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South Asian Heritage Month – a story from Justin Jose

A man is looking at the camera and smiling. He has black facial hair and is standing in front of bright orange autumnal leaves.
04 August 2023

South Asian Heritage Month (SAHM) runs from 17 July – 18 August and seeks to commemorate, mark and celebrate South Asian cultures, histories, and communities. The month seeks to understand the diverse heritage and cultures that continue to link the UK with South Asia.

The theme for SAHM this year is ‘Stories to Tell’. Here’s a story from Justin Jose, a Mental Health Nurse at Sheffield Children’s. 

“I work as Registered Mental Health Nurse (RMN) at the Becton Centre. I come from Kerala, (Gods own country – which is a famous tag line) India. I often hear jokes that people from Kerala are everywhere especially nurses. This is usually out of shock at how far and wide we have travelled. As a community we have been a crucial part of the labour market in the UK and we travel globally to work, explore, and settle.

“I believe that along with providing learning opportunities for others, this month enables people of South Asian heritage to reclaim their history and identity by sharing their own stories and experiences. 

“I moved to Sheffield from Kerala in October 2022 as the part of the international nurses recruitment program by NHS England. The journey of transition was way easier than I thought since most of the people I met so far was very friendly and welcoming, especially at my work.

“I was lucky enough to be a part of Kerala community that gathered under our parish church in Sheffield after my arrival. I was awestruck to witness the number of Keralite parish members during a function I recently attended. So, moving to Sheffield and working for the NHS is a right decision made by myself. My family who joined me lately have similar experiences. 

“I would love to have a full English Breakfast any time of the day apart from the numerous curries we prepare at home! Along with the rich heritage of England, I am indeed glad to experience that Indian and south Asian culture is equally valued and included in Sheffield and throughout UK.” 

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