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 works among vulnerable people in Chennai, where lack of water is making life difficult. Pray for J and G as they serve elderly folk by meeting their physical and spiritual needs. prayermate.net/feeds…
India: KTM thank God for his Word and Spirit by which he teaches and enables disciples to live lives that please him. Pray that by obeying all the Lord Jesus commanded they will be beacons of healing and hope. prayermate.net/feeds…
India: Kachhwa (KTM) praise God for a powerful visit helping oral learners explore Bible narratives through drama and for shared testimonies of how this affected their lives. Pray that a Sunday drama of John 4 will have an ongoing effect on the congregat.. prayermate.net/feeds…
South Asia: Pray that the UK Government will respond positively and actively to Bishop Mountstephen’s report on the persecution of Christians around the world. Pray for our brothers and sisters in South Asia who experience opposition and persecution. prayermate.net/feeds…
India: About a hundred blind children at the Sharp Memorial School for the Blind receive good schooling and Bible teaching. Pray for those who put their trust in the Lord to know the assurance of God’s love and to grow in spiritual understanding. prayermate.net/feeds…
Nepal: Thank God for Government and NGOs providing emergency relief to those who have lost their livelihoods. Pray for wise liaison by NGOs with Government and for more finance to help the most marginalised folk. prayermate.net/feeds…