South Asian Concern
South Asian Concern is a small multi-racial partnership of Christ’s followers with a particular concern for and focus on South Asia and South Asians around the world. We work in partnerships across the Diaspora and South Asia. Our approach enables us to contribute to what others are doing, to be a catalyst for new initiatives, and to work with a variety of people and organisations. South Asian Concern, established in 1989, has a particular concern for South Asians because of our heritage and connections. We believe that South Asian Diaspora people have a distinctive contribution to make, both in South Asia and around the world. The mission of South Asian Concern is to encourage, equip and enable Asian and other followers of Christ to be more effective in leadership, world mission and outreach, especially among South Asians.
We live in a world of different religious beliefs. And in our global village we all live side by side – if not physically, then certainly through the media, the internet, air travel, and international terrorism. How do these different beliefs relate to each other? Are they 'leaves on the tree', or 'different paths to the mountaintop', ultimately leading in the same direction? Or are they fundamentally different? In this discussion there are at least two very different ways of looking at truth.
There are benefits and pressures of having more than one culture. On the one hand, young diaspora Asians have the best of both worlds. Their life experience can be seen as richer and more diverse than those who have knowledge of only one culture. They can have bhangra and rock, chapatis and chips, Bollywood and Hollywood. On the other hand, they have to balance the demands of living in cultures which sometimes conflict with each other. Some feel they don’t fully belong to any culture, never fully accepted in either world.
‘The word “love” doesn’t mean you are happy with the person. If it means losing my family, which is more important to me, then I wouldn’t marry someone who was not Gujarati’ (A young Gujarati). Marriage continues to be an important institution for South Asians. For many South Asian parents, their main goal in life is to see their children educated and married, so the pressure to find a partner and settle down, which is felt the world over, can seem particularly intense for young Asians of ‘marriageable’ age. At family gatherings, they can be faced with aunties and uncles enquiring about the current status of the marital quest, perhaps suggesting names of potential suitors. The hunt for a suitable marriage partner has provided a wealth of material for Asian filmmakers and writers alike.
The term 'diaspora' refers to a dispersion of a people from their original homeland. It was originally used to refer to the dispersion of the Jews from Palestine, following the Babylonians' conquest of the Judean Kingdom in the 6th century BC. 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, such as Chinese, Filipino, Nigerian and Iranian, to name just a few. So when we talk about the South Asian diaspora, we mean people of South Asian descent who are not living in their original homeland – Indians in Durban, Pakistanis in New York, Sri Lankans in Oslo, and so on. Some people of the South Asian diaspora may never have set foot in their original 'homeland'.
Government statistics show that on average, South Asian students in the UK are more likely to achieve 5 GCSE grades A* - C than all other ethnic groups, except Chinese. A significant proportion goes on to university, with British Indians more likely to have a first degree . . .
- By South Asian Concern
- Published 11/13/2008
Young, Asian and ...'Maths Whizz, aged 10, gains GCSE A grade' Have you ever seen a headline like that and immediately guessed that the child is South Asian? Government statistics show that on ave...