Support the launch of East & South East Asian Heritage Month in the UK

Support the launch of East & South East Asian Heritage Month in the UK

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Britain's East and South East Asian Network (besea.n) started this petition to UK Government

besea.n, on behalf of the East and South East Asian community in the UK, is starting a nationwide movement to establish ESEA Heritage Month UK. We are seeking recognition from the UK Government, as well as non-departmental public bodies like The British Library and National Museums.

The aim of the campaign is to establish an annual observance celebrating the history, heritage and social contributions of East and South East Asian (ESEA) communities in the UK, recognised by the government department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and open to everyone to observe.

In practice, what does this look like?

We propose a month-long, collaborative programme of events each year in the month of September, including (but not limited to) exhibitions, talks, publications, workshops, community conversations and performances to spotlight and celebrate ESEA history and heritage in Britain. 

Anyone can observe and learn from ESEA Heritage Month! Our vision is to establish a collective movement to celebrate our cultures together. We invite any organisations or individuals identifying as ESEA or representing ESEA interests to participate, and our hope is that everyone in the UK will benefit from learning more about the rich and varied cultures represented in our community, as well as the ways in which they have shaped modern Britain and how they contribute to its future.

East Asia is made up of China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea and Taiwan. South East Asia encompasses regions that are geographically south of China, east of the Indian subcontinent and north-west of Australia: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei, East Timor, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore.


ESEA communities in the UK have been established as early as the 17th century. Today, ESEAs are one of the fastest growing ethnic communities, but little is known about our cultures and histories in the wider public consciousness. We aim to amplify ESEA voices and stories that have historically been less heard in our society, looking to observances such as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month for inspiration.

We see ESEA Heritage Month as a way not only to foster community cohesion among ESEAs themselves, but to bring ESEA 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 annual history and heritage months. ESEA Heritage Month will also provide invaluable resources for teachers and Early Years practitioners, to bring ESEA cultures to the classroom.

We have set an extremely ambitious goal of celebrating the UK’s first ESEA Heritage month in September 2021...which is why we need all hands on deck to sign the petition, share the campaign, and either get involved with or support the programme of events!


We propose a UK-wide programme of events, and encourage partners and participants to organise across the four nations. Our goal is to be able to promote physical events, if in line with the government roadmap in 2021, in various locations (including Chinatowns!) across the UK, as well as digital events. More details to follow once the programme of events is announced.


The initial campaign will be launched online and run across social media and our online network, with key champions of the ESEA community and public figures of ESEA heritage promoting and supporting the campaign.

We will target all major UK press outlets, as well as radio, podcast, university student unions and faith networks. We will seek out partnerships and collaborations with ESEA organisations and individuals willing to contribute to the programme of events.

We will also seek corporate sponsorship in order to carry out our key activities and to fund our marketing and PR activities. In the interim, our campaign will largely be run with our own funds and with the help of our volunteer network.

Follow updates on Instagram @besea.n, Twitter @besea_n and at

Artwork by Emma Yuan.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!