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The South Asian Stories project aimed to explore museum objects through the eyes of the local communities of Bengali, Indian and Pakistani cultural heritage.

In 2022 South Asian community groups supported by Networking Key Services (NKS) visited the National Museum of Scotland to view the galleries and interpret objects from the South Asian and Scottish collections through the eyes of group members' childhood memories and their lived experiences. These are their reflections: 

"Museums evoke memories. Every object we came across had a story to tell - the Surasundari statue reminded some of a college trip to Madhya Pradesh, central India, while others remembered how they played games of Chausar, or Pachisi, with friends using tiny kauri shells in teenage years. The objects we saw took us to our childhood days reminiscing our experiences, and our rich histories, and connected us with our cultural heritage.

We were awed by the many artefacts, but also intrigued by the question of how they all ended up in the museum. 

While many had visited the museum before, some hadn’t, or at least not for many years, with time constraints of bringing up a family and language barriers being some of the reasons for this.

All the objects we came across we were fascinated by, but in our minds they were missing some interpretation from a unique South Asian perspective."

The project resulted in a trail for visitors to the National Musuem of Scotland and stories about some of the objects on display in our museums.

This work was written by members of the South Asian community organisation Networking Key Services (NKS), with support from National Museums Scotland staff and the Nancie Massey Charitable Trust.


Logos for Networking Key Services, Nancie Massey Charitable Trust and National Museums Scotland.

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