10 Ways To Honor South Asian Heritage Month In 2022

Updated October 4, 2022 by BetterHelp Editorial Team

South Asian Heritage Month was officially named in 2013 to celebrate the culture and contributions of South Asian countries and their peoples. During this month, we honor the people and countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and the Maldives.

Online Therapy Can Benefit Members Of All Communities

As we celebrate South Asian Heritage Month, it is especially important to recognize the diverse cultures and experiences of individuals from the countries of South Asia. At BetterHelp, we also emphasize the value of mental health awareness and support in every community. Mental health challenges can affect members of every community, so it's important to reflect on how we can support mental health and awareness in individual South Asian communities. That may look like facilitating discussions with friends and family, researching organizations that advocate for mental health awareness, or considering how we each might benefit from mental health treatment in our own lives.

South Asians and South Asian Americans may experience unique challenges and psychological stressors affecting mental health. However, there are various treatment options found to be successful against particular mental health challenges.Online therapy is equally as effective as in-person therapy, making it an excellent option for many adults. Consider how you or others may benefit from seeking treatment for mental health.

With that in mind, here are ten options for celebrating South Asian Heritage Month this year.

1. Learn About The Differences Of The Diverse Cultures Of South Asia

One of the most important things to remember during this year's South Asian Heritage Month is that South Asia is a diverse region of many countries and communities, all of which have their traditions, religions, customs, cultures, languages, and more. To thoughtfully celebrate South Asian Heritage Month, consider educating yourself on these countries' vast and diverse areas and peoples rather than lumping them in as one homogenous group.

South Asia includes Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and the Maldives. Learn about the region's history and how these countries differ geographically, socially, politically, customarily, and otherwise. However, you learn best through documentaries, podcasts, reading, or another format; there is much information on South Asia and its unique parts.

2. Explore Contributions Of South Asian Individuals

Many forgotten or overlooked individuals from countries in South Asia have contributed to the worlds of art, science, medicine, politics, social change, and more. There are also South Asian individuals who are under-celebrated for their contributions. South Asian Heritage Month is the perfect time to begin your education on the contributions of these individuals and continue that learning throughout the year.

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

3. Spread The Word About South Asian Heritage Month

South Asian Heritage Month is sometimes underrepresented. To combat the lack of awareness around South Asian Heritage Month, you can spread the word with friends, family, coworkers, and online acquaintances about the existence of the month and ways to celebrate it.

Please take a moment to mention South Asian Heritage month to your coworkers, send a reminder text out to your friends, or bring it up during family dinner. When you bring up honoring this month, you can also suggest a group activity, a book or movie to enjoy, or a local shop to support.

You can also spread the word online. Use a hashtag like #SouthAsianHeritageMonth2022 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.

4. Learn About An Issue Affecting A Country In South Asia

There are many issues plaguing countries worldwide, and the regions in South Asia are no different. Research a crisis affecting a country or area in South Asia and how you can help. Read up on the environmental issues affecting Bhutan, including habitat loss, human-wildlife conflicts, and climate change. Find out more about food insecurity in Nepal and how you can work to combat the issue.

After learning about an issue or multiple crises, take the time to make the next step or develop an action plan for yourself. You might find a local organization to volunteer with, a place to donate, or another way to take action against the issue. It doesn't have to be huge, and it also doesn't have to stop at the end of this month.

5. Donate To A Cause Bettering An Issue In South Asia

Going along with 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, choose a specific cause that affects a community in South Asia.

Like other ways of honoring South Asian Heritage Month, donations don't have to stop at the end of the month. One of the best ways to celebrate is to continue your education and efforts all year long. Many organizations have the option to set up monthly donations, letting you automatically donate each month or every several months. Find a group run by members of a South Asian community devoted to directly helping the cause of your choice and learn where your money is going so you can spread the word to friends, too.

6. Buy From a South Asian-Owned Business

Wherever you live, your area likely has restaurants, shops, services, and other businesses owned and run by community members of South Asian heritage. Search online or ask around for your friends' favorite restaurants serving cuisines from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, or the Maldives. Or, 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 your 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 a great way to simultaneously educate yourself and celebrate this month.

Don't limit yourself to non-fiction content. Suggestions on reading content from cultures other than our own often serve only non-fiction content, but that excludes the vast library of exciting works of fiction from South Asian authors. This includes articles, short stories, novels, essays, and more - whatever gets you reading and honoring South Asian heritage is the perfect choice for you.

8. Watch A Movie Directed And Starring South Asian Individuals

Movies and TV can offer more than just a fun respite after the workday. Spending time this month watching media from South Asian creators is a great way to celebrate South Asian heritage in an accessible, entertaining option.

Turn to a classic or a newer movie. Find 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 can even arrange a movie night with friends to celebrate South Asian Heritage Month and gather a group to enjoy the movie together.

9. Learn About The Experiences Of South Asian Members Of Your Community

South Asian Heritage Month celebrates not just the countries and people of South Asia but people in America and other countries who have South Asian heritage. That means that your celebration this month should include your 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 you're not aware of, such as racism, discrimination, wealth gaps, and more. Explore what those issues look like for South Asian members of your community and how you can help counteract them through volunteer work, financial donations, outreach, awareness, or another tool.

Online Therapy Can Benefit Members Of All Communities

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. We're lucky enough to live in a time of universal connection and communication through the internet and social media apps in particular. You can utilize those resources and your own social media presence to boost South Asian voices, whether they are content creators, educators, local businesses, or artists.

Do you follow creators of South Asian descent or accounts devoted to educating followers on a country or issue in South Asia? If so, find a post that resonates with you to amplify. If not, look around to find an account matching that description and use your voice to magnify theirs.

For Additional Help & Support With Your Concerns

Speak with a Licensed Therapist
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.