South Asian Heritage Month 2021 official calendar is now available online at www.southasianheritage.org.uk/events
- With over 100 official events covering a diverse range of topics, the Month runs from Sunday 18th July to Tuesday 17th August
- Themes for 2021 are: Identity, Sports, History, Health & Wellbeing, Creative Arts
The official South Asian Heritage Month calendar 2021 has been released today with over 100 planned events between Sunday 18th July to Tuesday 17th August. Curated in partnership with individuals, groups, and organisations, the calendar covers a diverse range of topics encompassing this year’s five themes: Identity, Sports, History, Health & Wellbeing, Creative Arts.
A new website has also been launched to coincide with the release of the official calendar.
Calendar highlights for South Asian Heritage Month 2021 include:
- Events marking the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence, including looking at how Brick Lane became the centre of British Bangladeshi identity (Sun 18th Jul, 7.30pm)
- Literature based events each day curated by #SouthAsianWriters, ranging from interviews with award-winning writer Nikesh Shukla (Sun 8th Aug, 7pm) and TV presenter Anita Rani (Wed 4th Aug, 6pm) through to creative workshops for songwriting (Sun 1st Aug, 3pm), a writing course for women of colour (Sun 8th Aug, 4pm) and an open mic night (Sun 25th Jul, 6pm)
- UK Punjab Heritage Association’s bookclub, with Varinder Kalra recalling when the renowned singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan came to Slough (Mon 2nd Aug at 5pm), and Andrew Whitehead looking at the extraordinary life of Freda Bedi (Mon 9th Aug, 5pm)
- LGBTQ+ specific events, including a discussion organised by the Ozanne Foundation with Naz & Matt Foundation looking at conversion therapy in the South Asian communities (Wed 28th Jul, 6pm), Open Minds Student Spaces (Thu 22nd and Thu 29th July, 6pm), and the UK premiere of the groundbreaking film Sab Rab De Bande followed by a panel discussion on LGBTQ+ Sikhs (Sun 1st Aug, 4.15pm)
- Discussions and debates regarding the sporting world, addressing issues such as the visible absence of South Asian women in sport (Fri 23rd Jul, 6pm) and of South Asian men in football (Sat 7th Aug, 6pm). There are also events being organised by the England and Wales Cricket Board (Fri 30th Jul, 5pm) and the Football Association (Thu 5th Aug, 5pm)
- Health and wellbeing events, such as the experience of South Asians during the pandemic (Sun 8th Aug, 7pm), debunking myths about the menopause (Wed 4th Aug, 7.30pm), weekly Chai and Chat events on health issues (Fri, 10am) and many more
- Youth events, including a webinar on South Asians in Gaming aimed at school children, parents and teachers (Thu 22nd Jul, 2pm), an event by OSCH Our Shared Cultural Heritage (Tue 17th Aug, 7.30pm), and the cultural challenges and opportunities for young people as a result of the pandemic (Sun 25th Jul, 9pm)
The events program is rich in its variety and reflects British South Asian identity across the nation. As well as celebrating the cultural heritage of South Asia through food, music, and art, the month will raise awareness and debate relevant contemporary issues including mental health, disability awareness, and Partition. With so much to choose from, it promises to be a fantastic month ahead.
The vast majority of this year’s official events will be taking place online.
Co-founder Jasvir Singh OBE said “South Asian Heritage Month matters because we need to have ownership of our own narratives, our own stories, and our own lived experiences. Our aim is to promote British South Asian heritage and history, through arts, culture, and education, with the ultimate goal of helping people to understand the diversity of present-day Britain better. There are so many exciting events, and we’re looking forward to what should be a month to remember.
Co-founder Dr. Binita Kane added “South Asian Heritage Month 2021 is the perfect opportunity to celebrate, commemorate and educate about modern South Asian identity in Britain today. We couldn’t be prouder of our team of volunteers who have pulled this together, but also the public and all the organisations who have supported us. We’ve been blown away by the level of interest and can’t wait for it to kick off this Sunday”