Divided We Fall is an outstanding movie documenting the American experience shortly after 9/11. It follows the adventure of Valarie Kaur, as she travels America as a girl with a camera documenting the strife and the experiences of Sikh Americans and others in the months following the disaster. It’s a must see and gets a high rating in my book. I first saw the film in October 2005 at the Spinning Wheel Film Festival in Toronto. Please watch the movie–check out the site for a screening near you, and tell us what you think. I’ve met Valarie Kaur–in fact I knew her before she was famous–as I was in touch with her regarding the Sikhism course she created at Stanford University. I can vouch for how wonderful she is, and I am inspired by her example of following her spirit and doing what she knew she had to do.
Anita’s the newest, coolest Punjabi singer on the bhangra scene. She sings in Punjabi pretty well! Check out this article and the accompanying photo of her at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India.
Go Sikh Coalition! There are so many Sikh organizations doing good things. The Sikh Coalition is one organization that is good about getting the word out about its achievements. Check out this YouTube video of Sukhvir Kaur’s case. The EEOC found in her favor. I think this video does a great job of making the larger American Sikh Community aware of what’s available to them. We have rights, and we should exercise them!
One of the reasons I love the Sikh religion is that we don’t have a creation story. We believe that evolution is just a way of understanding God’s work. Sure, you can believe in it, and I do, because there’s clear evidence for it. As far as I can tell, the Sikh path doesn’t make any claims that conflict with mainstream physics or science. Here’s a detailed article on the topic, after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »
SALDEF is out doing its job again, protecting the first amendment rights of Sikh Americans. Go SALDEF!
The New York Times recently published an article on Sikh youth in India giving up their identities. As a turban-wearing Sikh myself, I would like to share my experience with the Sikh identity.
I will say that the uniqueness afforded to me by being a Sikh has helped me in my life. Because I’ve had to stand out, I’ve had to know who I am. I’m more likely to take an unpopular viewpoint or do something unexpected, and I’m more likely to get attention when I speak.
What we need to remember is that the Sikh identity–the turban, the uncut hair, the five k’s–is a modern identity. If religions had version numbers, Sikhism is one of the newest versions. The gurus weren’t kidding when they said revolutionary things like men and women are completely equal, practices like female infanticide should be banned, and that anyone is free to read the scriptures. The Sikh identity is another modern piece of the Sikh framework that the gurus have given us. We often think it’s from the deep dark past, but it’s not. It’s the latest thing. It is modern on the time scale of the world’s religions.
I can also say that I’ve grown up in the United States, and I’ve never been to India. I’ve kept the Sikh identity this entire time. I’ve attended some of the best schools in the nation and had every opportunity. I can do whatever I want. I’ve been on the largest rollercoasters, windsurfed, snowboarded–you name it. My Sikh identity is not the smallest obstacle to the things I can do.
So my identity has helped me, it’s modern, and it’s never been an obstacle. But at the end of the day, religion is ultimately a personal thing. Don’t live the life that other people expect of you. Live the life you want to live. If you’ve been born in to the Sikh way of life, take a minute and consider the Sikh path, and think about its strengths and weaknesses. Does the life you want to live include following the Sikh path? If it does, please learn, question, and walk on the path to be a Sikh. That’s a path I’ve chosen, and so far I am happy and proud of that choice.
CNN has posted a great story on arranged marriage that takes a Sikh wedding as an example. I’ve never been to India, but it seems so familiar. Both the bride and groom have MBAs. I’m not sure how my life is going to play out. This video paints a fairly rosy picture of arranged marriage. Make sure you watch it.
Check out these two Sikh Gentlemen representing. The sorta look like gangstas. Sikh Photo.
It’s almost here! The Seattle Sikh Retreat 2007 is an opportunity for you to discuss and grow in your Sikhi in a “modern” environment. Questioning and analysis of the Sikh way of life is encouraged, and almost everything will get translated to English. Take a look at the retreat’s website. There are only a handful of retreats in North America. There’s a Chicago/Detroit Retreat by invitation only, the Toronto Sikh Retreat, and there once were Sikh Network Retreats which happened every six months. For now, the Seattle Sikh Retreat is #2 in the annual sequence of Sikh retreats and conferences. The current sequence is Surat, January - Seattle, May - Jakara, June - and Jago, September. So there we have it. Check out the site and be sure to register!
Welcome to SikhSwim.com, a blog tracking the history and experiences of, and shaping the future for, the Sikh community in America and the world. I know, it sounds grand. But we’re starting small, really small. This first post is about a racial profiling study. The study is an attempt to prove that racial profiling is a waste of time and resources–so please fill it out! Here’s the form.