Cllr Rizwan Jalil Labour and Co-operative Councillor and Member of the BAME Co-operators Committee 15th August 2022 Blog Share Tweet Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash Having grown up in a South Asian family of Kashmiri heritage, I have always had strong connections with South Asia and its rich and diverse culture, and have kept up with the values and the core principles. From taking part in the cultural equestrian hobbies such as tent pegging and bull races, to growing up listening to Sufi music, I always loved the atmosphere and kept a close relationship with my elderly family members who taught me about our cultural heritage and its importance. I have learnt that our cultural heritage is not only important to me, but something that I share with people across the world as its unique perspectives share great values in human life by promoting peace and unity. South Asian Heritage Month is now in its third year, and the theme for 2022 is Journeys of Empire – empires such as the Mughal, the Duranni, the Vijayanagar and the British. From indentured labourers forced to travel to the Caribbean and East Asia, and other migrants who travelled by choice to Africa and beyond, to the journeys that families made to the UK with just £3 in their pockets – we have all been affected by the journeys of empire. The theme also reflects major anniversaries taking place in 2022: 75th anniversary of the independence of India, Partition, and the creation of Pakistan (later known as East and West Pakistan), and the 50th anniversary of the expulsion of Ugandan Asians by Idi Amin. This year, everyone is encouraged to organise their own events for South Asian Heritage Month. The online calendar will list all South Asian events taking place across the UK. The South Asian Heritage Month team will also be curating a full calendar of online events for South Asian Heritage Month 2022. The team aim to highlight 31 events over 31 days and will have specific Focus Days for each of the 8 countries of South Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Maldives, and Sri Lanka. I’m proud to endorse the South Asian Heritage month. If you’d like to also take part this year from 18 July to 17 August, I can assure you there’s something for everyone.