Celebrating South Asian Heritage Month

On the final day of South Asian Heritage Month we’re really proud to present a blog from Dr Hassan Mahmood about what the month means to him. Hassan is Clinical Director of our Learning Disability service and a consultant psychiatrist.

My heritage, upbringing and life experiences have shaped my identity and values. An important part of South Asian culture is the sense of family and wider community, which is really important to me.

South Asian Heritage Month is a great time to reflect on the significant contributions and sacrifices that South Asian communities have made to the United Kingdom. 

My parents came from Pakistan in the 1960s: my father from Punjab and my mother from Kashmir. My father worked for around 40 years until he retired and my mother worked for many years when it was not the norm during that era.

Being the youngest of four children, the opportunities I have had with my career are entirely down to the sacrifices my parents made to ensure each of us had a formal education.

I grew up in Birmingham, which is particularly multicultural, and in a predominantly South Asian area. Attending school with other children from a very wide variety of ethnic backgrounds meant that I learned a lot about others’ cultures, which was fantastic.

It is well-known that Yorkshire has a sizeable number of people from South Asian backgrounds and over the years I have heard many stories of people who came to Sheffield from South Asia and worked very hard, including in the steelworks, which the city is famous for.

Closer to my own experience I have many colleagues working in SHSC who are of South Asian heritage. I am sure they will join me in celebrating South Asian Heritage Month too. For people that know me well, sport is a huge passion of mine. I am a cricket fanatic as are many people from South Asian communities: I was at a Test Match and a Commonwealth Games game recently; two opposite sides of the spectrum, but very engrossing.

South Asian culture has had a significant effect on British culture. As a Brummie and adopted Sheffielder, I’ve seen how much it means to the British population: some of the most well-known places for excellent South Asian food are frequented regularly by people of all backgrounds.

I’ve recently joined the Trust but I’m planning to lead an event at SHSC for South Asian Heritage Month next year: I have many ideas and am excited for them to come to fruition.