Over 1.75 billion people in the world are South Asian, with over 20 million of them living outside South Asia. These are the diaspora.
The countries which make up South Asia are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Sometimes Myanmar (Burma) is also included. They are linked by the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation.
The term ‘diaspora’ refers to a dispersion of a people from their original homeland. Until fairly recently, it was used to refer to Jews living outside of modern day Israel. Now it is used more widely for all the movements of peoples away from their homelands so the South Asian diaspora are people of South Asian descent who are not living in their original homeland – some of them may never have set foot in their original ‘homeland’. It is estimated that there are about 20 million members of the South Asian diaspora.
The British Empire was the main force for spreading South Asians abroad in the 19th and early 20th centuries. They went as indentured labourers for the expanding plantations in Fiji, Malaya, South Africa, the Caribbean and South America, or worked on the railways of East and Central Africa. The 1947 violent partition of India resulted in the movement of hundreds of thousands of people both within South Asia and beyond. Later, the need for professional and manual workers in post-war Britain, and then in the United States, resulted in the period of mass immigration in the 1950s and 60s. In the early 1970s, the expulsion of Asians from East Africa brought many entrepreneurs and professionals to the West.
Since then, South Asians have continued to move around the globe. The diaspora have made increasingly significant contributions to the countries they now live in. The economy, health, arts, media and culture have all been affected in some way.
Find out more about South Asians, their cultures and beliefs
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India: Anglo-Indian Concern/Vine Charitable Trust in Chennai give thanks for the yp who have been helped in education and obtained good employment. Pray for those who help bring them into a place of comfort and security following abuse or family breakdown. prayermate.net/praye…
Pakistan: Having returned to Pakistan Mand AV have been refused permanent visas. They expect to leave within the next few months. Pray that their heart for the country can continue to be expressed in God’s service. prayermate.net/praye…
Maldives: Pray for political stability and for greater freedoms for religious minorities. prayermate.net/praye…
Pakistan: Pray for continued safety for Asia Bibi, recently released from prison. Pray that the Lord will bring her full deliverance and asylum in a safe country. Pray for peace to be restored in the country and for right judgements to be made. prayermate.net/praye…
Pakistan: Prem Fellowship give thanks for Mr Abel’s safe and fruitful last trip of the year to the far north. There were renewed contacts with BMBs and much seed sown, including scripture SIM cards for phones. prayermate.net/praye…
India: Praise God for the fruitful ministry of the Indian Evangelical Mission’s General Sec.during Sep/Oct. Many opportunities for future IEM prayer meetings were created. Pray for these and give thanks for the good amount of money raised for the work. prayermate.net/praye…