The organisation also calls for official recognition of ESEA Heritage Month from UK government

The first Heritage Month dedicated to East and Southeast Asians in the UK is to be celebrated in September 2021, thanks to a campaign initiated by Britain’s East and Southeast Asian Network (BESEA.N).

The grassroots organisation was founded by six East and Southeast Asian women including Amy Phung, Charley Wong, Karlie Wu, Mai-Anh Peterson, Viv Yao, Isabelle last year as Asian hate is at an all-time high due to the pandemic.

The aim of this initiative is to celebrate the history, heritage, and social contributions of British East and Southeast Asian (ESEA) communities each year in the month of September through events such as exhibitions, talks, workshops, and community conversations and performances. 

“Voices and stories [of] ESEA are historically less heard in our society…EAEA today is one of the fastest-growing ethnic communities, but little is known about our cultures and histories in the wider public consciousness,” the statement reads.

“ESEA Heritage Month is to foster community cohesion among ESEAs themselves and to bring culture and heritage to the forefront of narratives around a diverse modern Britain, alongside other important communities like Black and South Asian groups, who also celebrate the annual history and heritage months.”

Charley Wong, co-founder of BESEA said, “Since the COVID pandemic, the ESEA community has really come together as a strong voice…this has spurred the desire and needs for more wider recognition.

“It’s time to connect with like-minded people and a great opportunity for people in the community who have connected online during the pandemic to meet in real life,” added Wong.

So far there are events planned in London, Cambridge and Bristol, according to the organisation and programme announcement is set to be made at the start of August.

A petition calling on the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to officially recognise the ESEA Heritage Month has so far garnered more than 1,000 signs and the organisation has also been seeking support from public bodies including The British Library and National Museums.

The deadline for event registration is on Saturday 31 July 2021.

In other news, An Asian anti-hate group is suspecting that the death of Mee Kuen Chong was “racially motivated.”