Check out the “say it now” online t-shirt shop — it sells some cool Sikh shirts. Whether you’re American, Canadian, Thai, or any of several other nationalities, the site has a Sikh shirt for you. The shirts express Sikh and national pride and include national flags. Here’s an example.
The front of the shirt highlights a quote from Guru Tegh Bahadur, and the back does something I’ve never seen before on a Sikh shirt — it clears up any confusion as to who we are.
Some may be a bit surprised by this and ask, “Why does the shirt say we are not ‘Jain’ or ‘Arab’ for example?” Well the simple truth is that we as Sikhs are not any of the terms in the list, yet we’re often confused with these other groups, so this shirt hopes to clear the ever-present fog. It’s no different than what you’d learn in a world religions class. It’s definitely a great shirt to wear in an airport security line. It’s cool, expresses your country pride, and covers the basics about who we are — I’m ordering one!
Circa 1990 (anyone know the exact date?) a Sikh was featured on the Richard Bey show, a local New York City program. This charismatic young fellow (who is a few years my senior and now a well-respected doctor that organizes Health Fairs at gurdwaras) won the #1 fan competition. It’s an interesting clip, because Richard says a few things that may be considered a bit “off” today. At the same time, Varinder Singh shines through as the ultimate fan–his tenacity, dedication, and sheer entertainment value made him an easy first choice. He says, “I don’t smoke dope, I don’t drink bourbon, all I want to do is shake my turban.” I think I first heard that line from the Sikh Elvis impersonator–but that’s a different story. Anyway, with all the recent hoopla around Kenneth Cole Singh, what do you think of Richard Bey Singh?
The benefit of the Kenneth Cole campaign is that the focus is on Sonny the Sikh Entrepreneur. (I think that’s the title of a children’s book–Sonny the Sikh). Richard does make a joke about “Sikh”, but that’s not the focus of the program anyway. It’s just entertainment. I guess after watching this video again, it just makes me feel really glad that we have things like Kenneth Cole Singh, Waris Singh, and other prominent, positive representations in the American media.
A British school with a strict uniform policy has suspended Sarika, age 14, because wearing a kara violates the school’s policy. Sarika’s mom plans to sue the school citing basic human rights acts and legal precendents set for Sikh symbols in the 1970s. This should be an interesting one to follow.
Full Article at the Telegraph
I’m staying with some British friends in San Francisco, and they pointed me to this hilarious clip from Goodness Gracious Me. The video reminds all of us that there’s more to being a Sikh than just sporting the outward identity. What are your thoughts?