Edinburgh Global

Edinburgh’s first South Asia Week

The University launched its first South Asia Week this year – celebrating Edinburgh’s connection to the region.

The University’s first South Asia Week ran from 30 September until 4 October 2019, marking the 150th anniversary of Gandhi’s birthday. The week was organised by the South Asia Regional Team, Centre for South Asian Studies and South Asian Students Association (SASA).

A total of 17 events were held across the campus and the city providing the opportunity for staff, students and the wider community to attend events including film screenings, exhibition previews and musical performances.

The University of Edinburgh has a long history of links with South Asia. We hope that this cultural showcase is an opportunity for our students, staff and friends to connect with this vibrant region and our engagement in teaching, research, exchange and more.

Professor Pankaj Pankaj International Dean for South Asia, the University of Edinburgh 

Events from across the week

Some of the highlights include renowned Sri Lankan-British composer Tanya Ekanayaka performance of new music on the 150th birthday of Gandhi, Professor and Co-Director for Centre South Asian Studies, Talat Ahmed launched her book on Mohandas Gandhi: Experiments in Civil Disobedience and a sitar concert held by the co-directors of the Sitar Project which helps to promote Indian music in Scotland.

The University was also delighted to welcome Lord Bhikhu Parekh, political theorist and member of the House of Lords to deliver the inaugural keynote speech during South Asia Week.

university welcomes Lord Bhikhu Parekh
Lord Bhikhu Parekh (center)

Six students who took part in the second Sustainable Fashion Trek to India this year, held the Focus India: Sustainable Fashion event to share their experiences from the trip as well as their insights into the fashion industry, particularly the need for sustainability within the fashion sector.

South Asia at the Edinburgh Festivals brought together a panel of participants from the Edinburgh International Book Festival, including the director of the festival, to reflect on events that had a South Asia focus such as Nicola Sturgeon in conversation with Arundhati Roy and the Lahore Literary Festival.

The week also saw the opportunity for University staff and students to attend an exclusive preview of the exhibition The Walls of Ahmedabad, which brought to life the history of the Indian city of Ahmedabad through the eyes of architect and aerial photographer Robert Stephens. The exhibition was led by Senior Lecturer, ECA in Architectural Design and Theory, Dorian Wiszniewski.

Finally, the week would not have been completed without involvement from our South Asian Student community, the longest-running South Asian Students Association (SASA) hosted Boli an open mic spoken word night, which included a panel of poets, writers and artists from the region and allowed our students to express their own work too. An excellent turnout of 70 students were in attendance for this first-time event for the society.

The University is home to more than 500 students from the region, across seven countries.  There are currently more than 1800 alumni in South Asia and another 500 South Asian alumni in 40 Countries around the world.

Find out more about our South Asia regional team

South Asia team