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: KCH praise God for their new four bedded High Dependency Unit, and for the recruitment a state registered lab technician and X-ray technician, plus two junior medical officers. Pray that they will soon find a full time gynaecologist. prayermate.net/feeds…
Sri Lanka: The constitutional crisis that occurred in the last six months, which has settled now, has created opportunities as well as disruption. Pray that through this turbulence God will use his people for his purposes. prayermate.net/feeds…
Easter Day: “Christ is risen, Hallelujah!” Thank God that across South Asia people from other faith backgrounds are rejoicing in new life in Christ. prayermate.net/feeds…
Bangladesh: LAMB Hospital lacks some highly qualified medical staff. Pray that national and ex-patriate staff would respond to the need, so that LAMB continues to bring God’s healing and wholeness to sick people. prayermate.net/feeds…
Good Friday: Pray that the Cross will be central within gospel outreach, and that the Holy Spirit will help people understand the meaning of Christ’s death. prayermate.net/feeds…
Pakistan: Starfish Asia give thanks for M.W’s encouraging. Pray for the building of a staff team to equip Christian teachers in their development, that many thousands of poor Pakistani children will be better equipped for life. prayermate.net/feeds…