9th August 2023

Celebrating South Asian Heritage Month at Sandwell Hospital

‘I’ve realised how important it is that we still remember where we’ve come from, what our roots are and that we feel part of our communities by ensuring heritage is celebrated.’

Dr Aaliya Goyal, Vice Chair of the Royal College of GP’s Midland Faculty

On Monday 7th August 2023, we were delighted to bring a number of artists and a temporary exhibition to Sandwell Hospital for their first ever South Asian Heritage Month celebration. This was an event for the hard-working NHS staff and volunteers featuring music, dance and food.

The event started with a reading by Sana Rashid from ‘My City My Home,’ Sampad’s ground-breaking publication featuring 184 poems, short-stories and other prose reflecting on the identity and the role of women in 21st century society. A quote from Sana’s writing reads:

Allama Iqbal had said, ‘Beyond the stars, there is another place.’

I am from here and from there.

From the stars above in the sky,

From this soil. Within that ghazal.

I am everything, my heart understands to be its

I am this moving, travelling home.

Following on from Sana, the incredible Akash Parekar on sitar & Jasjit Singh on tabla played a stirring Raag Rageshree, which the audience loved.

To finish the event there was a demonstration of traditional Kathak dance with a contemporary twist from Debjani and Nilakshi who encouraged everyone to join in. There was even some participation with members of the audience getting up on stage and joining in with the dancing!

‘Our trust locations are in very diverse areas, so it’s important we educate on, and celebrate diversity, which is our strength. There is more that unites us than divides us.’

Donna Mighty, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust

Throughout the day, our ‘From City of Empire to City of Diversity’ touring exhibition, alongside children’s response to the exhibition, was on display which was enjoyed by many staff members. We also had a crafting corner where staff could take a moment to create a card to take home with them.

‘Sampad was delighted to be able to work with Sandwell and West Birmingham on their South Asian Heritage Month event. To be given the opportunity to share this with staff and volunteers at Sandwell Hospital was a real pleasure and we look forward to working with the Trust in the near future to continue this important work.’

Sabra Khan, Executive Director of Sampad said