South Asian Heritage Month By: GESMV’s DEI Committee

Welcome today’s guest-blogger, Goodwill Easterseals Miami Valley’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.  The blog highlights and speaks about South Asian Heritage. I hope it enlightens you as much as it did for me.  I love learning new cultures and to better understand how we can include all.


South Asian Heritage Month is observed every year from July 18 to August 17 to honor, recognize, and appreciate South Asia’s rich history and culture. The theme for 2023 is “Stories to Tell,” aimed at celebrating the diverse and vibrant South Asian communities. There are several ways to celebrate this observance, such as learning about South Asian cultures, discovering the contributions of South Asian individuals, raising awareness about the event, learning about issues affecting South Asian countries, and supporting charitable causes that focus on the region.

South Asia comprises of eight countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Throughout the month, arts, culture, legacy, and historical events and anniversaries are celebrated, bringing the streets of many towns, cities, and countries alive with the vibrant colors, sights, and sounds. South Asia is known for its festivals and traditions, including Diwali, Eid, Holi, Navratri, Pongal, and Baisakhi, each with unique customs and rituals.

South Asians have made significant contributions to various fields, including science, literature, business, technology, arts, and politics, leaving a lasting impact on the world. Prominent figures like Rabindranath Tagore, an Indian poet and Nobel laureate, and Abdus Salam, a Pakistani physicist, and Nobel laureate, have inspired people globally with their work. South Asian literature, including the Ramayana and Mahabharata, has also influenced storytelling and literature worldwide.

State Senator Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) made history in the Dayton area in 2014 when he became the first Indian American to serve in the Ohio legislature. At 23, he was also the youngest person to be elected to the state house. In 2020, he became the first Indian American elected to the state senate.

Nearly 400,000 Asian Americans live in Ohio, with Indian Americans being the largest ethnic group. The South Asian population has been growing rapidly, with around 58% growth since 2010, with Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati, with the highest growth.

To experience the taste of South Asia, you can visit some of the best restaurants in the Miami Valley, such as Gulzar’s Indian Cuisines, Amar India Restaurant (North and South locations), White Lotus Restaurant (downtown), Curry & Grill, and many others. Trust me when I say you won’t be disappointed.

So, for the rest of the month, learn, discover, experience, and celebrate South Asian culture and contributions!

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