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Collage representing South Asian Heritage Month, including spices in a bowl, colourful patterns, and a map of South Asia with country flags.

Celebrating South Asian Heritage Month

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. 

Since it's launch in 2019, the month has focused on commemorating the cultures, histories and heritage of people with roots in the South Asian countries of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan.

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

The 2023 theme is ‘Stories to tell’ and is about celebrating the stories that make up our diverse and vibrant society.

South Asian Heritage Month logo

Exploring the 2023 theme

A few words from Dr Humaira Khan, Associate Dean EDI, Faculty of Life Sciences.

The theme of 'stories to tell' seeks to explore the hidden histories that we do not address enough. This includes the emergence of dual and triple heritage identities because of exile and migration, disruption of social and cultural networks by the journeys of the Empire and the dispersal of South Asian communities across the world.

Whilst reflecting on the experiences of the South Asian community, it is imperative that we not only think about the plethora of contributions to science, business, medicine, the arts, academia, politics and sports. We also must think about how the histories of the South Asian community have lasting effects on future generations.

This year, the University will be organising several events to celebrate, mark and commemorate the month. We encourage all our staff and students to participate fully and join us in learning new things about their colleagues and peers who are of South Asian heritage.

How we're celebrating South Asian Heritage Month

We host South Asian Heritage Month events every year, for more information and resources on the events taking place during SAHM, please contact These are a selection of our 2023 events:

Punjabi Roots Academy

18th Jul 2023, The Atrium

Bradford based dance and live music group; Punjabi Roots will be opening Graduation ceremonies with live traditional Punjabi drumming.

Bussing out exhibition

12:30pm-2:00pm in Gallery II, Chesham Building on Wednesdays throughout August 2023

Bussing Out refers to an educational policy impacting South Asian, West Indian and African children who migrated to Britain in the 60s and 70s from former British colonies. More details can be found on the Bussing Out exhibition page.

SAHM Fishbowl event for staff and students

Wednesday 8th November 2023 1:00pm-2:30pm

As part of our programme, we have organised a Fishbowl discussion between staff and students who identify as South Asian and Executive Board (EB) members.

The aim of the event is to create an atmosphere for a facilitated conversation and reflection focusing on the lived experience and issues affecting South Asian staff and students at Bradford.

We will have the chance to listen to our collective lived experiences, to highlight and begin to address systemic barriers to inclusion in academia. The event is taking place in November to ensure student participation.

Stories from our South Asian University Community

Aysha Ibrahim

Programme Administrator

Rifat Bashir

Student Life Project Coordinator

Usman Ahmed

Student Peer Support Adviser

Sabina Adam

Executive Assistant to Deputy VC

Soniya Zeb

Senior EDI Advisor

Urfan Faqir

Project Leader - Graduate Workforce Bradford & Co-chair REC Forum

Dr Yunis Alam

Head of Department, Sociology and Criminology

David Roper-Newman

Information Governance

Humaira Khan

Lecturer in Clinical Sciences & AD EDI

Lenka Kaur

Access & Participation Coordinator

Rajwinder Kaur

University Receptionist

Bharti Mistry

Governance & Legal Office Administrator

Any discussion of the future is incomplete without a consideration of the past. As we try and chart a path into an unknown future, we should make sure not to leave our heritage behind, but to carry it forward with us in a manner that is compatible with the future we envision and honours the rich cultural traditions from which that future emerged as well. Omar Gilani, Pakistani artist

UBU South Asian Heritage Societies

The University Students Union celebrates its diversity with the different societies and groups which are student-led:

The logo for UBU (University of Bradford Students' Union) in red.