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Reinventing support for communities in the workplace: South Asian Heritage Month

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At Delta Capita, we do everything we can to help employees thrive and succeed. This includes celebrating the blend of different traditions and communities in society, which is a crucial contributor to many people’s cultural and personal wellbeing.

South Asian Heritage Month (SAHM) is the perfect time to reflect on this blend as it celebrates South Asian people. Vinita Ramtri, Head of Delivery at Delta Capita, looks at the month and what it means to both communities.

Having lived and worked in several parts of India – including Jaipur, Bangalore, Kolkata, and Kochi – I am what some would call a ‘desi girl.’ This refers to someone of South Asian descent or who traces their heritage to the Indian subcontinent.

I work with many British colleagues who tell me how much they appreciate the entire South Asian community and South Asian Heritage Month (SAHM) is the perfect time to celebrate that.

What is South Asian Heritage Month?

SAHM is a UK event that runs from 18 July to 17 August each year, and is now in its third year. It celebrates the heritage of people with roots in the eight South Asian countries of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives. 

SAHM also marks the deeply blended cultures and intricately entwined histories of the UK and South Asia. Having grown up in India, I’m familiar with the history and role of the British empire in defining everything from the sub-continent’s language to the railway networks.

Our past is fascinating, but we must keep defining the future too, in communities around the world, and in the workplace.

Food and family

It fills my heart with joy to say that these conversations about South Asia with my colleagues – and many others like them with people across the UK and other regions – have continued to help me appreciate this intermingling of cultures.

As I go out for team drinks and events with DC colleagues, I can’t help noticing them obsessing over a good South Asian curry more than I do. Given that I much prefer street food, I take a moment to tell them about ‘samosa chaat’, a popular north Indian street dish.

Food is a vital part of South Asian culture. Another distinct aspect of our community is that we’re deeply family oriented, and work and family can sometimes overlap.

The other day, I saw a poster at the Delta Capita office asking if colleagues wanted to play table tennis. With no hesitation, I asked, ‘can I bring my son? He likes table tennis.’ The answer came back ‘of course.’

I guess that’s what SAHM is all about – appreciating this blend, and this bond. And it’s the same at this company – we form One Delta Capita.

Support from Delta Capita

Delta Capita want all our employees to feel included, regardless of their background, beliefs, or culture. We encourage staff to allocate time to their cultural and religious practices; and to their physical and mental wellbeing too.

Employees that feel supported in these activities generally feel healthier, happier, and have more sense of belonging and engagement at work.

Are you looking for a new workplace that values diversity and employee wellbeing? Check out our latest vacancies. Also find out how Delta Capita are reinventing the workplace through employee-centric projects at our Reinventing Hub.

This article is part of a series about reinventing support and inclusion for employees. Other articles in the series focus on Pride, Father’s Day, Eid al-Fitr, neurodiversity, Ramadan and Easter.