10 Ways To Honor South Asian Heritage Month In 2024

Medically reviewed by Julie Dodson, MA
Updated April 23, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

South Asian Heritage Month was officially named in 2020 to celebrate the culture and contributions of South Asian countries and their people. During August, many honor the people and countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and the Maldives. This month can play a vital role in the validation and experience of communities, preserving the rich history and voices of millions worldwide.

Find culturally-relevant professional support

Why celebrate South Asian Heritage Month?

South Asian Heritage Month recognizes the diverse cultures and experiences of individuals from the countries of South Asia. Outside of these areas, it offers the opportunity to emphasize the value of mental health awareness and support in every community.

Mental health challenges can affect people from every culture, so it may be helpful to reflect on how you might support the mental health of South Asian communities. Mental health can vary by culture and preference. It may look like facilitating discussions with friends and family, researching organizations that advocate for mental health awareness, or considering how you might benefit from mental health treatment in your own life.

Ways to celebrate South Asian Heritage Month 

Below are ten ways you can celebrate South Asian Heritage Month this year. 

1. Learn about the diverse cultures of South Asia

During this year's South Asian Heritage Month, it may be valuable to note that South Asia is a diverse region of many countries and communities, all of which have their own unique traditions, religions, customs, cultures, and languages. To thoughtfully celebrate South Asian Heritage Month, consider educating yourself on these countries' vast and diverse areas and peoples instead of lumping them together as one culture. 

South Asian territories can include the following:

  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Nepal
  • Sri Lanka
  • Afghanistan
  • The Maldives

You may choose to learn about, and celebrate, the region's history and how these countries differ geographically, socially, politically, and by custom.                 

2. Explore the contributions of South Asian individuals

Overlooked historical figures from countries in South Asia may have contributed to works of art, science, medicine, politics, and social change.  In addition, present-day artists may be under-celebrated for their contributions. South Asian Heritage Month offers individuals a chance to educate themselves on the contributions of these individuals and continue learning throughout the year, elevating, and amplifying their support and progress for the betterment of society across industries.

You can explore the contributions of South Asian individuals by reading, watching, or listening to relevant content. Additionally, you can use that new knowledge with other practices, such as raising awareness of a specific individual or event on social media, discussing it with friends, or reading a book about it.

3. Spread the word about South Asian Heritage Month

South Asian Heritage Month can be underrepresented in mainstream media. To combat the lack of awareness around South Asian Heritage Month, you can spread the word with friends, family, and coworkers about the month's existence and ways to celebrate it.

You can also spread the word online. You may choose to use a hashtag like #SouthAsianHeritageMonth2023 or #SouthAsianHeritage to remind your friends and followers that this month is a time to honor and celebrate South Asia and people of South Asian heritage and connect with others who are celebrating alongside you.

Getty Images

4. Learn about an issue affecting a country in South Asia

Current challenging events may occur in countries worldwide, and South Asia can also experience these challenges. Research a crisis affecting a country or area in South Asia and how you can help. For example, you may choose to read up on the environmental issues affecting Bhutan, including habitat loss, human-wildlife conflicts, and climate change. As you research, consider your research material and the possible benefits you may gain from researching from unbiased, verified, and comprehensive sources.

After learning about an issue or multiple crises, you may take the time to make the next step or develop an action plan for yourself. You might find a local organization with which to volunteer or sign up for relief support. If you cannot take physical action, you can try to donate to a South Asian cause. 

5. Donate to a South Asian-specific cause

While educating yourself about a crisis in South Asia, donating money or time is a practical way to celebrate this month. If you're in a place to donate money, you may choose to donate to a specific cause that affects a community in South Asia.

Note that donations don't have to stop after August. One way to celebrate and honor South Asian populations is to continue your education and support throughout the year. 

Some organizations can set up monthly donations, letting you automatically donate each month or every several months. To do this effectively, you may choose to find a group run by representatives of a South Asian community devoted to directly helping the cause of your choice. You may choose to encourage your friends to do the same.

6. Buy from a South Asian-owned business

Wherever you live, your area may have restaurants, shops, services, and other businesses owned and run by people of South Asian heritage communities. You may search online or ask for your friends' favorite restaurants serving cuisines from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, or the Maldives. 

In addition, you can choose to find a local boutique selling free-trade items from a South Asian country that donates a percentage of profits back to people in the country of origin. While supporting South Asian-owned businesses, you can also learn more about that community and its diversity.

7. Read content from an author from South Asia

Whether you're a book lover, read articles regularly, or haven't touched a piece of literature in years, reading content is one way to educate yourself and celebrate South Asian Heritage Month simultaneously. 

You don't necessarily need to limit yourself to non-fiction content. Suggestions on reading content from cultures other than yours can include a vast library of fiction from South Asian authors. You can also try articles, short stories, novels, essays, or poems. If you are part of the South Asian community, consider posting your writing online or asking a local bookshop if they can display your book to celebrate the month. 

8. Watch a movie directed by or starring South Asian individuals

Movies and TV can offer more than a fun respite after the workday. Spending time in August watching media from South Asian creators can be a fun way to celebrate South Asian heritage in an effective, entertaining format. 

You may turn to a classic or more modern movie. Consider finding a TV show directed by or starring a South Asian lead. It can be anything from a documentary to a thriller to a comedy special. You might also arrange a movie night with friends to celebrate South Asian Heritage Month. 

9. Learn about the experiences of South Asian individuals in your community

South Asian Heritage Month celebrates not just the countries and people of South Asia but also people in America and other countries who have South Asian heritage. That means that your celebration this month may include people in your local community, wherever you live.

People from South Asian countries live worldwide, including in the United States. Additionally, the people from South Asia in your community may deal with issues about which you're unaware, such as racism, discrimination, wealth gaps, and a lack of resources. You may connect with representatives of the culture and explore what those issues look like for South Asian community groups. Taking action may help you learn how to effectively counteract these struggles through volunteer work, financial donations, outreach, awareness, or allyship. 

10. Boost the voices of South Asian creators

Raising awareness for South Asian Heritage Month can also include amplifying the voices of South Asian creators on social media. You can use online resources and your social media presence to show their posts and recommendations, whether they are content creators, educators, local businesses, or artists.

Find culturally-relevant professional support

Finding culturally informed support 

South Asians and South Asian Americans may experience unique challenges and psychological stressors that may actively affect mental health experiences across cultural barriers. However, several treatment options are available for these individuals, including convenient options such as online therapy platforms like BetterHelp.

Online therapy can offer culturally informed care, as you can select whether you'd like to be matched with a BIPOC or LGBTQ+ therapist. In addition, you can note whether you have specific cultural, religious, or spiritual requirements for therapy. After signing up, you may be matched with a therapist fitting your needs within 48 hours. 

Studies also verify the effectiveness of online formats. One study found that 71% of participants found internet-based treatment more effective than in-person options. In addition, 100% of the participants noted that online therapy was more convenient. 


South Asian Heritage Month can be a meaningful time for many as they celebrate and amplify elements of their culture. Educating yourself on critical issues and elements of culture can help build a more empathetic and inclusive society for all. Encouraging others to celebrate this month can also amplify that effect. If you're a South Asian individual looking for mental health support this August or any month of the year, consider seeking guidance from a licensed therapist.
Learn how to cope with challenging events
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
Get the support you need from one of our therapistsGet started