Exploring the shared histories of the UK and South Asia during South Asian Heritage Month

What is South Asian Heritage Month?

South Asian Heritage Month (SAHM) exists in order to commemorate, mark and celebrate South Asian history and culture, as well as to better understand the diverse heritage that continues to link the UK and South Asia. It was launched in the House of Commons in July 2019. This year marks the first formal celebration of South Asian Heritage Month, and due to the current context of Covid-19 SAHM 2020 is being delivered online.

What is the British Council doing for South Asian Heritage Month?

To celebrate South Asian Heritage Month, the British Council, Manchester Museum and young people aged 18-25 have curated a programme of activity involving artists and speakers from the UK and South Asia. Programme themes have been selected by young people and include language, diaspora and identity, alongside a focus on music, literature and fashion. Through a series of discussions, workshops and performances, South Asian Heritage Month is connecting speakers, artists and young people across the UK and South Asia - in particular in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan. For the full programme and more events celebrating South Asian Heritage Month, visit the Manchester Museum website.



 12 August 2020, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM BD Time (Live Event)

The Future Present: The Sari and the Diaspora, Dispelling Notions of Draping
Fouara Ferdous, Founder of Poter Bibi and Natasha Thasan, sari enthusiast and influencer explore notions of draping, traditions and contemporary culture and engage with a large audience online who have connected with their vision for the sari drape. Moderated by Malika Verma , Founder of Border&Fall and creator of The Sari Series: An Anthology of Drape, register in the link here as we dispel notions of draping together!

Fouara Ferdous is a self-taught artist and founder of Poter Bibi - an online shopping site dedicated to promoting products that are made in Bangladesh. Using local handloom fabrics to create traditional Tangail sarees that encourage young women to wear them more easily and frequently and support Bangladeshi culture and local artisans. The name, Poter Bibi, refers to the Bangla idiom, Shushojitto Thaka (staying adorned)


 14 August 2020, 9:00pm BD Time (Link will be posted on British Council Bangladesh’s Facebook page)

Folk and Beyond – A Contemporary Approach to the Roots of Bangladeshi Folk Music
A musical session with renowned Bangladeshi musician Labik Kamal Gaurob where he talks about different aspects of Bangladeshi folk and folk fusion music - a touch on different genres within folk music of Bangladesh, western approaches to eastern melodies, and how this form connects the young people through music to a bigger philosophical aspect.

Labik Kamal Gaurob is known for his soulful renditions of Baul music both in traditional and contemporary arrangements. A multi-instrumentalist consisting of both western and eastern instruments, Gaurob has developed a unique grasp over blending different genres to produce his unique style that separates him from other contemporary fusion artists.


16 August 2020, 10:00pm – 12:00am BD Time (Live Event)

MultiLingual Mushaira

The multilingual mushaira (poetic symposium) will feature Tashfeen Sara Ahmed, Nasima Bee, Orooj-e-Zafar and some of the most exciting South Asian poets. Poems will be performed in a multitude of languages. There will be an open mic section at the end where young budding poets will be able to share their poems too. Register to experience the live session here

Tashfeen Sara Ahmed is an aspiring poet/author whose writing portrays inner conflicts and complex emotions; the intensity of which is often difficult to comprehend. She has an affinity to all things melancholic and grim, and her poems exemplify those feelings justly.  


17 August 2020, 10:00pm BD Time (Link will be posted British Council Bangladesh’s Facebook page)

Exploring Dhaka through the Eyes of an Artist

An illustrative tour with artist Atia Maibam to discover one of the most iconic British-era landmark in Bangladesh; the Curzon Hall. Know more about the British-Mughal themed architectural beauty through the strokes on a paper, and join the illustrative journey. 

Atia Maibam is a Bangladeshi-Meitei painter who focuses primarily on the subjects based on social issues, women, and cultural elements in her paintings. A painter with mostly realistic approach, she has been experimenting with various styles, methods, spaces and subjects in her artworks.

This activity is funded by the DCMS Youth Accelerator Fund via National Lottery Heritage Fund. The project is part of Our Shared Cultural Heritage, a partnership with Manchester MuseumGlasgow Life and UK Youth.

External links