The Mayor of London's office has launched the first South Asia Heritage Month to celebrate the contributions of the South Asian community to British life.
City Hall said the special month'seeks to commemorate, mark and celebrate South Asian cultures and the intertwined histories of the UK and South Asian communities and how the South Asian culture resonates across London and throughout the UK.The month begins on July 18 as the date the Indian Independence Act 1947 gained Royal Assent and ends on August 17, marked as Partition Commemoration Day.
South Asian influences can be found everywhere in the UK, from our food and clothes to our music and even our words, and the streets of east and west London are rich with the colours, sights and sounds of proud South Asian identities, said Jasvir Singh, interfaith activist and co-founder of South Asian Heritage Month (SAHM).
From Southall to Wembley, and from Ilford to Brick Lane, South Asian cultures permeate all parts of life and adds to the diversity of London, he said.
The South Asia celebration covers eight countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Singh notes that each of these countries has been hugely impacted by its relationship with the UK, primarily through war and colonisation via the British Empire.