Published: Friday, 30 July 2021

Between 18 July and 17 August, Oxford City Council is supporting South Asian History Month, a national celebration and acknowledgment of South Asian people and communities, cultures and history.

Oxford is a proudly multi-cultural and international city with a long established South Asian communities with three generations of people of South Asian heritage calling Oxford home. 

People and communities of South Asian heritage continue to shape and influence Oxford from food, clothing, music, sports and the arts to healthcare provision, infrastructure, research, academia, businesses, entrepreneurship and more. 

Where is South Asia?

South Asia is formed of eight countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

Each of these countries has a long and complex relationship with the UK, primarily through empire, colonisation, partition and then through immigration. 

South Asian Heritage Months takes place across two Western calendar months.

This reflects the South Asian solar calendar and encompasses several significant dates:

  • 18 July: the Independence of India Act 
  • ​26 July: Maldives Independence Day
  •  8 August: Bhutan Independence Day
  • 14 August: Pakistan Independence Day
  • 15 August: Indian Independence Day
  • 17 August: Partition Commemoration Day


“I’m the proud daughter of working class Pakistani migrants who arrived in the UK and Oxford to build this country and contribute to our city and country. My South Asian and Pakistani heritage is entwined into my British and Oxonian identity. 

“South Asian Heritage Month is also an important opportunity to reflect upon Britain’s colonial history with South Asia and the ongoing impact of this legacy and history on communities in our city and country and how they shape struggles for equality.

“Inclusivity and representation are key to creating an equitable Oxford. This starts with understanding and reconciling our past with our future.” 

Councillor Shaista Aziz, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Communities


Due to Covid-19 restrictions in the build up to South Asian Heritage Month, events this year will be hosted online.

Curated in partnership with individuals, groups and organisations across the UK, the calendar covers a diverse range of topics encompassing this year’s five themes: identity, sports, history, health and wellbeing and the creative arts.

Read the full programme.

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