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SAHC 2020: Rooted In Culture, Made in the Diaspora

Join the university community in celebrating the history and cultural expression of the people of various South Asian countries including, but not limited to, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Republic of Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka! The 2020 South Asian Heritage Celebration (SAHC) theme, “Rooted in Culture, Made in the Diaspora”, will explore the interconnection between the past and present. Despite the challenges, the community continually incorporated their cultural values and traditions into their daily lives through clothing, music, food, dance, and art. Last year’s theme was about acceptance, and this year’s theme is taking the next step by celebrating how the current generation embraces their South Asian roots and proudly expresses their culture in their everyday lifestyles.

The SAHC 2020 Committee is comprised of an impassioned group of South Asian student organization leaders who are committed to sharing the full breadth of South Asian culture while acknowledging their many contributions throughout our history.

Sponsored by: GWU Bengali Students' Association (BSA), GW Bhangra, GW Hindu Students Association (HSA), GW Indian Students' Association (ISA), Iota Nu Delta Fraternity, Inc. ~ Theta Chapter (ΙΝΔ), GW Naach, GW Pakistani Students' Association (PSA), GW Raas, GW Sikh Student Association (SSA), GW South Asian Society (SAS) and the Multicultural Student Services Center (MSSC)

Find the full calendar below.


Rooted in Spirituality | Vibecheck: Leave Your Co-Star At Home

Kogan Plaza
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

ISA Vibecheck is an exploration of various elements of Indian Spirituality: from astrology and Ayurveda to the spiritual roots of yoga! Indian Spirituality has a complex history and we still see its influence in the modern western world! Join us for free food, henna, yoga classes, and more! GWU ISA


Rooted in Rhythm | Bollywood Fusion Dance Workshop

Marvin 413 - 414
8:30 PM - 10:30 PM

Join GW Naach at our Bollywood fusion dance workshop to promote awareness of the evolution and adaptation of South Asian culture through performance art. Be ready to shake out that stress to Bollywood throughout the ages!


Rooted in Tradition | Mock Shaadi

Marvin Center Grand Ballroom
7:00 PM

Our annual event in which we are able to showcase our vibrant and diverse Pakistani culture. This year's theme is "Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai". Come out and celebrate with good music, food and performances. GW PSA


Rooted in Celebration | Holi

Square 80
11:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Celebrate the arrival of Spring with color and music! Holi is a Hindu religious holiday that celebrates the commencement, vibrancy, and livelihood of spring. The holiday is typically associated with the Hindu God, Krishna and celebrates good over evil. Join us for this cultural event that is fun for everyone! GW HSA

Rooted in Art | Arts Show

6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Join us for an inclusive art show, showcasing South Asian artists in our community and the incredible work they create. Whether it be music, film, photography or fashion, come see how members of our community express themselves through art! GW SAS


Rooted in Community | Professional Networking

2000 Penn, Suite 7000
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Join us for a networking event with professionals from the South Asian community. Hear about how individuals from the world of business, non-profits, technology, development and more navigate their roots and heritage in the context of today’s world! GW SAS


Rooted in Cinema | Collective South Asian Film Festival

Marvin Center 302
6:00 PM - 10:00 PM

This event will showcase the beauty of South Asia and its cinematography through 8 short films, each portraying aspects of 8 different countries! This collective film festival will shed light on each country by highlighting all the various values and beliefs that are unique to each nation. GWU BSA and South Asian Student Orgs


Rooted in Urdu | The Timeline of the Language

Kogan Plaza
4:00 PM

An event looking at the depth of the language of Urdu and how it has shaped generations over time. Tables across Kogan Plaza will allow you to travel through different aspects of the language, from the music and poetry to the art and culture. You’ll be able to see how Urdu evolved from the national anthem of Pakistan to how people in our current generation use it to define themselves today. GW PSA

Rooted in Faith | First Gen and Faith

Marvin Center 309
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Join the Sikh Students’ Association and the Hindu Students’ Association for a panel discussion on how faith plays a role in the lives of the first-generation and more broadly, members of the diaspora. The event will consist of a panel of students who will share their own views on the subject of faith followed by a discussion amongst those who attend. The discussion will encourage dialogue between students of different faiths in regards to their experiences practicing within the diaspora.


Rooted in Personhood | Queer and Indian: In Our Own Words

District House B117
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Join Allied in Pride for a screening of the documentary I Am. Filmed by Sonali Gulati, an Indian lesbian filmmaker, the documentary highlights her journey in confronting the loss of her mother, whom she never came out to. As she meets and speaks to parents of other gay and lesbian Indians, the documentary pieces together a sense of "family" in a place where being gay was until recently considered a criminal and punishable offense.Allied in Pride


Rooted in Humanity | Charity Formal


Come dressed up in your favorite South Asian formal outfit and enjoy a full catered dinner, dancing, a cash bar, and more! Tickets will be on sale through the GW South Asian Society, and all proceeds will benefit a charity for women's education. GW SAS


Rooted in Heritage | Mini Punjab

Kogan Plaza
1:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Join GW's SSA in spending a day in Punjab, while learning about various Punjabi and Sikh traditions. The event will display various aspects of Punjabi culture, ranging from food, to dance, to a short segment of a wedding tradition, and how they are celebrated within the diaspora. Be sure to come for an afternoon filled with music, dance, and vendors within the beautiful state of Punjab!


Rooted in Dialogue | SAHC 2020 Keynote Address

Lisner Auditorium
6:00PM Panel | 8:30PM Concert

The SAHC planning committee is excited to welcome three cultural icons in the South Asian Community to GW for our keynote event: artist Maria Qamar, musical artist Abhi The Nomad, and author Kanwer Singh, also known as Humble the Poet! In a moderated Q&A, the panelists will discuss their work and how they are inspired by their culture in their professional and personal lives. This is SAHC’s biggest keynote event yet and we are excited to share this discussion about diversity within South Asian culture and expression with the GW community!