This South Asian Heritage Month, we are celebrating the resilience and beauty of South Asian cultures and identities. But it is also necessary to spotlight the experiences of the most marginalised South Asian communities: such as darker-skinned South Asians, Black South Asians, Tamils, Muslims, queer South Asians, and South Asians from lower castes.
South Asian diasporas in the UK have often faced racism and Islamophobia in the form of surveillance and police brutality. As anti-migrant sentiment increases in the UK, South Asians will continue to be excluded and demonised.
South Asia is commonly referred to as the countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. However, we also acknowledge that there are South Asian communities with a connection to the African continent, as many South Asians are also Mauritian, Ugandan and Kenyan.
As the month progresses, we will be sharing stories and reflections on the importance of South Asian Heritage Month. It is also important to bear in mind the long legacy of British colonialism in the South Asian region, and how that has defined migration to the UK and shaped experiences of diasporic belonging.