Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Sikh American Representation at EEOC

Here is something I found and thought should be shared with the other community members. Sikh Coalition has done a sincere job representing us to the U.S. government. Read it if you like:

Punjabi Sikh NRI Making a Difference in Punjab

This is a great story about people making difference in other people's lives. We need a lot more of these guys:

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Why Golden Palki?

I am sure everybody feels different about this subject of Golden Palki being taken to Nankana Sahib. However controversial Bibi Jagir Kaur may be, but I kind of agree with her on this that Gold does not have any place or value in Sikhism and this is more of a political show. I see it as setting of a really bad trend and reminds me of history of India when it was called the “golden Sparrow” because temples were laiden with gold. Who will stop from all the other gurudwars from doing the same thing? If DSGPC and people that support it have all this gold for palki, why not open libraries, schools, hospitals for Sikhs in the villages of Pakistan, India and other countries? There are so many people in the Sikh community that can use the money to get a medical treatment for needy kids and elders, educate themselves and have nice parks for their kids to play on, lab equipment, books and so on. That golden palki does not serve any better purpose than a simple wooden one. I don't understand why the community leaders such as Jethedars of Akal Takhat and other shrines would provide leadership and guidance to community and media and would speak up on the issue such as this.

I understand that Guru’s place should be beautiful and clean. But it should also be simple. I don’t know how much preference Guru’s gave to gold. Guru Hargobind Singh and Guru Gobind Singh Ji wore bana that were more prince like but still I don’t think they ever promoted infactuation with outer appearance. Please educate.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

On this Thanksgiving holiday, the immigrant tradition of America when the pilgrims arrived on this land of opportunity, I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving holiday. The Sikh American community of San Francisco Bay Area wishes everyone peace and happiness!

Even though Sikhs have been living in America for more than 100+ years, not very many Americans know who we are, what values we carry. Because of the distinct turbans, especially after September 11 attacks, many Sikhs have been victims of racist attacks and jokes because people mistook them as muslims and followers of Osama bin laden. I guess the 9-11 attacks also kind of woke the Sikh American community up as well. Racism probably will not go away given the human nature, but we are on an awareness campaign to help our fellow Americans get familiar with Sikhs. To read and learn more about us, here are some good links:

For this occasion of sharing and giving, I would like to add that any sikh or non-sikh is welcome to visit any Sikh gurudwara (place of worship). You would be required to cover you head, sit on the floor and take shoes off as a part of the respect for our living guru, the holy book of the Sikhs called the Guru Granth Sahib, which is our link to the Ultimate Creator. And, don't forget to eat Langar with the community (a delicious vegetarian meal).

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

An interesting perpective on religion from an atheist!

I just happened to stumble upon this writing and found it interesting. I don't neccessarily agree with all of Sarah's comments. Personally, I think there is a little sarcasm in her view or interpretation of every religion, but still wanted to share. Other thing that I found disturbing in it was her quote from a Western Sikh about all ending in 2012. I didn't quite understand it, because I don't believe in numerology or astrological predictions. Read if you like and share any thoughts if you have. Here is the link:

Monday, November 21, 2005

Soccer Season 2005

Here is a picture of 2005 soccer season we just finished last week. It was a lot of fun. I wished we would have won some games this year. Not even a single win. But that is Okay, because I have had my moments of glory with seasons with no losses. I guess it is good to learn how to lose. I urge all of you out there to get involved in something and volunteer your time if you can. One of the practice drills kids liked was parents vs kids games. It brings out those parents that never played soccer, builds a parent/child memory and is a good exercise. You don't have to know soccer to be a good coach. Actually, some of the best coaches in major leagues of Europe and South America had hardly played soccer. They just had good people skills. Well, both wife and I are glad to be done with most activities like soccer and PE exam etc. This week is about just relaxing and enjoying Thanksgiving. In our house, the holiday season has been starts ing earlier and earlier every year. From October with Halloween/Diwali and lasts till New Year.

Friday, November 18, 2005

To help keep kids safe!

Last night at our soccer trophy awards, one of the moms from our team mentioned this website on child molesters in California. This sure opens your eyes. I typed in some generic names in the search and surprized at the faces. These poeple could be around my neighborhood. You can do search by last names, zip and city etc. Any ways, check it out and keep your kids safe:

A quote from Guru Nanak

"At God's gate there dwell thousands of Muhammads, thousands of Brahmas, of Vishnus, and of Shivs; Thousands upon thousands of exalted Rams, thousands of spiritual guides, thousands of religious garbs;Thousands upon thousands of celibates, true men, and Sanyasis; Thousands upon thousands of Gorakhs, thousands upon thousands of superiors of Jogis; Thousands upon thousands of men sitting in attitudes of contemplation, gurus, and their disciples who make supplications; Thousands upon thousands of goddesses and gods, thousands of demons; Thousands upon thousands of Muhammadan priests, prophets, spiritual leaders, thousands upon thousands of qazis, mullas, and shaikhs-- None of them obtaineth peace of mind without the instruction of the true guru. How many hundreds of thousands of sidhs and strivers, yea, countless and endless! All are impure without meditating on the word of the true guru. There is one Lord over all spiritual lords, the Creator whose name is true. Nanak, His worth cannot be ascertained; He is endless and incalculable."

Guru Nanak

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Chemical Weapons in Iraq!

I was shocked at the british newstory today that we are using chemical weapons in Iraq! Here is the story that I read, if you are interested:,1271,-5419413,00.html

We are supposed to be looking for WMDs not using them. I don't understand all this.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Guru Nanak's Birthday!!

Sat Guru Nanak pargatya
Miti Dhundh Jag Chanan Hoya!

Have a great day everyone on this special day for every Sikh! We are off to the Gurudwara. May peace be with you!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Proud Punjabi Dad!

Last Wednesday, I learned from my wife that some of the friends of my daughter at high school were smoking cigarettes. And, when a couple of them offered her to smoke, she just politely said no thanks and just walked away and did not want to do anything with them anymore. When I heard this, I was so overjoyed with pride. I don’t see it just smoking or non-smoking issue, but what I see it is that she had the will power and inner strength to walk away from it all, which some of teenagers just don’t seem to have. I did not go to high school here in the U.S., but have learned quite a bit over the years. It must be really difficult to get away from drugs, alcohol, smoking and sex. I mean all these stories about teenagers doing all kind of things. It may seem like an easy thing for some parents and teenager, but I can’t even imagine getting a handle on it sine that is what is being portrayed in the movies, media, and music. . Sometimes, I wonder if I would have had the strength to do what she did or just go with the flow to keep my friends, which are everything to a teenager. With the drugs and alcohol even taking over teenagers in Punjab and other parts of India, this is a menace everywhere. Even I heard some Punjabi youth from Sikh families living in Canada and here are choosing gangs, guns and drugs over Sikhi and education. I don’t know about the severity of the problem in UK or Australia. But it is definitely a great challenge to Sikhism and Punjabi culture and I hope we don’t lose this battle. Have can we grow this weak so quickly? What happened to those strong willed shining Sikhs of the early centuries that I heard about? May be we have gotten so rich and prosperous in India and elsewhere that some of us have forgotten the spiritual side of Sikhi. Or have we become too lazy on government handouts of our countries that we have forgotten the good Sikh values of hard work, simran, and courage. How can Sikhs be ready to defend their faith against the next aggression by another government or religious majority, if kids are turning into illiterate gangsters, druggies and alcoholics? Are the parents too busy working to get ahead in life, or attending bhangra parties and socializing that nobody is taking the time to slow down and may be read to their kids, teaching the importance of Sikhi, take them to parks, museums, libraries, teach them ethical values, check their homework, and other teach them wrongs and rights of the society that they are living among. Yes, life is hard when you are a minority everywhere on this earth, but that should not stop you from taking steps to take care your own kids and shape a better future for them financially and spiritually. Lately, it seems to me that Sikhs are acting like victims and don’t want to take charge to make any change in the societies. Why don’t we take active roles in the societies that we live among? I wish I would see more Sikhs at libraries, museums, ethnic festivals and not just Bhangra parties. We don’t have to take drugs, alcohol, smoking to fit into the western society. We can fit in just fine without it. If I raise my kids to be victims all their early lives then they will act like victims their remaining lives. I want to raise them to be leaders and change makers not just mere followers. It is not easy thing but at least I am trying and am proud of it.

During my trip to India in 2003 after 20 years, one thing that bothered me and disappointed me the most was how so many people are just sitting idle in the countryside. I wish there were libraries in each village for them to go to so they can read and gain knowledge and make their live productive. Are we just waiting for the governments of the countries that we live in to take care of us, feed us, provide us the benefits etc What happened to those Sikh values of our ability take care of ourselves thru hard work, open our own companies, create businesses and be successful where we live on this Earth. During my visit, I went to a bookstore in Jallandhar and asked the owner how the business was going? His answer was “lousy”. He had just moved from Bombay, and compared the book sales there to the ones in Jalandhar. I remember him saying that people in Punjab don’t like to read books. To me a book store was a good indication of where things were as far as Punjab being number #1 state in India.

Sometimes I even wonder about the strength of Sikh soldiers and officers in the Indian army, if they are all shown with a Chivas in their hands in movies and real life stories, how can they defend the country? I guess if our role models are like Dharmendra in Sholay or Partigya or Shar Rukh Khan in Devdas with a bottle of alcohol in hands, how can we learn? We just take pride that since they are the our heroes in a movie or Dharnmenda is a Punjabi, no matter what he portrays in movies, it must be Okay for Punjabis to do. I wish someday, bollywood would just stop imitating everything western and make some quality movies that parents can show their kids to teach good values. May be I ma just too old, but all of the dance routines in Punjabi T.V. shows or Bollyowood movies just looking alike to me and seem like I have nothing new to learn from them Tell me what you think.

Anyways, too long of a post, but I just wanted to share this with people out there. Hope for a better change and it starts with me and you. I am proud of my daughter and hope I she can keep it up with the challenges that lie ahead in her life!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Election day, U.S.A.

It is time to vote. This is the only way to let my voice heard and start any change. The only other alternative is to fight on the street. So please go out and vote. And don't forget to write to the people that you elect, on the Sikh or non-Sikh issues that you care about. It reminds me of a line in the background song by Snatan Kaur on that Gurmustuk posted on Oct. 20 in his childhood video. "How can you save the World, if you haven't saved yourself". So change starts with only you.

Friday, November 4, 2005

Time for some pics!

Diwali 2005 pics: These are the best I could do in the dark night of Diwali

My mom, daughter Simran, wife Vicki and Vicki's friend Lee Ann around my dad
Top left Myself, my dad, daughter simran
Bottom row: Vicki, my youngest son Kiran, middle son Camran and my mom
My wife Vicki

Simran, Camran and Kiran lighting candles. This was the most fun they had at Diwali.

Well, Diwali was fun! This is the first one in United States with lot of candles and sweets. Before I would just put out only one or two candles. But this time we put out probably around 100-150 candles. Kids just loved lighting the candles.