The Colourful Heritage invites you to explore the South Asian and Muslim heritage in Scotland. Visit our 'GlaswegAsians' exhibition and explore our online videos and digital timeline detailing the fascinating journey of these unique group of Scottish Asians.

Colourful Heritage - Who are we ?


Started in 2010, the Colourful Heritage is the first charitable initiative in Scotland aiming to preserve and celebrate the contributions of the early South Asian and Muslim communities and migrants to Scotland.

It has created the largest online repository of oral stories, established a dedicated archive and launched a unique exhibition showcasing the communities journey. Explore these amazing resources and be inspired by the positive contributions this community have made to Scotland having turned up with just a few pennies in their pocket and starting their working life as pedlars.

The story of our Heritage

‘Fantastic community who came to Scotland and are now part of the fabric of the country. I like to think of Scotland as a great tartan .A marvellous tartan of all shades and colours and descriptions and there’s no question that the Asian community have woven themselves into the great tartan of Scotland and now it is the opportunity for those stories to be told ’
Alex Salmond (Former First Minister of Scotland)

South Asians and Muslims are now part of the fabric of Scottish society but have you ever wondered how they came here? What was their motivation to travel thousands of miles to a foreign land? Their personal journey – the highs and the lows? What contributions they made to society over the years?

Explore and discover what was the key to their success and what you can learn from their experiences.

The first and largest online heritage archive

Colourful Heritage is the first and largest South Asian and Muslim Heriatge archive in Scotland

An enduring legacy…..

Colourful Heritage hopes to record as many stories from the early generation so they can be captured for future generations to come and will also show the enduring legacy our forefathers have left.

Get involved and share your story!

Colourful Heritage welcomes uploads of any stories, humorous anecdotes, documents or photographs to build up the archive.

Help preserve our heritage

Contribute items (photographs and documents) to our archive at the Mitchell library

Get involved!

Do you feel as strongly about preserving our heritage as we do? Would you like to join us as partners, sponsors or volunteers? If so contact us and get involved.


We are actively looking for input in three areas:

  1. to identify and interview individuals who migrated to Scotland between 1940s and 1960s to record and preserve their stories
  2. to source historical items (documents, photographs) that we can deposit into the City's archives
  3. to grow our digital timeline by recording significant events  

If you would like to help with above three priority areas please contact us.


Other ways people have engaged, include:

  1. Volunteers who have gained valuable work experience
  2. Schools who have run a special session as part of their curriculum for excellence
  3. Community organisations for whom we have delivered seminars
  4. Policy and academic researchers wanting to access our data (interviewees), etc.
  5. Advertisers and donors who have sponsored our work
  6. Organisations who want to partner with us

Like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

To stay up to date on our initiatives, events, contests, volunteering opportunities, jobs in the community and much more, join our Facebook page and follow us on twitter. Also a great way to know what is happening in the community and neighbourhood!

Watch a Video Upload a Video


Humza Yousaf

“I’m delighted to endorse and support the Colourful Heritage Project. I think it’s fantastic for somebody who was born and bred in Glasgow but the stock of immigrant parents. For me it’s important not just to know who I am but to know where I have come from, what my heritage is, what my values are and that helps to shape where I want to go in the future.”
Humza Yousaf – SNP MSP

Lord Sheikh

“It is important that we undertake this project whilst the older generation are still alive because they are part of Scotland and we should hear their stories.”
Lord Sheikh, Chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum

Bashir Maan

“I think it’s a wonderful Idea. Every community, Jewish community, Irish community and Italian community, everybody has its archives. It was only we who were missing. I wish Colourful Heritage all the support and my cooperation and I wish them well.”
Bashir Maan – UK’s First elected Muslim Councillor

Tom Lea

“Very proud and happy to be supporting the Colourful Heritage Project. It’s a project we knew from the start was a very important project and a timely project. It’s something we knew would have a lasting impact in Scotland. Its telling a story that often doesn’t get told and it’s a story that has relevance not just to the Muslim community but to the wider community in Scotland.”
Tom Lea – Alwaleed Centre, Edinburgh University

Kezia Dugdale

“The exhibition highlights the tremendous contributions to life and society made in Glasgow and Scotland by the Muslim and South Asian community. Glasgow has been at the heart of integration between communities and has delivered some historic firsts in British politics - including the election of not only the first Muslim councillor in the UK, but also the UK’s first Muslim Member of Parliament in Mohammed Sarwar. Both were members of the Labour Party, which makes me particularly proud.”
Kezia Dugdale MSP - Leader of the Scottish Labour Party

Colourful Heritage


Colourful Heritage Introduction