South Asian Heritage Celebration

In 1992, May was officially designated as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) by the federal government. This proclamation, signed by President George H.W. Bush, came after several decades of advocacy, passion and persistence by figures such as Congressmen Frank Horton of New York and Norman Mineta of California and Senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga. Nationally, APAHM encompasses the Asian Continent and the Pacific Islands.

The George Washington University (GW) presented its first annual Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Celebration (APIHC) in 2004. To allow members of the GW community to participate in the celebration before the end of the academic school year, April was designated as the official GW APIHC. However, with such diverse ethnic groups, cultures, traditions and histories within Asian Pacific Islander and South Asian cultures, there was need to celebrate their unique identities and culture individually. In 2013, GW presented its first annual South Asian Heritage Celebration (SAHC). Promoting the values and traditions of South and Central Asian cultures, SAHC programs include student culture shows, performers, distinguished guest lectures, seminars and educational events. 

The Multicultural Student Services Center (MSSC) provides logistical, content and ideological support for South and Central Asian organizations to collaborate and promote cultural awareness throughout SAHC. Students, faculty and staff with varying leadership experience and skill sets are encouraged to participate in SAHC. All activities related to SAHC are facilitated by MSSC senior staff and graduate student coordinators. The minimum requirement for involvement is to have a commitment to and passion for South and Central Asian culture. For more information, call 202-994-MSSC (6772).