Archive for April, 2008

Simon Cowell meets a Sikh

The dynamic duo known as “Signature” — Suleman Mirza and Madhu Singh auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent the other day. Check out the clip below. Well done guys! Thanks to Bhupinder Singh for the tip.

Video from SemiFinal:

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  • Filed under: Sikh Awareness
  • SMU Sikh Turban Day

    smu turban day.The Sikhs at SMU held a turban day as well, and here’s a neat photo from it.

    Sikh Turban Day - a CBS report

    Neat video report for Fremont Gurdwara’s Sikh Turban Day, check it out

    Sikh Turban Day

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  • Filed under: News, Videos
  • Gurkirat SinghThe United States Tennis Association recognized Gurkirat Singh as the #1 ranked tennis player in New Jersey in the 16’s age group. Thanks to Sachdeep Singh for the tip. Congrats Gurkirat!

    The awesome sewadars at SikhiToTheMax have recently released Sikhi To The Max 2 — a great program for viewing the text and English Translation of Gurbani during a Gurudwara program. You can download it here: Site 1, Site 2.

    It features a copy of the Office 2007 User Interface, which I worked on when I was at Microsoft. Here’s an open offer to the sewadars — I can help write an Office 2007 Add-in that integrates with PowerPoint! So it will be a Tab in PowerPoint 2007 and not a separate program! Let me know!

    I’ve also created a few basic themes for use in Gurdwaras. The first is “High Contrast” so the slides look clear in all lighting conditions. The second is a blue theme. They are designed to make sure the text looks good. Just copy these files to C:\Program Files\SikhiToTheMAX II and then you can access them from the “Options” tab of SikhiToTheMax. The templates work on all versions of PowerPoint.

    Slide Template 1 - High Contrast Black Theme
    Slide Template 2 - Blue Khalsa Theme

    Try out the themes above and let me know what you think! If you create your own, let me know as well!

    The SeattlePI has printed an eye-opening article on Sukhvir Singh, the recent victim of a hate attack in Seattle. The article traces Sukhvir Singh’s history and shows him for the person he is. It’s definitely worth a close read.

    Robert Jamieson has done a great job of highlighting some deeper points, too. Here’s one of them, when Jamieson observes Vazquez at his sentencing:

    I looked at Vazquez, too, and thought the venom he spewed in the cab was in him all along. Alcohol just opened the gates.

    Definitely true. Had Vazquez not been inebriated, he would have thought Sukhvir Singh was an “Iraqi terrorist,” but wouldn’t have attacked him. There must be countless people who, dare I say, think like Vazquez, but thankfully don’t act on it. Hopefully we can turn the tide and correct these horribly incorrect assumptions.

    Anyway, the article ends with Sukhvir Singh forgiving Vazquez and asking that Vazquez’s life not be ruined. Perhaps some of Vazquez’s community service will include promoting awareness on behalf of the Sikh community? ;)

    This reminds me of a case several years ago when a friend of mine, Gurpreet Singh, was attacked on a train in New York. His attacker was also convicted of a hate crime, and Gurpreet asked that he be required to serve food in the local Sikh temple as part of his community service. :)

    Hey friends! I’ve posted the presentations from the Sikh Seminar Titled “Gurudwara and Sangat, Nurturing Sikh Heritage in Our Youth,” held at the Philadelphia Gurdwara last weekend. I also just recorded my presentation and have posted it as a YouTube video for your comment and review.

    Please review the YouTube video and the other presentations and add your feedback in the comments.

    The presentations were largely well received. I will add one anecdote–the Gurdwara Bhai Sahib, who has just finished katha before we took the stage, listened intently and had some comments on our presentations after we finished.

    Here’s my English translation of the excellent story he told:

    About 30 years ago, a group of Sikhs in England raised funds to purchase a church as their first gurdwara building. They were all very excited. Just before the Sikhs moved in, they had a meeting with the church’s pastor to get the keys. The pastor was fighting back tears.

    “Why are you crying?” asked the Sikhs.

    “You’ve purchased my church, and here you will build and wonderful and beautiful Guru Ghar,” said the pastor. “But what I ask of you is that while you build your gurudwara, you must also build interest in your youth. That is why we are here today–we built a beautiful building, but we didn’t engage the kids, so we are selling our church to you.”

    The story really struck home as I have been to a few gurdwaras that are in old churches in New York and elsewhere. It’s a good point, isn’t it? What’s to say that we are any different?

    The Next Seminar is May 4, 2008 at Sikh Sabha Gurdwara in Lawrenceville, NJ. The Topic is “The Relevance of the Sikh Rehat Maryada Today.” If you would like to participate, give a talk, or do any other sewa, please contact sutinder singh [ sutinders at gmail.com ].

    Recorded version of my presentation:

    I’ve also included the full slides from all of the speakers below.
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    Vaisakhi - Sikhism Released

    Sikhs around the world celebrate Vaisakhi on April 14. So what’s all the excitement about?

    On Vaisakhi in 1699, the 10th Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh

    1. Created Amrit Sanchaar, the initiation or “baptism” ceremony
    2. Declared the 5 kakkars or symbols of faith that make up the Sikh identity
    3. Kneeled before the Five Beloved (the first 5 initiated Sikhs), and underwent the Amrit Saanchar Ceremony himself
    4. Declared that the next Guru would not be a person, but the teachings of the scripture contained in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh sacred text

    The occasion was a “capstone” event that completed the Sikh Faith, which began 230 years earlier in 1469 with the birth of the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Sikhs celebrate by wearing bright saffron orange and blue (the “team colors” of the Sikh religion), and rededicating themselves to the Sikh mission of helping anyone in need. Many Sikhs also undergo the Amrit Sanchaar or initiation ceremony.

    Now I’m a software guy, so I guess you could say that Sikhism was in “beta” for the years from 1469-1699, and that Vaisakhi marks the “release.” The release included an initiation program (Amrit Sanchaar), an operating system (Sikhi itself), and the source code (the poetic teachings contained in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib). The Khalsa (the community of baptized Sikhs) is the hardware upon which all this awesome software runs, but there are some minimum hardware requirements specified by the 5K’s. Anyway, I’m running off to gurdwara now, so read a more ‘down-to-earth’ interpretation of Vaisakhi after the jump.
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  • Filed under: Opinions
  • April 13, 2008
    10:00 amto3:00 pm

    Check out the Khalsa health fair in Richmond Hill, NY. Kudos to all that are doing this sewa.

    Read this doc on Scribd: 3rd health fair khalsa flyer final
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  • Filed under: Events
  • Vaisakhi Mela @ Sikh Sabha Gurdwara

    May 3, 2008
    11:00 amto4:00 pm

    Hey, check out this nice flyer for the Mela at Sikh Sabha on May 3. I’ll be there teaching kids how to juggle. (Not kidding).sikh-sabha-vaisakhi-mela-flyer.jpg

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  • Filed under: Events