The Info List - British Asian

Primary language: English Ancestral languages: Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Sylheti, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu


Chiefly Islam, Hinduism
and Sikhism Christian, Zoroastrian, Buddhist, Jain and Atheist minorities

British Asians (also referred as South Asians in the United Kingdom, Asian British people or Asian Britons) are persons of Asian descent who reside in the United Kingdom.[2] In British English
British English
usage, the term Asians usually refers to people with roots in South Asia, essentially the Indian subcontinent. Immigration of small numbers of South Asians to England
began with the arrival of the East India Company
East India Company
to the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
in the 17th century. Indians came to Britain, for educational or economic reasons, during the British Raj, with most returning to India
after a few months or years,[3] and in greater numbers as the Indian independence movement led to the partition of 1947, eventually creating the separate countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh
and Sri Lanka. The most significant wave of Asian immigration to and settlement in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
came following World War II, the breakup of the British Empire
British Empire
and the independence of Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
and later Bangladesh, especially during the 1950s and 1960s. An influx of Asian immigrants also took place following the expulsion or flight of Indian communities (then holders of British passports) from the newly independent Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania in the early 1970s.


1 Terminology 2 Demography and religion 3 History in Britain 4 Influence 5 Art 6 Literature 7 Sports 8 Celebrities in popular culture 9 Communities

9.1 Counties with a high population of British Asians 9.2 London Boroughs with a high population of British Asians 9.3 Towns and Cities with particularly significant British Asian populations

10 See also 11 References 12 External links

Terminology[edit] In Britain, the word "Asian" usually refers specifically to people of South Asian
South Asian
ancestry (Pakistanis, Indians, Bangladeshis and Sri Lankans). This usage contrasts to that in the United States, where it is used to refer to people of East Asian
East Asian
origin.[4][5] The British Sociological Association's guidelines on equality and diversity suggest that "South Asian" is more precise than "Asian", and that the latter should not be used where there is a risk of it conflating South Asians with people from elsewhere in Asia.[5] The United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Census 1991 was the first to include a question on ethnicity (apart from in Northern Ireland, where the question was not asked until 2001). The question had tick-boxes for "Indian", "Pakistani" and "Bangladeshi". There was also a "Chinese" tick box, as well as a general "Any other ethnic group (please describe)" option for those not wishing to identify with any of the pre-set tick boxes. For the 2001 Census, in England
and Wales, "Indian", "Pakistani" and "Bangladeshi" and "Any other Asian background (please write in)" options were grouped under an "Asian or Asian British" heading, with "Chinese" appearing under a separate heading. In Scotland, all of these tick-boxes were grouped together under an "Asian, Asian Scottish or Asian British " heading, and in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
no broad headings were used, just tick-boxes for each of the Asian groups.[6] The 2011 Census questionnaire was more consistent with regard to the grouping of Asian ethnicities, such that Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Chinese and any other Asian background options appeared under a broad "Asian/Asian British" ("Asian, Asian Scottish or Asian British" in Scotland) heading in all parts of the UK.[7] Demography and religion[edit] The 2011 UK Census
2011 UK Census
recorded 1,451,862 residents of Indian, 1,174,983 of Pakistani and 451,529 of Bangladeshi ethnicity, making a total South Asian
South Asian
population of 3,078,374 (4.9 per cent of the total population), excluding other Asian groups and people of mixed ethnicity.[1] South Asian ethnic groups
South Asian ethnic groups
mostly originate from a few select places in South Asia, these are known as place of origins. British Indians tend to originate mainly from the two Indian States, Punjab and Gujarat.[8] Evidence from Bradford
and Birmingham
have shown, Pakistanis originate largely from the Mirpur District
Mirpur District
in Azad Kashmir. The second largest ethnic group of British Pakistanis
British Pakistanis
are the Punjabi people, largely from Attock District
Attock District
of Punjab followed by pathans and other ethnic groups from the districts of Nowshera, Peshwar
and Ghazi in province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. In the London Borough of Waltham Forest
London Borough of Waltham Forest
there are substantial numbers of Pakistani people originating from Jhelum, Punjab.[9] Studies have shown 95 per cent of Bangladeshis originate from the Sylhet
region, one of the 8 divisions, located in the Northeastern part of Bangladesh. Districts include Sylhet, Habiganj, Moulvibazar, and Sunamganj. [10][11] In Tower Hamlets, people have origins in different zones in the Sylhet
region, mainly from Jagannathpur, Beanibazar and Bishwanath.[12] The language spoken by Indians are, Punjabi, Gujarati, Kutchi, Hindustani, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. People from Pakistan
speak Urdu, Punjabi, Mirpuri, Hindko (dialects of Punjabi), Sindhi, Kashmiri, Pashto, and Seraiki. Gujaratis who emigrated from India
and East Africa
East Africa
speak Gujarati, Hindi, and Kutchi (a dialect of Sindhi), while a sizeable number of Gujarati Muslims speak Urdu
for religious and cultural reasons.[13] Bangladeshis from Sylhet
speak Sylheti and Bengali. People from Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
speak Tamil and Sinhala. Those who speak dialects mainly refer their language to the main language, for example Sylheti speakers say they speak Bengali or Mirpuri speakers say they speak Punjabi. The reason for this is because they do not expect outsiders to be well informed about dialects.[14] The unemployment rate among Indian men was only slightly higher than that for White British or White Irish men, 7 per cent compared with 5 per cent for the other two groups. On the other hand, Pakistanis have higher unemployment rates of 13-14%, and Bangladeshis have one of the highest rates, around 23%.[15] Some surveys also revealed the Indian unemployment rate to be 6-7%[16] Persons of Indian or mixed Indian origin are more likely than White British to have university degrees, whereas Pakistanis and Bangladeshis are less likely.[17] With the exception of Bangladeshi women, every other group of South Asians, have higher attendance at university than the national average.[18] GCSE pass rates have been rising for all South Asians.[19] There have been three waves of migration of Hindus
in the United Kingdom.The first wave was before India's independence in 1947. In the early 1950s the Conservative Health Minister, Enoch Powell
Enoch Powell
recruited a large number of doctors from the Indian sub-continent. The second wave occurred in the 1970s mainly from East Africa. The later communities included those from Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Mauritius
and Fiji. The last wave of migration began in the 1990s and included Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
and professionals including doctors and software engineers from India. British Pakistanis
British Pakistanis
and Bangladeshis are much more religiously homogeneous, with Muslims accounting for 92% of each group while their counterparts of Indian and Sri Lankan origin tend to be religiously diverse, with 55% Hindus, 29% Sikhs, and 15% Muslims. British Gujaratis are predominantly Hindu, belonging to various caste organizations, with large minorities of Muslims, Jains, and smaller numbers of Christians
and Zoroastrians. South Asians who marked "Other Asian" as an ethnic group and then wrote in their specific ethnic group were mostly (23%) of Sri Lankan origin[citation needed]. Due to a growing sense of affiliation with Britain, many third generation South Asians chose to not mark "Asian or British Asian" and instead marked "British Asian" in the "Other Asian" write in section.[20] Notable religious buildings are the East London Mosque, London Central Mosque, Birmingham
Central Mosque, Baitul Futuh, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan
Mandir London, Bradford
Lakshmi Narayan Hindu Temple, Shikharbandi Jain Derasar in Potters Bar,[21] Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha and Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara. The publication of Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses
The Satanic Verses
in 1988 caused major controversy. Muslims condemned the book for blasphemy. On 2 December 1988 the book was publicly burned at a demonstration in Bolton
attended by 7,000 Muslims, followed by a similar demonstration and book-burning in Bradford
on 14 January 1989.[22] In 1989 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini
Ruhollah Khomeini
of Iran
issued a fatwā ordering Muslims to kill Rushdie.[23] Britain is also home of notable Asian religious leaders and scholars. Some of them are Mirza Masroor Ahmad
Mirza Masroor Ahmad
(Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Community), Sheikh Abdul Qayum (one of the best known scholars in Europe
and Chief Imam of East London Mosque), Abu Yusuf Riyadh ul Haq (Khateeb of Birmingham
Central Mosque), Dr. Mahmudul Hasan (Khateeb of Essex Mosque), Abdur Rahman Madani (Chairman of Global Eid Trust and Chief Imam of Darul Ummah Mosque), Faiz-ul-Aqtab Siddiqi (principal of Hijaz College), Ajmal Masroor
Ajmal Masroor
(Imam and Liberal Democrats politician) and Pramukh Swami Maharaj
Pramukh Swami Maharaj
(fifth spiritual successor of Hindu Swaminarayan). History in Britain[edit]

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
who studied in England
played a pivotal role in ending the British Raj
British Raj
in South Asia

The earliest date at which South Asians settled in Great Britain
Great Britain
is not clear. If the Romany (Gypsies) are included, then the earliest arrivals were in the Middle Ages. DNA surveys have linked Romanies to present-day South Asian
South Asian
populations and the Romany language
Romany language
is a member of the Indo-Aryan language family. Romanies are believed to have begun travelling westward around 1000 CE, and have mixed with South-west Asian and European populations over many centuries. Romani began arriving in sizeable numbers in parts of Western Europe in the 16th century. The Romani who settled in Britain are known as Romanichal. When the Portuguese Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama
arrived in India
in 1498, he opened a direct maritime route between South Asia
South Asia
and Europe. In the following century many South Asians arrived in Europe
by sea as sailors, slaves and servants. Trade and English piracy brought some of these people to Britain and four South Asian
South Asian
men in London answered the call for sailors for the first English East India Company
East India Company
fleet to Asia. Their Portuguese names identifies them as mixed-race Portuguese Luso-Asians.[24] Since the 17th century, the East India Company
East India Company
employed thousands of South Asian
South Asian
lascars, scholars and workers (who were mostly Bengali or Muslim) mainly to work on British ships and ports around the world. The first group of South Asians to migrate in notable numbers, in the 18th century, were lascars (sailors) recruited from the Indian subcontinent (largely from the Bengal
region) to work for the British East India
Company, some, despite prejudice and a language barrier, settled down, often forcibly after ill treatment and being abandoned by ship masters. Many were forced into poverty and starved.[2][25][26] Letters to newspapers in 1785 talked of “the number of miserable objects, Lascars, … shivering and starving in the streets”.[27] Some lascars took British wives, and some converted to Anglican Christianity
(at least nominally) in order to marry,[28] possibly due to a lack of South Asian
South Asian
women in Britain at the time.[29] Most Indians during this period would visit or reside in Britain temporarily, returning to India
after months or several years, bringing back knowledge about Britain in the process.[30] 38 lascars were reported arriving in British ports in 1760.[31][32] Between 1803 and 1813, there were more than 10,000 lascars from the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
visiting British port cities and towns.[33]:140, 154–6, 160–8, 172 By 1842, 3,000 lascars visited the UK annually, and by 1855, 12,000 lascars were arriving annually in British ports. In 1873, 3,271 lascars arrived in Britain.[34]:35 Throughout the early 19th century lascars visited Britain at a rate of 1,000 every year,[33]:140,54–6,60–8,72 which increased to a rate of 10,000 to 12,000 every year throughout the late 19th century.[35][36] Due to the majority being lascars, the earliest Muslim communities were found in port towns, found living in barracks, Christian charity homes and hostels.[26] The first and most frequent South Asian travelers to Britain were Christian Indians and those of European-Asian mixed race. For Muslim Indians considerations about how their dietary and religious practices would alienate them from British society were brought into question but these considerations were often outweighed by economic opportunities. Those that stayed often took British names, dress and diet.[37] Naval cooks also came, many of them from the Sylhet Division
Sylhet Division
of what is now Bangladesh. One of the most famous early Bengali Muslim immigrants to England
was Sake Dean Mahomet, a captain of the British East India Company
East India Company
who in 1810 founded London's first Indian restaurant, the Hindoostane Coffee House. He is also reputed for introducing shampoo and therapeutic massage to the United Kingdom.[38] In 1784 he migrated to Ireland where he fell in love with a woman called Jane Daly. He converted to Anglicanism in order to marry her, as it was illegal at the time for non-Protestants to marry Protestants. They later moved to Brighton.[39] After reports of lascars starving and suffering from poverty the East India
Company responded by making available lodgings for them, but no checks were kept on the boarding houses and barracks they provided. The Lascars were made to live in cramped, dreadful conditions which resulted in the deaths of many each year, with reports of Lascars being locked in cupboards and whipped for misbehavior (by owners) which was reported by the Society for the Protection of Asiatic Sailors (founded in 1814).[27] In 1842, the Church Missionary Society reported on the dire ″state of the Lascars in London″[40] it was reported in the winter of 1850, 40 Asian men, also known as 'sons of India', were found dead of cold and hunger on the streets of London. Shortly after these reports evangelical Christians
proposed the construction of a charity house and gathered £15,000 pounds in assistance of the Lascars . In 1856 The Strangers' Home for Asiatics, Africans and South Sea Islanders was opened in Commercial Road, Limehouse under the manager Lieutenant-Colonel R. Marsh Hughes.[41] The Navigation Act of 1660 restricted the employment of non-English sailors to a quarter of the crew on returning East India
Company ships. Baptism records in East Greenwich
suggest that young Indians from the Malabar Coast
Malabar Coast
were being recruited as servants at the end of the seventeenth century, and records of the EIC also suggest that Indo-Portuguese cooks from Goa
were retained by captains from voyage to voyage.[42] In 1797, 13 were buried in the parish of St Nicholas
St Nicholas
at Deptford. It is estimated 8,000 Indians (a large proportion being lascar sailors) lived in Britain permanently prior to the 1950s. Although, the comparatively few lascars that gained work often opened shops and helped initiate social and political community associations.[43] Indians were less likely to settle permanently because of wage differentials.[44][45] Due to the majority of early South Asian immigrants being lascars, the earliest South Asian
South Asian
communities were found in port towns The small, often transitory presence of Lascars continued into the 1930s, with the Port of London Authority mentioning Lascars in a February 1931 article writing that ''Although appearing so out of place in the East End, they are well able to look after themselves, being regular seamen who came to the Docks time after time and have learnt a little English and know how to buy what they want.''[46] In 1932, the Indian National Congress survey of 'all Indians outside India' estimated that there were 7,128 Indians in the United Kingdom.[47] It is estimated from 1800 to 1945 20,000 South Asians emigrated to Britain.[48] Following the Second World War
Second World War
and the breakup of the British Empire, South Asian
South Asian
migration to the UK increased through the 1950s and 1960s from Pakistan
(including present-day Bangladesh) and Commonwealth countries such as India, at the same time as immigrants from former Caribbean
colonies were also moving to Britain. Although this immigration was continuous, several distinct phases can be identified:

Manual workers, mainly from Pakistan, were recruited to fulfill the labour shortage that resulted from World War II. These included Anglo-Indians who were recruited to work on the railways as they had done in India. Workers mainly from the Punjab region
Punjab region
of India
and some from Pakistan arrived in the late 1950s and 1960s. Many worked in the foundries of the English Midlands
English Midlands
and a large number worked at Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport
in west London. This created an environment to where the next generation of families did not lose their identity as easily. An example would be Southall
which is populated by many Sikhs. During the same time, medical staff from the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
were recruited for the newly formed National Health Service. These people were targeted as the British had established medical schools in the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
which conformed to the British standards of medical training.

Beginning around 1964 Africanization policies in East Africa
East Africa
prompted the arrival of Asians with British passports from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. At first these were the people employed in government and administrative roles, but this was expended to include those Asians engaged in commerce. The movement was called the "Exodus".[49] In 1972, all South Asians were expelled from Uganda by the controversial figure Idi Amin, then president of Uganda. Those holding British passports came to Britain. Many such displaced people who were predominantly of Gujarati origins had left behind successful businesses and vast commercial empires in Uganda, but built up their lives all over again in Britain, starting from scratch. Some of these "twice-over" migrants became retailers, while others found suitable employment in white-collar professions. The Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962
Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962
and Immigration Act 1971
Immigration Act 1971
largely restricted any further primary immigration, although family members of already-settled migrants were still allowed. In addition, much of the subsequent growth in the South Asian
South Asian
community has come from the births of second and third-generation South Asian
South Asian
Britons. British Asians faced discrimination and racism following Enoch Powell's Rivers of Blood speech
Rivers of Blood speech
and the establishment of the National Front in the late 1960s. This included overt racism in the form of Paki bashing, predominantly from white power skinheads, the National Front, and the British National Party, throughout the 1970s and 1980s.[50] Drawing inspiration from the Indian independence movement, the black power movement, and the Anti-Apartheid Movement, young British Asian
British Asian
activists began a number of anti-racist Asian youth movements in the 1970s and 1980s, including the Bradford
Youth Movement in 1977, the Bangladeshi Youth Movement following the murder of Altab Ali
Altab Ali
in 1978, and the Newham Youth Movement following the murder of Akhtar Ali Baig in 1980.[51] Influence[edit] South Asians are said to contribute 6% to the UK GDP, whilst making up only 4% of the population.[52][53] Other sources state that the figure may be even higher - the Centre for Social Markets estimates that British Asian
British Asian
businesses contribute as much as 10% of total GDP.[54] Although there are roughly double the number of South Asians in the UK today compared to people of African descent, South Asians are less represented in global and British media than any other major group; in the UK there is less than half the amount of South Asians represented in the media than those of African and Caribbean
descent. The biggest influence of South Asians on popular British culture has probably been the spread of Indian cuisine, though of the 9,000 Indian restaurants in the UK, most are run by Bangladeshis; their ancestral home was part of British India's Bengal
province until partition in 1947. South Asians have also played a pivotal role in rejuvenating a number of UK street markets. According to the New Economics Foundation, Queen's Market in Upton Park, East London is officially the most ethnically diverse. As in Canada, Bhangra music has become popular among many in Britain [55] not only from the works of British South Asian
South Asian
musicians such as Panjabi MC, Swami and Rishi Rich but also incorporated into the works of a number of non- South Asian
South Asian
musicians not only British but including North American artists such as Canadian Shania Twain, who created a whole alternate version of her multi-platinum album Up! with full Indian instrumentation, produced by South Asian
South Asian
producers Simon & Diamond. Diamond, better known as DJ Swami
DJ Swami
has also collaborated with rapper Pras, of The Fugees, and his band Swami have become one of the most renowned acts in South Asian
South Asian
music history, having had songs in major Hollywood
movies and best-selling video games. One of the first artists of South Asian
South Asian
Indian origin to achieve mainstream success was Apache Indian
Apache Indian
who infused reggae and hip hop with Indian popular music to create a sound that transcended genre and found a multicultural audience. He is the only Indian artist to have achieved 7 top forty hits in the National UK charts. A subsequent wave of "Asian Underground" artists went on to blend elements of western underground dance music and the traditional music of their home countries, such as Nitin Sawhney, Talvin Singh, Asian Dub Foundation, Panjabi MC, Raghav, and the Rishi Rich Project (featuring Rishi Rich, Jay Sean
Jay Sean
and Juggy D). The influence of South Asian
South Asian
music has not only been from South Asians living in the UK, but also from some UK artists that were starting using South Asian
South Asian
instruments creating a new sound that was a mixture of sitars and tablas with more rock-based western instruments like drums and guitar.[56][57] The films East is East, Chicken Tikka Masala and Bend It Like Beckham and the TV shows Goodness Gracious Me and The Kumars
The Kumars
at No. 42 have managed to attract large, multi-ethnic audiences. The success and popularity of British Pakistani
British Pakistani
boxer Amir Khan influenced the revival of boxing on ITV Sport. Lakshmi Mittal
Lakshmi Mittal
is currently Britain's richest man and the fifth richest man in the world. The Mittal family owns 43% of Arcelor-Mittal, the world's largest steel manufacturer, which was known as Mittal Steel Company
Mittal Steel Company
before the merger with Arcelor. He was listed in the Forbes
List of Billionaires (2006)
List of Billionaires (2006)
as the richest Indian and the fifth richest man in the world with an estimated fortune of $55.0 billion and, according to the Sunday Times Rich List 2006, is the richest in the UK, with a net worth of £29 billion. The Financial Times named Mittal its 2006 Person of the Year. In 2005, he was the third richest man in the world according to Forbes
List of billionaires (2005). In 2004 it was reported that UK Sikhs
had the highest percentage of home ownership, at 82%, out of all UK religious communities.[58] Muslims are by far the poorest religious or non religious community in the UK. For comparison, the median net wealth for Jews
stands at £422 000, Sikhs
at £229 000, Christians
at £223 000 and Hindus
at £ 206 000 while for Muslims the figure stands at £42 000.[59] Muslims also happen to be the most disproportionately represented religious group facing arrest, trial and imprisonment, with 13.1% of prisoners being Muslims while the community represents 4% of those aged 15 years or older within the general population.[60] Art[edit]

ArcelorMittal Orbit, London Olympic Park, designated by the Indian Anish Kapoor.

Anish Kapoor, CBE, RA (born 12 March 1954) is an Indian-born British sculptor. Born in Mumbai, Kapoor has lived and worked in London since the early 1970s when he moved to study art, first at the Hornsey College of Art and later at the Chelsea College of Art and Design. Kapoor received the Turner Prize
Turner Prize
in 1991. Born in London and of Asian origin Shezad Dawood became known for this work in various media in the early 2000s. Also born in London and of Pakistani origin, Haroon Mirza emerged as an artist in the late 2000s. Best known for his sculptural installations that generate sound, Mirza was awarded the Silver Lion for the Most Promising Artist at the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011. Theatre company RIFCO Arts has been producing and touring productions based on the British Asian
British Asian
experience since 1999.[61] Literature[edit] Well-known South Asian
South Asian
writers include H.S. Bhabra, Salman Rushdie, Ghulam Murshid, Tahir Shah, Gurinder Chadha, Nazrin Choudhury, Rekha Waheed, Hanif Kureshi, Monica Ali, Meera Syal, Gautam Malkani, Bali Rai and Raman Mundair. Sports[edit] See also: British Asians in association football

Amir Khan (left), with American boxer Paulie Malignaggi
Paulie Malignaggi

Jawaid Khaliq, the first world champion boxer of Pakistani origin, was born in Nottingham. Amir Khan, the silver medallist at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, has become a cultural icon in the UK with TV audiences of up to 8 million watching him fight. Khan represents Britain in boxing and is the former WBA world light welterweight champion. The boxer Haider Ali won the first ever gold medal for Pakistan
in boxing at the commonwealth games in Manchester
in 2002 in the featherweight division.[62] Nasser Hussain
Nasser Hussain
was the captain of the England
cricket team. Michael Chopra played for the England
national under-21 football team and became the first footballer of Indian descent to play and score in the Premier League. In 2006 he scored one of the fastest goals in Premier League history, as Chopra had only been on the pitch for fifteen seconds after coming on as a substitute.[63] Aston Villa defender, Neil Taylor is also of Indian descent. Other British South Asian
South Asian
sport personalities:

Akaash Bhatia Haroon Khan Vikram Solanki Qasim Nisar Jawaid Khaliq Imran Khan (kickboxer) Tanveer Ahmed (boxing) Sajid Mahmood Monty Panesar Saqlain Mushtaq Adam Khan Dimitri Mascarenhas Ravi Bopara Kabir Ali Mark Ramprakash

Nasser Hussain Owais Shah Kadeer Ali Moeen Ali Hamza Riazuddin Min Patel Samit Patel Riaz Amin Adil Rashid Zesh Rehman Bilal Shafayat Harpal Singh Anwar Uddin Usman Afzaal Adnan Ahmed

Michael Chopra Hammad Miah Nayan Doshi Majid Haq Ronnie Irani Omer Hussain Tajiv Masson Kash Gill Netan Sansara Mandip Sehmi Rikki Bains Rajiv Ouseph Ali Jacko Bulbul Hussain Ruqsana Begum Zubair Hoque

Celebrities in popular culture[edit]

Shazia Mirza
Shazia Mirza
is a popular British comedian.

Early South Asian
South Asian
stars to break into English and Hollywood
films include Sabu, remembered for his lead roles in The Thief of Bagdad (1940), Jungle Book (1942), and Black Narcissus
Black Narcissus
(1947). Since the 1970s, South Asian
South Asian
performers and writers have achieved significant mainstream cultural success. The first South Asian musician to gain wide popularity in the UK and worldwide fame was Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury, born Farrokh Bulsara in Zanzibar, East Africa, to parents of Parsi descent from Bombay. In 2006, Time Asia magazine voted him as one of the most influential South Asians in the past 60 years.[64] At around the same time, music producer, composer and songwriter Biddu gained worldwide fame for a number of hit songs, including "Kung Fu Fighting" by Carl Douglas and "I Love to Love (But My Baby Loves to Dance)" for Tina Charles. In the 1990s the South Asian
South Asian
artists who gained mainstream success included Apache Indian, whose 1993 single "Boom Shack-A-Lak" was used in many Hollywood
movies, and Jas Mann, who headed Babylon Zoo and whose 1996 single "Spaceman" set a UK chart record when it sold 418,000 copies in its first week of release. Prominent South Asian
South Asian
actors in the 1980s included Art Malik, for his roles in The Jewel in the Crown and The Living Daylights, and Sir Ben Kingsley (born Krishna Pandit Bhanji), one of Britain's most acclaimed and well-known performers. Kingsley is one of few actors to have won all four major motion picture acting awards, receiving Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards throughout his career, including the Academy Award
Academy Award
for Best Actor for his performance in Gandhi (1982).[65] The actress Parminder Nagra
Parminder Nagra
has a prominent role in the US TV series ER, and played the lead role in the successful British film Bend It Like Beckham
Bend It Like Beckham
(2002). The actor Naveen Andrews plays the role of Sayid Jarrah
Sayid Jarrah
in the popular US TV series Lost, and also had a prominent role in the award-winning film The English Patient (1996). The actor Kunal Nayyar
Kunal Nayyar
plays the character of Raj Koothrappali in the popular US sitcom, The Big Bang Theory. Long-running British soap operas such as Coronation Street, EastEnders, Emmerdale
and Hollyoaks
have all had a number of South Asian characters. The comedians Sanjeev Bhaskar, Meera Syal, Papa CJ
Papa CJ
and Shazia Mirza are all well-recognised figures in British popular culture. The presenter and match maker of the BBC marriage arranging show Arrange Me a Marriage is a South Asian-Scot Aneela Rahman. Hardeep Singh Kohli is a presenter, reporter and comedian on British television and radio. British Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Indian contestants have appeared on The Apprentice including Syed Ahmed, Tre Azam, Lohit Kalburgi, Ghazal Asif, Shazia Wahab, Sara Dhada, and most notably Saira Khan, who is now a British TV presenter. The broadcasters Daljit Dhaliwal, Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Samira Ahmed
Samira Ahmed
are known for working on Channel 4 News.

The award-winning dance act Signature involved a British Pakistani
British Pakistani
and a British Indian.

The term South Asian
South Asian
was given the tag "Br-Asian" around the turn of the millennium by media businessmen Moiz Vas and Nav Sagoo. Vas and Sagoo were responsible for the South Asian
South Asian
Music awards which aired on ITV1 in the UK. Sagoo conceived the Br-Asian stage at Glastonbury Festival in 2004 and 2005 which featured acts such as Rishi Rich, Jay Sean, Swami, Raghav
and Pentagram. In 2008, in the second season of reality television Britain's Got Talent, one of the country's most successful reality television shows, the South Asian
South Asian
dance duo Signature, consisting of Suleman Mirza (a British Pakistani) and Madhu Singh (a British Indian) performing a fusion of Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson
and Bhangra music and dance styles, came second on the show. The most successful South Asian
South Asian
musician in 2008 was the British Tamil artist M.I.A., who was nominated for two Grammy Awards for her single "Paper Planes", and has been nominated for an Academy Award
Academy Award
for Best Original Score for "O... Saya", from the Slumdog Millionaire
Slumdog Millionaire
soundtrack. The actor Dev Patel, who played the role of Anwar Kharral
Anwar Kharral
in the teen drama series Skins, also played the leading role in Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire, for which he received several awards and was nominated for the 2009 BAFTA Award
for Best Leading Actor.[66] In 2009, Mumzy Stranger, an R&B and hip-hop music artist, became the first British Bangladeshi
British Bangladeshi
to release a music single, called "One More Dance".[67] In October 2009, Jay Sean's single "Down" reached the #1 on the Billboard Hot 100[68] and sold four million copies in the United States,[69][70] making him the first South Asian-origin solo artist and "the first UK Urban act to top Billboard's Hot 100,"[71] "the most successful male UK urban artist in US chart history,"[72] and the most successful British male artist in the US charts since Elton John
Elton John
in 1997. A new generation of British Asian
British Asian
musicians have followed, such as Shizzio, 21 Perspective and Raxstar. In the early 2010s, Asian boy band members, Siva Kaneswaran
Siva Kaneswaran
of The Wanted
The Wanted
and Zayn Malik of One Direction, have gained considerable mainstream popularity worldwide; The Wanted
The Wanted
reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100
Billboard Hot 100
with "Glad You Came" while One Direction
One Direction
topped the Billboard 200
Billboard 200
with Up All Night. Humza Arshad and Ali Shahalom are well known British Asian
British Asian
Comedians for their YouTube
careers which normally consists of stereotyping British Pakistani
British Pakistani
and Bangladeshi Muslim Culture. In 2011, one of the Humza Arshad's video was the seventh most viewed on YouTube
in Europe.[73][74] Communities[edit]

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The council area with the largest British Asian
British Asian
and British Muslim population is the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, whose population is 36.6% of South Asians and 39% of Muslims, mostly British Bangladeshis. Counties with a high population of British Asians[edit]

5.3% S. Asian Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester
5.6% S. Asian West Yorkshire
West Yorkshire
8.7% S. Asian West Midlands (county)
West Midlands (county)
13.4% S. Asian Greater London
Greater London
12.09% S. Asian Berkshire
6.8% S. Asian Buckinghamshire
4.3% S. Asian Bedfordshire
8.3% S. Asian Leicestershire
11.9% S. Asian

London Boroughs with a high population of British Asians[edit]

London Borough of Tower Hamlets
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
36.6% S. Asian London Borough of Newham
London Borough of Newham
32.5% S. Asian London Borough of Harrow
London Borough of Harrow
29.7% S. Asian London Borough of Brent
London Borough of Brent
27.7% S. Asian London Borough of Redbridge
London Borough of Redbridge
25.0% S. Asian London Borough of Ealing
London Borough of Ealing
24.5% S. Asian London Borough of Hounslow
London Borough of Hounslow
24.7% S. Asian

Towns and Cities with particularly significant British Asian populations[edit]

Note: Some local authorities contain large areas of countryside surrounding the actual towns, e.g. Bedford, Bradford, Leeds, Newport, Sunderland and High Wycombe. This may lead to the South Asian
South Asian
and ethnic minority populations being underestimated in these places. Batley
30% S. Asian. 40.72% in Batley
East[75] and 21.43% in Batley West[76] Bedford
(especially Queens Park, Cauldwell) 8.1% S. Asian Birmingham
(especially Sparkhill, Alum Rock, Sparkbrook, Small Heath, Balsall Heath, Washwood Heath, Saltley, Handsworth, Handsworth Wood) 22% S. Asian Blackburn
20.6% S. Asian Bolton
9.1% S. Asian Bradford
(Manningham, Great Horton, Heaton, Girlington, West Bowling, BD3
and Thornbury) 24.3% S. Asian Burnley 7.2% S. Asian Burton upon Trent
Burton upon Trent
(Anglesey) 4.3% S. Asian (east Staffordshire so also includes Uttoxeter
where there is little if any S. Asian population) Cardiff
(Butetown, Grangetown, Riverside) 3.96% S. Asian Coventry
11.3% S. Asian Derby
(Normanton, Sunny Hill) 8.4% S. Asian Dewsbury
(Ravensthorpe, Thornhill Lees, Savile Town) around 33% Asian.[77] Savile Town
Savile Town
is "97-100% Muslim".[78][79] Aberdeen
4.3% 9,519 Dundee
4.0% 4,000 (especially the Hilltown and Stobswell) Edinburgh
5.5% 26,264 (especially in Leith) Glasgow
8.1% 47,758 (especially Pollokshields, Pollokshaws, Govanhill and Woodlands)[80] Halifax 10% S. Asian High Wycombe
High Wycombe
11% S. Asian Huddersfield
(especially Lockwood and Fartown) 12.4% S. Asian Keighley
(especially Lawkholme, Highfield, Knowle Park and Stockbridge) 23% S. Asian Leeds
(Beeston, Harehills, Moortown, Hyde Park, Chapeltown) 4.5% S. Asian Leicester
(especially Belgrave, Rushey Mead, Highfields, Spinney Hills, Evington) 29.9% S. Asian Loughborough
6% S. Asian Luton
(especially Bury Park) 18.3% S. Asian Manchester
9.1% S. Asian (especially Rusholme, Whalley Range 28.48% and Cheetham Hill) Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes
(especially Kents Hill, Bletchley
and Wolverton) 8.7% S. Asian Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne
(especially Arthur's Hill, Elswick and Fenham
and others) 7.0% S. Asian Nottingham
(especially Bakersfield, Forest Fields, Sneinton, St Anns) 4.2% Asian Newport (especially Maindee
and Pillgwenlly) 2.6% S. Asian Oldham
(especially Glodwick, Westwood and Werneth) 11.9% S. Asian Oxford
(especially Cowley Road) 5.8% S. Asian Pendle
(especially Nelson and Brierfield) 14.1% S. Asian Peterborough
7.0% S. Asian Preston 11.6% S. Asian (especially Deepdale, Avenham, Fishwick, St. George's Preston. Reading borough 5.2% S. Asian Rochdale
(Especially Wardleworth, Spotland, Deeplish, Hamer, Smallbridge, Belfield) 9.8% S. Asian Rugby (especially New Bilton, Benn and Brownsover) 5.3% S. Asian Rotherham
(Especially Wellgate, Masbrough, Eastwood, Ferham) 3.9% S. Asian Sheffield
(especially Burngreave, Attercliffe, Tinsley, Page Hall, Pitsmoor, Nether Edge, Millhouses, Sharrow, Darnall
and Firth Park) 6% S. Asian Slough
27.9% S. Asian Sandwell
(especially the Victoria Park area of Tipton) 14% S. Asian Southampton
3.8% S. Asian Stoke-on-Trent
4.1% S. Asian[81] Sunderland (especially Eden Vale, Hendon and Thornhill) 1.2% S. Asian Wakefield
5% Asian. The Asian population is estimated at 27.6% in College Grove[82] and 19.6% in Agbrigg.[83] Walsall
10.4% S. Asian Wolverhampton
14.3% S. Asian

See also[edit]

British Bangladeshi British Chinese British Indian British Pakistanis British Sri Lankans List of British Asian
British Asian
people Asian-Scots Anglo-Indian BBC Asian Network British Asians in association football British Asians in politics of the United Kingdom British Cypriots British Indo- Caribbean
community Foreign-born population of the United Kingdom Mauritians in the United Kingdom Nepalis in the United Kingdom Non-resident Indian and Person of Indian Origin Rotherham
child sexual exploitation scandal South Asian
South Asian
Canadian Sunrise Radio


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External links[edit]

The Asian Post UK, The Voice of British Asians - Weekly Newspaper - News, Sports, Business, Opinion, Features, Entertainment, News in Pictures, Breaking News BBC Radio Player discussion on the dissatisfaction over the term Asian hWeb - An outline of the immigration pattern of the Pakistani community in Britain British Council Arts - Contemporary Writers information on British Asian writer Raman Mundair. BBC News Many Asians 'do not feel British' 30 July 2007 based on ICM Research poll conducted 4–12 July 2007 London Asian Guide - Online Guide for British Asians Reassessing what we collect website - The Asian Community in London History of Asian London with objects and images Asians UK Magazine, Events and PR, Engaging the British Asians in the UK British Asian
British Asian
Magazine - News, Features, Lifestyle & Entertainment

v t e

Ethnic group classifications in the 2011 UK Census


White British White Irish Gypsy/Irish Traveller Any other white background


White and Black Caribbean White and Black African White and Asian Any other mixed background

Asian or Asian British

Indian Pakistani Bangladeshi Chinese Any other Asian background

Black or Black British

African Caribbean Other Black

Other ethnic group

Arab Any other