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South Asian Heritage Month | Access to Culture

South Asian Heritage Month

By Sharon Schweitzer

 

South Asian Heritage Month is held annually from July 18th to August 17th to honor, recognize, and appreciate South Asian history and culture, as well as to comprehend the rich cultural legacy of countries and South Asia. It is also to better comprehend the various heritage of countries and South Asia. Composed of eight countries, South Asia is made up of, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. 

The goal of South Asian Heritage Month is to help South Asians regain their heritage and sense of self. Everyone has the right to share their tales, and this is an opportunity to demonstrate what it means to be South Asian in the 21st century while simultaneously looking back in time for clues about how their beloved country became the diverse country it is now. 

The month begins on July 18th, the date that the Indian Independence Act 1947 gained royal assent from King George VI, and ends on August 17th, 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.

The start and end dates show just how much of an influence Britain has had on South Asia as a whole over the last few centuries. The dates coincide to a large extent with the South Asian month of Saravan/Sawan, which is the main monsoon month when the region’s habitat undergoes renewal. Having it take place across the two Western calendar months of July and August is entirely apt, as it respects the traditions of the South Asian calendars. This period also includes several independence days connected to South Asian countries.

This year’s theme is “Free to Be Me.”  It is meant to serve as a call to action for everyone to express their identities, experiences, and cultural richness. You can celebrate through a variety of mediums from storytelling, art, dialogue, or a celebration. 

It is possible to see influences from South Asia in almost every aspect of modern life — from food and clothing to entertainment and even vocabulary. The colors, sights, and sounds of a proud South Asian identity abound on the streets of many towns and cities, as well as countries, creating a visual feast for the eyes and ears. Its culture permeates all aspects of life and contributes to the country’s cultural richness. South Asian Heritage Month strives to improve these aspects of how people engage with South Asian cultures and identities, education, awareness, and participation. Arts, culture, and legacy are celebrated throughout the month as well as the commemoration of historical events and anniversaries.

 

Photo by https://southasianheritage.org

Sharon Schweitzer JD, is a diversity and inclusion consultant, cross-cultural trainer, etiquette expert, and the founder of Access to Culture. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE Centre, she is an attorney and mediator. Sharon served as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business,  Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, won a coveted Kirkus Star, and was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books. She’s a winner of numerous awards, including the British Airways International Trade Award at the Greater Austin Business Awards.

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