South Asian Heritage Month plays a crucial role in promoting diversity in Cumbria

Members of the Pakistani community in Cumbria say South Asian Heritage Month plays a crucial role in promoting diversity. 

A number of events have taken place across the region to raise awareness of different cultures.

It's hoped the event, which ends on the 17th of August, will become an annual celebration. 

Zohra Sultan-Malik says she has felt more welcome and accepted over the past year:

What is South Asian Heritage Month?

South Asian Heritage Month aims to commemorate, mark and celebrate the history and culture of British South Asian people.

Held between 18 July and 17 August, the month seeks to create an open dialogue so people can better understand the diversity in Britain.

The British South Asian community is over three million people strong, with at least one out of every 20 people in the country having South Asian heritage.

The month is a grassroots movement, which originated in July 2020.

When is South Asian Heritage Month celebrated?

South Asian Heritage Month begins on the 18 July which, in 1947, was the day the Indian Independence Act gained royal assent from King George VI.

It ends on the 17 August, which was the the date lawyer, Cyril Radcliffe, published the Radcliffe Line. This was the border between India, West Pakistan and East Pakistan.

The start and end dates show how much influence Britain has had on South Asia over the last few centuries.

The month also coincides with Saravan/Sawan, which is the main monsoon season in the region. It is the fifth month of the Hindu solar calendar and is devoted to worshipping Lord Shiva.