Archive for December, 2008

Rosario Dawson meets a Singh

So you might know the film and TV star Rosario Dawson. Well here’s some Hollywood Paparazzi footage of her and Gagandeep Singh. Thanks to Mandeep Kaur for the tip!

Rosario Dawson Snaps a Photo with a Singh

Happy Holidays to all.

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  • So right after the election, I attended a screening of Divided We Fall at the Princeton Theological Seminary. I’ve attached a short slideshow of photos from the event. Needless to say it was a great movie, and many thanks to all the groups and organizations involved. One of the most profound quotes from the movie, for me, was “evil wins when good people do nothing.”

    The director of multicultural relations, Rev. Victor Aloyo Jr, sent out the following quotes in a post-event email:

    “Very emotional and inspirational documentary. It makes one realize how important it is to create awareness and eliminate the ignorance there still is over here.” Hindu-Sikh from Kenya

    “I was both convicted of my ignorance and encouraged by the love and hope shown by the Sikh community in this video. I was struck by the lack of knowledge, both of the Sikh identity in America, and by the Christians in the video of their own identity, and the fear and anger that followed. Thank you for demonstrating hope and reconciliation in the force of hatred—may it inspire us all.” -Caucasian/Female

    “Powerful. Convicting. Moving.” -Sikh/Female - USA

    Since the event, many seminarians have volunteered to visit the local Sikh Sabha Gurdwara, and much awareness and goodwill has been created. :)

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  • Available to Sikh high school seniors in NY, NJ, CT, and PA, this $2,500 scholarship program has an application deadline in March of 2009. You can read more details below or check out the website at sikhyouthscholarship.org.

    The Sikh Youth Scholarship began with the small idea that excellence lies in education. A small group of Sikh youths decided to embark on a journey that would help our future generation retain their Sikhi while achieving educational merit. The whole logic behind the Scholarship Fund began in a small discussion of how Sikhism can be recognized and retained in our current society. The answer was simple: education. Through education, students are able to develop into significant, hard-working members of this world; and if those students represent the Sikh faith by retaining their full identity, they will allow it to flourish without demise.

    This Sikh Youth Scholarship is open to students who are aspiring Gursikhs located in the tri-state area (NJ, NY, CT, PA). They must currently be high school seniors that plan to attend a four year college/university and have maintained at least a 3.00 GPA during high school. Completed applications (obtained from www.sikhyouthscholarship.org) should be submitted along with an official copy of their transcript by March 2nd, 2009. The judging committee will choose a small group of finalists, who will be interviewed for the selection of the winners. Two scholarships worth $2,500 each will be awarded!

    Thanks to Hartej Singh for the tip!

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  • Divided We Fall: $25, available now

    This is a great film. In fact, I need to post about a recent screening I attended at Princeton Theological Seminary. You can buy it at The DWF Site. Anyway, from the producers:

    The wait is finally over! Seven years of production, two years of touring, and a national grassroots movement later, we have finally arrived at the end of a long journey… Divided We Fall is now available for purchase on DVD! Just in time for the holidays. (NOTE: If you pre-ordered your copy, do nothing - it is on its way to you.)

    The DVD is packed, packed, with two hours of additional special features, including nine new short film documentaries! These “featurettes” explore in greater depth issues that are touched upon in DWF. See below for more details.

    And, as a personal note, thank you for your patience and your undying support for us throughout the years. If you contributed, worked on the film, or were an audience member at one of our 200 screenings over the last two years - you are a part of this journey. The DVD marks the culmination of countless hours of toil, sleepless nights, and a fervent hope that our little film can make a difference. We are thankful you have been a part of it and have spread the word across the country.

    So - keep on spreading the word! And we’ll keep you updated as we enter this new era in America and a new era for the life of Divided We Fall.

    Sharat Raju and Valarie Kaur
    Producers, Divided We Fall

    I’m actually a bit surprised that the film didn’t go for national release, by having someone like Lionsgate Films pick it up. At any rate, it’s a great film and you should grab a copy!

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  • Domestic Violence is one of those problems no one talks about. Fortunately, Amritpal Singh has given it a voice. In his words:

    As a part of my residency in family medicine, I decided to explore the effects of domestic abuse on South Asian women in British Columbia. The intent of this exploration was to develop a better understanding of their experiences, coping strategies, and possible barriers to seeking support. Eleven South Asian women who identified themselves as victims of domestic abuse were interviewed in a combination of one-to-one and group interviews. Circumstances around the abuse, their methods of coping, and the effects it has had on their lives were discussed. They were also asked about the support available to them and possible barriers they faced in accessing this support.

    Common themes from the interviews were analyzed and used as inspiration to produce a work of fiction. I hope that this piece will provide family physicians with insight into the unique struggles faced by South Asian victims of abuse and serve as an impetus to identifying and supporting women at risk.


    You can read “Burdened Whispers” here
    , or after the jump. Thanks for the tip, Amritpal! There is so much here and so nicely put together. A great piece.

    (more…)

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  • Surat Scholarship Program

    Hey cool — the Surat Sikh Conference has kicked off a scholarship program this year to give people a chance to attend that otherwise would not. You can read more about the program, and apply, with the attached PDF file. Cool stuff!
    suratscholarship2009

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  • United Sikhs at United Nations Today

    The United Sikhs, headed by one of the most dedicated Sikh lawyers I have ever met, Mejindarpal Kaur, presented a challenge to the French Turban Ban at the United Nations today. You can see the official United Sikhs press release here. France is a major world power — and they’ve basically banned “Being a Sikh” and living in France. We need to support United Sikhs — the Sikh organization spearheading the legal battle against France!

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  • A Houston area Sikh family is recovering from a bizarre incident — calling the police for help and then getting handcuffed as suspected criminals. In a classic example of police unawareness and misunderstanding (obviously these cops haven’t seen the United States Department of Justice Training Video for law enforcement), several police officers jumped to conclusions and handcuffed this family in their own home. Little did the police know that the venerable Sach Productions operates in Texas and quickly put together the following excellent video. As you can see, the family members are well educated, intelligent, and aware of their rights. It’s a shame the police was allegedly not as well informed–hopefully the department will get the DOJ mandated training. I have full respect for the police and what they do for all Americans. It’s a tough job. Let’s improve the situation by proactively taking steps to avoid mistakes like this.

    Update: Here’s the official blog for this incident and Police Brutality on Sikhs generally

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  • Sikhs in Argentina

    Check this out — a brief report about Sikhs in Argentina by the Associated Free Press. Apparently this video documents the only gurdwara in South America! The report has a bit of a depressing tone, indicating that Sikhi is on its way out. I guess the difference between America and Argentina is that the Sikh community here is much larger — to the point where we have organizations and full-time employees dedicated to keeping Sikhi alive. The video does have some positive aspects to it, however.

    Thanks to Rajdeep Singh for the tip.

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  • WCSYA Winter Retreat 2009

    The West Coast Sikh Youth Alliance will host a winter retreat in Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia from January 16-18, 2009.

    I’ve attended the West Coast Retreat for the last two years and can honestly say it’s one of the best Sikh Retreats in North America. :) You should try to make it this year. The jury’s still out on whether I’ll be there, but that didn’t stop me from making this quick, fun video… Check it out on YouTube. Be sure to click “watch in high quality” for the best experience.

    Here are some of the features of the Winter Retreat:

    - Skiing, Snowboarding, Snow Tubing
    - Swimming in Hot Springs
    - Sikh lifestyle: full nitnem morning, evening, and night
    - Excellent Workshops
    - Excellent Sangat :)