Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Need of the hour for Sikhs!

Here is a beautiful article that I read on Sikhnet which reminds us about time for healing and forgiveness for Sikhs. I loved the real optimism and sincerity shown by the author. This is what I mean when I say we as Sikhs need to focus our energies on positives:

Seeds of Healing - Twenty Years Later Milestones on the Path to Peace
June 6, 2004. Twenty years after 1984 – the world has changed.In this post September 11th environment, Sikhs around the world are trapped in issues of mistaken identity. Whether it is hate crimes in the streets of New York or France passing legislation to bar religious minorities, including Sikh youth, from wearing their turbans to school – the Sikh identity has become a global issue. We are once again being challenged – this time to become known and respected on a global scale. Ultimately, this challenge is about the Sikhs getting to know themselves, and helping others understand and overcome misconceptions about who Sikhs are. This is the fight we face today. This is our 1984. To face what is happening in our world now, we must let go of the past.Forgiveness and The Promise of DemocracyOftentimes, our remembrances make it difficult to move. The hurt, the pain, the betrayal are very real. Yet, these components can hold us back. We need to develop an ability to move on. Do not mistake forgiveness with forgetting. The noble Sikh is always one who forgives as it is so written and commanded to be practiced. We remember the past in order to learn the lessons, but not wallow in the pain or grief forever. However, if we focus only on the remembering and not the forgiveness, then we doom ourselves to ignorance. And clearly, ignorance is not what the whole Sikh ethos is about.It is time to learn the lessons of democracy. Democracy is power in action – not of a few, but of all. It gives every constituent a chance to use their voice, to use their power. In the United States, in England, in Canada, in France, in Germany – the rights of the Sikhs will be protected to the extent that the Sikhs become actively involved in the political process. The rights of Sikhs will be upheld in proportion to Sikh participation in governance. So it is with India, and this is why we are saying - 20 years after 1984 - it is a very different world. Twenty years after 1984, there is a Sikh man, Dr. Manmohan Singh, who is known worldwide as the economic savior of India and he has just become Prime Minister of a country with over one billion people. A Sikh now leads the world’s largest democracy.Democracy is by no means perfect and there are always tensions playing out between different parties. But it does work. History has shown us that, in the long run, democracy works as a method of peaceful self-governance for diverse groups of people. Democracy is actually Sikhism in practice. Just look at the rule of Maharajah Ranjit Singh. Can one believe the diversity he sought? Can one see his tolerance of all peoples, not just Sikhs? Can one see his egalitarian view towards women? It took the West another 100 years to implement the kind of democracy he practiced while being a monarch. We Sikhs are no strangers to democracy and we understand that it demands absolute integrity to succeed. That kind of democracy has most often rewarded people with prosperity and peace.What are the lessons of democracy? We can look to our own history for answers. Democracy is in our history, traditions, wisdom, and group knowledge. And forgiveness is part of this.The Sikh Youth Need to Face the FutureAnother change that has occurred during the last 20 years is that there is a generation of Sikhs growing up outside of India - the Sikh Diaspora. Who are these children? Well, some are Sikhs who are children of the early immigrants. Some are children of the post 1984 immigrants. Others are new Sikhs of different roots all together. Each of these communities was affected by 1984 differently, and have subsequently dealt with it differently. Many of us who came here before 1984 were deeply hurt. We vowed that 1984 would not hold us back. The post-1984 immigrants have a more visceral reaction given their personal memories of the actions that happened at the time. Their children, however, who are growing up outside of India have a different response to 1984 . Many have forgotten about it, or do not understand how it affects them or do not know how to go forward. Finally, we have the new Sikhs. Many have committed themselves to making sure that this event will not repeat itself and to work for peace.Mostly I see that all of these communities need to be heard. Heard, NOT with a lament, but with the hope that we will create something better as we move forward. This Diaspora really needs a voice. We need to give ourselves a vision of the future, of what we can be in today’s world, and not condemn ourselves to living in the past. We Sikhs can become a really great force if we organize and recognize each other and stop the fight amongst ourselves. Pride and the warriors spirit in the Sikhs has lead in the past to internal conflict. All we have to do is break the pattern and develop cooperative behavior. I know one thing – create division and conflict and the Sikhs are easily manipulated by others. I want to challenge this by calling on all Sikhs to come together.We, the new Sikhs Diaspora, understand democracy and we are often participants in it. As we come of age, we will be heard. We will demand of the elders in our society to explain the messes they have made. Why does the world not know of us and our values? In this information age, why are we so far behind in creating mechanisms for people to discover us? Why are not more people groomed for leadership? Why is the leadership full of conflict? Why are we so visible and yet so very invisible? We really do not care as much about the tribal and destructive use of caste that divides us. Why do people not recognize that casteism is a cancer that eats through the fabric of our unity? We want equality – not just in talk, but also in action. We want intelligent dialogue and not political rhetoric laced with the venom of divisiveness. We want answers. We have begun to ask the questions. We are awakening.What we Sikhs have in front of us is a unique opportunity. We don’t even have to ask Dr. Manmohan Singh to say anything. We just need to emulate his ethics and values. We don’t even have to believe in the Congress Party. We have to clean our own house and ask ourselves are we worthy of our turban. Do we give it the respect it deserves? We have seen the Akal Takhat destroyed so that we may recognize our role. Personally, I believe that it was necessary for us to awaken and feel and make sure that we are in touch with our faith. We need to claim our faith back from those that distort it or deny us its full measure. Too many times we have played the victim and as a result, we seem to have begun to believe we are the victim. As a result, we Sikhs have lost our ways.I say this and at the same time caution that I do not mean we should become fanatics. Sikhism decries fanaticism. We need to be active, THINKING Sikhs. We need to be able to create dialogue and help the world solve major problems. We can bring our seva and compassion to teach the world to deal with community issues such as poverty and AIDS. We can use our Dasvandh to educate more children in schools in modern technologies so they are ready to be called upon as leaders five, ten, or twenty years from now. I ask that we do not lower our standards of being a Sikh, but that we raise the bar even higher. I ask that we demand of ourselves a deep commitment. One where commit to becoming the noble ideal of a Sikh. Then we will not be warriors alone but peace makers as well. To do this we must heal and look to the future. Yes, we must also forgive and come through cleansed so that we can go forward with a clear view of our role in the world, ready to face the challenges that are confronting us today.Sharing Sikh Values and Sikh AccomplishmentsToday’s battles are not won with guns. Rather, they are battles of information and perception. The CNN sound-bite carries as much weight as a nuclear weapon. The effect of what the media does today is far reaching and can last many generations. In the backdrop of all the noise the media creates, few voices have the clarity and experience to lead with compassion. Our Sikh values give us a unique opportunity to become that voice on a global level. We have that capacity. Educating the world about the Sikh identity is not just an issue of "turban and beard." Nor is it one of bhangra and a fun loving people image. Nonetheless, these images are a component of our identity and are an avenue to build a bridge between Sikhs and the wider community. What we really need to do is help the world's people make the connection that the Sikh turban and beard represent the type of values that the world needs more than ever. It is our values that are needed - embracing religious diversity; honoring and respecting women; earning through honest labor and sharing the fruits of that labor with others. These values are universal and, when shared with others in a universal way, offer a light of hope in the world. Now is the time for Sikhs to stand for their identity publicly – not only to be known for who we are, but rather to help humanity face the current global challenges.Sikhs around the world are making tremendous contributions to their communities and to society. We need to take the time to recognize and raise the awareness in our communities about all that we are doing. We need to speak and appreciate the positive accomplishments that Sikhs make in all walks of life. It is important to celebrate each one and talk about it. This will help the world to understand the continuing contributions being made by Sikhs. This will encourage us to do more and allow us to be known by our values and actions.I believe in the development of the 21st century Sikh warrior. This warrior is still the embodiment of Guru Gobind Singh’s Khalsa. He or she is an intellectual, philosopher, artist, lawyer, doctor, poet, politician, peacemaker – anything that one can dream of becoming. Most of all this person is a believer, as I am, that there is no compromise in the modern world for a Sikh…for a Sikh has been modern for 500 years. We just need to live our values.Peace and prosperity are boons to those who look to the future to create a world that is civilized. Acceptance and commerce are its gifts and for Sikhs that is the path they must seek and choose. Where do you want to be great – tomorrow in the future or yesterday in the past? I choose the future. Are you coming with me?Supreet Singh Manchanda is a Sikh executive from Texas and Silicon Valley. He has been a Global Partner in KPMG and various other corporations (IBM, SGI) and also been active in the Republican Party and The White House leadership. He, along with others, is also a founder of Sikh Communications Council post 9-11. If you would like to send an email to Supreet Singh, you may email him at

Article Taken from:

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Tale of an African American Sikh Woman

Below is an interesting perspective of a newcomer to Sikhi who is searching for Truth just like everyone else. I think every Singh and Singhni should read and reflect on it and try to remember that each and every one of us has an account with Waheguru on individual basis and hopefully we will all leave this Earth with a positive balance in our accounts. I feel really sad when I read stories like these and doing my little part to bring awareness. And, I don’t think it is a cultural gap thing but just lack of open mindedness and lack of love and compassion among some Punjabis who just can not seem to see beyond themselves. I have some family members like that as well. To me the author probably is a better Sikh who is showing resolve, determination, optimism, humbleness to seek divine word of Sikh Gurus despite these human made obstacles presented by these sevadars in Gurdwaras.

An African American Woman - This is how we preach sikhi

I am an African-American who accidentally found out about the Sikh religion last year by putting in the correct request on a google search. I tried for months to find a religion that really worship only the One True God and women had an equal voice and standing. Finally, in May 2002, one selection was listed of Now, a year later, my husband (Anglo), son (bi-racial), and I are Amritdhari Sikhs. Just to take amrit was a heartache, because our gurudwara was not forthcoming at all. Finally, the Sikh granthis at the Nanaksar Gurudwara contacted us and told us they would give us amrit since our regular gurudwara would not. Another non-Indian woman recently recived amrit at the same gurudwara, because ours would not give her amrit either. It was very sad to have to go to another gurudwara just to get baptised. And, when we got baptised, no one seemed happy for us or even cared as in Christianity and the Bahai Faith.There's talk of building another gurudwara in town; and, I requested that the gurudwara should probably be built on the North side of the metro because there are none there. I told them all the gurudwaras are within a few miles of each other in the same area. The gurudwara secretary said, "Well, there aren't many Indian people over on that side of the city." I explained that it doesn't matter, because if there is a new religious facility people tend to go to it or visit it out of curiosity, because they are seeking God. I told him there are not only some Indians there, but there are whites, Hispanics, African-Americans, and others. Then, I finally said, "Wait a minute, my family and I aren't Indian either; and, we had to accidentally find out about Sikhs and Sikhism." We wasted a long time (years); and, probably would not even be here now had I not put in the right wording for a google search. I said "It is not right to be so hidden regarding the Truth that people can't find the religion or take years searching."He told me that Sikhs did not convert. And, that's understandable. But, for God's sake, that is an excuse to keep other cultures (ethnic and racial) out. There is nothing wrong in talking to people about our religion and if they are curious with questions, inviting them to the gurudwara. Many people invite friends and acquaintances to their synagogues, churches, mosques, temples, etc. ---This is not wrong to do at all, especially with those who are seeking the truth. It's best to let God do the rest from there, at least you answered their questions and invited them (by meeting them at a location) to visit and share in the worship and hospitality of the gurudwara. If Guru Nanak and the other Gurus never traveled and said anything about the religion to others, the Sikh religion would have died out centuries ago in Punjab. Guru Nanak and the other Gurus traveled from region to region and country to country talking to people and creating congregations. He most likely spoke in their language or with translators; and, made the information accessible to others who were not from Punjab or India. Now, when non-Indians visit the gurudwaras, the granthi speaks only in Punjabi with no translation or translators provided. People do not even come up to the door to welcome you either when you go to a gurudwara. When you ask that a translator sit with the granthi and translate what is being said not only to you but also to others in the congregation who do not understand Punjabi, they say they cannot do it for religious reasons (which makes little sense considering Guru Nanak probably spoke to people in their own language with or without translators). When they sing raags (hymns), they won't put the transliteration and English translation on a screen so that non-Punjabi speakers can sing and know what they are singing as other religious organizations have done for years. Plus, this has been available for quite sometime just by downloading from the internet and/or buying an inexpensive CD with all the raags, Banis, etc, on it and/or providing copies of a notebook (remains on the premises) that has the entire service with prayers and songs in it.Your're always asked to learn Punjabi if you want to know what is going on from day one. I found this discouraging considering that was our first visit to any gurudwara. It's almost like you're being told by the Sikhs at the gurudwara "Go away - You're not wanted here - We're tolerate you for just a short period of time - Then, we want you to leave and not come back - Thank's for visiting." So, you take the Punjabi classes only to find out that when they ask you to write the Punjabi word that corresponds with the picture, they are not referring to the spoken English (or your spoken language) word for the picture, but the Punjabi spoken word that everyone else has heard spoken in their homes --- Yet, since you do not know Punjabi and have grown-up saying those viewed pictures in English (or another language), you mess-up on the tests. Eveyone living in a Punjabi speaking household has the advantage of socialization. For example, the Punjabi spoken word for farm and house is not "farm" or "house" (in the English spoken language or even another language) When spoken in Punjabi, those words are something else. Guess what? The classes are not for the average non-Indian person who just goes to the gurudwara and read their Banis and then go back home to their own language (whether it be Spanish, French, Chinese, African, Russian, English, etc.) --- That's why many people years later cannot still speak, write, or read Punjabi. People learn languages from active interactions in the homes and world of others speaking, writing, and reading the language, not only in a classroom situation. And, what makes it worse, you're renegaded to a classroom of children, who are not there of their own accord. So, the teacher have to be a teacher to the children, which comes with disciplining as well when the kids get out of hand. They are not there as quiet and attentive adults with adult-like questions and needs.I am definitely not surprised that Sikhs in Africa did not talk to the Africans about their religion. I don't think non-Indian Sikhs are welcomed, liked, tolerated, or wanted. For God sake, a few months after going to gurudwaras, I heard Sikhs in the gurudwara talk about 'white' Sikhs like they were another denomination --- When I asked who were 'white' Sikhs, I was told; and, I was not too happy considering they were Sikhs too. When we went to Sikh camp in December, they would not help my 7 y. o. son learn a raag or the tapas or harmonium or even gatka (I know, because I was there and observed what happened) --- Which left him lacking a learned skill for show-and-tell for the last day of camp. Other people children had something to present, but mine was left out. They said he was too hyperactive, but he behaves no diferently than many of the other overactive boys. Also, he really looks like the rest of the people, because he is bi-racial, which leaves me baffled as to why he is treated differently and left out of activities or sometimes attacked by the boys. Plus, my husband and I noticed there were no 'white' Sikhs there and asked why --- It appears they were not invited and considered a cult, which I disagree with. Though I was told the many non-Indian Sikhs become so dismayed they started going to the 3HO Ashram, but I really don't blame them considering how many of us non-Indians are treated and ignored.So, to conclude, it's not about avoiding conversion (Guru Nanak and the others shared the religion with others outside of Punjab in the language of that region or country) and tolerance of other religions, it's about keeping interested and God-seeking non-Indian/non-Punjab people out of the gurudwaras, because they are not tolerated due to their cultural, racial, and ethnic differences and the differences/newness they might bring to the gurudwara's music, food, language, topics, etc. ---------------------Part# 2First, I want to state clearly, my family and I are very thankful to be baptised followers of the Sikh religion. We have no problems with Sikhism at all, except for the exclusionary behavior of the majority of congregations all over the world. So, as you read what I write, please don't think, well they dislike the religion --- Because that is far from the truth.And, I want you to know that:Retxab is right about this, because I was a Bahai (who grew up as a Christian and became a Bahai later). My husband was a Bahai when we met too. There is alot of racial, cultural, and ethnic diversity in the Bahai Faith, which was founded by Persians and began in Iran. When I first started studying Sikhism, I searched high and low to find out if the Bab had met the Sikh gurus or followers of the Gurus along the way, but too many centuries were between them for that to have happened. You see Sikhism and Bahaism have some similarities that caused me to think this had occurred. Being introduced to a non-Persian and Persian Bahai is alot easier also than being introduced to a Sikh. I just find it odd that Sikhism was out there all along; and, if someone had just walked up, or left information laying around, while I was searching for a religion that incorporated what I was looking for during those decades, I would have been a Sikh in the 1980s. I went to the Hindu temples, Buddhist temples, Sathya Sia Baba services, Suma Ching Hai services, God Realization Center, and in between all these the non-denominational Christian and Unity churches. (I did these over 2 decades --- All along still searching and not finding)I remember weekly going to the New Age Bookstore and other Alternative Bookstores to look at their boards with listings of all the religious places of worship in hopes of finding what I was looking for in the 1980s. Many of the places I went to for worship, I was approached by an individual, saw it on the board, saw a booklet or pamphlet laying around, and/or just saw information about it on bookshelves (in bookstores). No one ever tried to convert me though, but they were kind enough to make me feel welcomed. The Sathys SIa Baba females at the services I attended weekly came one week with Indian saris and dresses; and, took me to a room to show me how to wear them. I never ever requested these items, they just gave them to me. And, I definitely was not dressing in an indecent manner, I was respectfully dressed. Plus, they offered a notebook, with English translations and transliterations, so that visitors could do the prayers and sing the songs. As a repeated visitor, I was allowed to keep the notebook (which were just copies of the aforementioned items). But, even up to May of 2002, not one Sikh had approached me and I had not met any Sikhs --- I now know they were in the city I lived in too. And, I never saw books about Sikhism in bookstores or university campuses or posted information about the local gurudwaras or pamphlets/booklets about Sikhism. A Nigerian of mine recently found out about the Sikh religion from me; and, when I described how Sikhs dress, she remembered a classmate of hers in Chiropractic College who dressed that way. I asked her if he let others know what his religion was during those years; and, she told me she spoke to him regularly, because their class was small and he never told anyone in the class about the Sikh religion. Even now if I am out; and, I see Sikhs, I have to approach them --- They never approach my family or I. Now really, I am dressed with all 5 Ks on, including my turban; and, both my husband and son are obviously Sikhs too. Yet, we always have to walk up and speak to other Sikhs first. I just don't get it.Our other friends, and even strangers, from other faiths and religions tend to walk up and speak if we don't see them first. Even our Jehovah Witnesses friends knowing good and well we have decided to be Sikhs instead of Jehovah Witnesses still speak to us outside our home --- They don't even give us goodies unless we request or set up time for study. They just see us as people who have accepted God in our lives and worship accordingly.When strangers ask me about what I am wearing, I tell them about the Sikh religion; and, I even tell them where they can find out information on the web. For those very interested, I hand them a pamphlet. I don't want others ending up the way I did with years (decades) of searching for something that is unseen and unheard of on this planet, at least I thought so, because time was not taken by the followers of the Sikh religion to post pamphlets on boards in schools (colleges and universities) and alternative bookstores-etc., set up tables on the college campuses and universities as secular and religious groups (who are students) do, and place books in bookstores, such as Borders, etc. and on-and-on.When one finds out about the Bahai Faith and demonstrates curiosity, people answer their questions. They tell where their place of worship is being held so that if they decide to know more, they can go to the Bahai place of worship. They invite interested people to their socials and gatherings for activities and fun. No one ignores them when they visit the Bahai place of worship; and, willingly meet the guests at a location and take them to the place or pick them up. When visitors/guests visit, the people are very welcoming and nice. They tend to speak the language of the country they visit, or live in, along with their Farsi language. People don't go to a service and hear only Farsi language spoken, prayed (chanted) and song --- They tend to do both, because there are still the elderly who cannot speak or understand English (or, whatever the other countries' languages are) very well. No one, not even other religions, tell guests, seekers, and visitors ---> "No, we can't speak your language through translators or find the books. That's against our religion and shows disrespect to the Guru Granth Sahib and congregation. It is wrong to translate the Bani prayers and Guru Granth. Just try to learn Punjabi? It's easy." Other religions don't have visitor and guests sit through 1 to 2 hrs. of service not understanding what is being said, prayed, or song. Baha'u'llah and Abdul'Baha (the founders of the Bahai religion along with the Bab) wrote their own writings and plans for the religion used by the Bahai Faith today; and, they too were horribly persecuted by the Islamic leaders and like Guru Nanak to Guru Gobind Singh did not refuse to help others understand, learn, and practice. Many of their writings and prayers are translated and placed in an orderly manner (with table of contents at the beginning); and, it is not difficult to find the writings or contact the Bahai headquarters in each country in order to obtain the books, magazines, pamphlets, vidotapes, music, etc. One does not have to even buy them, because of the generosity of the Bahais to those seeking and finally finding.Though, I do remember a negative incident where I was a new Bahai in a new city; and, I went to my first service there. I was excited. When I went there, no one spoke to me and the entire service was in Farsi --- No effort was made to translate for the non-Farsi speakers. I knew nothing of what was going on or said during the service; and, I felt bad because I was stared at as well. I called my former city and Bahai community and spoke to the Persians who sat on the committee and his wife. The first thing they ask me was, "The majority of the people were Persian, right?" I said, "Yes." They heard my story and asked questions. Unbeknowst to me they called the committee members of the city immediate, because that week, the secretary (in the new city) who was out of town during that incident, called and apologized and asked me to return, because it was not going to be the same. He told me he was furious when he heard what happened from my former community. He told me the committee had a meeting and things were to change. Sure enough, that month, there were translators (of the Bahai teenagers and youth) so that everyone could understand the service. And, when I walked in, I was welcomed and treated nicely along with the other non-Farsi speaking non-Persians in the congregation. After that, I noticed the same in the other surrounding communities, because doors opened where many people were inviting non-Persians more to their homes during the time I was there. Even one Persian family, who lived in a mansion, had friday night discussions and music --- Many people came from all over mostly new Bahais, non-Persians, and non-Bahais. There was food and fun. She invited professional musicians to come and sing; as well as Bahai speakers and writers. And, each month, without anyone really talking to individuals, people walked up to the hosts of the weekly gatherings and privately said they wanted to become a Bahai and what needed to be done.There was not converting, harassing, intimidating, scaring, etc. This is called sharing with interested people and those still learning. And, this is an example of how followers of the Sikh religion can share with others about their religion. Just like other religions, there were study guidebooks or gatherings for just reading and studying the Holy Books. When I, as a seeking and learning Sikh, asked about the study groups and study guidebooks for reading and studying the Guru Granth Sahib, I was told there were none or the group was conducted only in Punjabi. Though I love reading the Guru Granth Sahib (translation and transliteration), it is a hard read when you are new and there is no table of contents or study guide for searching, researching, and learning. Plus, it is quite expensive to purchase and hard to find as well as the Banis that offer translations and transliterations --- None of the local bookstores ever heard of it and when they conducted a search, I was blown away by the price. The people at the bookstores said they were sorry and as a substitute, they had the Bible, Koran, Torah, etc. "Will these work?" They would ask. Thank God, I found and their Guru Granth Sahib online along with the Banis. A Sikh seeker is really on their own, because no one helps even when one calls and asks. It is quite a difficult, sad, and lonely road to travel --- The journey is not easy because nobody helps seekers and new Sikhs find the resources, etc. Other religions do not do this to the seekers of their religion. This is just not right and conducive for helping others understand, show interest in, and/or even become a Sikh.The Sikh religion is the religion Guru Nanak founded and the other Gurus built upon to make it solid and firm --- It is a religion to help people to become closer to God and live as God wants. The founders of the religion just happened to be Indian and from Punjab. Being culturally Indian and/or Punjabi is not the same as being of the Sikh religion and being Sikh --- The Religion is for God's purpose to draw others closer and give guidelines on following and being with and of God, not becoming an Indian and/or Punjabi. The religion was created for humanity through humans on behalf of God to benefit all of humanity all over the planet. Those who follow the Sikh religion, just like the Bahai religon, Muslim religion, Buddhist religion, Christian religion, etc. are spread all over the planet for a reason and for a purpose. Followers of the Sikh religion definitely should not convert and harass people, but they definitely should not hide the teachings, writings, songs, study, and amrit baptism of Guru Nanak's and the other Gurus on behalf of God inside their own culture, castes, and ethnicity preventing others from seeing it (Sikh religion), hearing it (Sikh religion), speaking it (Sikh religion), learning it (Sikh religion), becoming it (Sikhs), and practicing it (Sikh religion). This means the Indian and/or Punjabi Sikhs the world over can readily do the same --- It doesn't take months and years to change easily changeable ways of doing things from cultural, ethnic, and castes (considering Guru Nanak to Guru Gobind Singh have already set out the guidelines clearly) if the followers of the Sikh religion really want to change things for the benefit of God, the religion, visitors/guests, and new Sikhs on behalf of God and out of respect for the founders. It maybe difficult, but it is not extremely hard at all.If the Bahai Faith, which is the youngest newly founded religion; and, the other religions can open their doors to others from diverse backgrounds when they move to and live in other countries, then surely the Sikh religion can do the same. For God's sake, even the American born African-American founder of the Nation of Islam that is currently overseen by Louis Farrakhan overcame exclusionary practices along with obstacles; and, now allow every racial, ethnic, and cultural group to join. He speaks many languages; and, doesn't let that keep others out either. This definitely opened the door for other diverse groups who were seeking too.Now, if Louis Farrakhan can change his ways and ideas; and, open the door to every group no matter what their race, ethnicity, and culture, then surely the caretakers (congregation) of the Sikh religion on behalf of God and the founders can do the same in every country they live in.Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa - Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Monday, June 19, 2006

Looking for volunteer work - Sikh community can use your help!

Here is an interesting article on issues facing Sikh community of America and how some people and organizations such as United Sikhs, Saldef etc. are stepping up to the challenges of educating and helping Sikh men, women, and children. I would think the Notice Board in your local Gurdwara would also be one of the great ways to offer help on all sorts of things to needy families.

Friday, June 16, 2006

A loss of a true Punjabi legend

The news of Surinder Kaur passing away was hard to take in, especially whose songs my mother and I grew up listening and loving every one of them. Her songs truly showed the rich, vibrant, alive Punjabi culture of villages that had been prevalent in the last century and has been slowly fading away. Her old songs truly bring back Punjab memories to me. With all this male dominated club style Bhangra craze, I hope the rich folk song tradition can be brought back. Personally, I enjoy more classy Bhangra, Giddha and Dhadi, toombi style folk songs music. Where have all those men and women folk singers of Punjab gone? Hope it can be revived one day. It is quite a loss and may Waheguru bless her soul!

Here are some of her songs!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

A Tech blog!

Here may be a blog of interest to those ever increasing Sikh engineers and scientists out there who may be interested in doing techincal research, looking for a job as an engineer or scientist or professor or dean etc.

As a bonus, here is an engineering puzzle for some of you that I once read in IEEE spectrum.
Why are street man hole covers always round?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Sikh Turban!

Sikh Turban

What a transition in me this piece of cloth has brought
Never knew how it would make me feel
Centuries old tradition and a part of a religion
In a land of hats and caps, I still feel proud

It will teach the kids what Sikhs are all about
Respect for other religions and good wishes for all
In God we trust with no fear at all
Earn honest living and share food with all

Spirituality alone won’t take you far
Need to defend freedom and justice for all
With a turban on the head
Seek high spirit and keep fighting for weak

A gift from the Guru
Wear it with pride
Stand out in the World
No need to hide

Monday, June 12, 2006

More Interfaith Dialogue!

I just happened to find this old but still interesting article about a visit to El Sobrante Gurdwara in the Bay Area here. I thought, I shoul share and show how nice it was of the author to share and inform the Jewish Community of California about Sikhs, Sikhism and their experience in the Gurdwara. I wish there were more and more interfaith visits and dialogues like these happening all over the World to learn and share things. We just have too many religious wars going on all over and I feel it is all about egos. I have expressed my interest in visiting a Jewish Temple to the author and hope may be we will get a chance to learn a Jewish way of life.

How to watch World Cup online!

Well, for those of you that can watch U.S. vs. Cech Republic game today, I envy you. I wish they would show more World Cup games on TV. I always wonder, why can’t just someone just record it on digital camcorder and post it on the web. Watched Iran Vs. Mexico games yesterday. It was a fantastic game. Here are some sites where you can watch on line, even though I can't.

Latests Highlights and scores:

Friday, June 9, 2006

Where the heck is Punjabi or Gurmukhi?

With all of the hype of how Sikhs have been so loyal to Britain and the sweet and sour relationship of Sikhs and British from colonial era, my question is what are Sikhs really getting in return from Britain? It was the same old royals who did not care about Sikhs when they divided Punjab even though Sikhs fought in World Wars for these people. Yet, a lot of Sikhs still act like royal puppies trying to make these royals happy. Below is an another example of this double standard of use Sikhs when you need them for fighting a war etc, but ignore their language, heritage, tradition when peace pervails. If British care so much about Sikhs and their loyality to the British Government and the Crown, where the hell is Punjabi on BBC. I mean the Prince Charles just went to Punjab proclaiming to be the defender of faith. Does he not know that keeping Punjabi alive is one of the ways to defend Sikh faith? Not that Sikhs need British Royals to defend their faith, but it is nice to know.

Thursday, June 8, 2006

Side effects of new emerging India!

Here is an interesting news story about how India's elite are being affected by the same problems that other developed countries faced and are continuing to face for the last few decades. Read if you wish:,00180007.htm

Oh! also watch movie "page 3" if you get a chance, which also has a similar theme and shows the high flying life of rich and famous of India.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

From Sikh Economy to Sikh Autonomy!

This is one of those subjects I haven’t heard or never seen talked about in the Sikh or Punjabi news media, either in print or on online. In my opinion Sikh economy should be on the top of the list of every Sikh man, woman and child as well as Sikh media, Sikh magazines, Sikh blogs and websites etc. Now I neither have a PHD in Economics like PM Manmohan Singh nor am I an accountant or a successful businessman, but I would think that all of us need to survive in this modern world of global economies, multinational companies etc. We are already in the ocean of maya, we might as well learn to swim in order to survive these strong currents. I would think that if everyone out of 20+ million of us starts supporting all of the Sikh ventures out there ranging from Sikh owned restaurants, Sikh movie makers, Sikh owned and operated stores, Sikh festivals, Sikh owned magazines, Sikh films, engineering companies, food products, books, and other products and services etc, Sikhs could build an economy equivalent to the size of country like Canada or Italy, state like California and stores like Walmart, and Kmart. I mean the possibilities and opportunities are just unlimited. The problem is that there are not very many Sikh owned companies and the money you and I are spending on non-Sikh products and services goes into the pockets of people that have no clue about who and what Sikhs are all about and would give the least attention to our struggles, concerns or problems. Yes, a Sikh executive may not care either for Sikh causes, but still chances are that he or she will be connected to Sikh life in some manner, thru relatives, or friends or Gurdwara etc. and would be affected. In this modern world of global economy, Sikhs need to go out there and support every Sikh owned and organized event, business and venture to make it a success so at least we can be more and more economically liberated and work towards a better Sikh economic autonomy. The future of Sikhi, your kids, grandkids depends upon you! Any Sikh economists or intellectuals out there, give us your insight. Dr. Singh if you are blogging!

Remembering June 6 1984!

Today's hukum by Guru Arjan Dev Ji

Also, here is a beautiful shabad by Guru Arjan Dev Ji Maharaj posted on Sikh Lionz blog.

Monday, June 5, 2006

The ones who survived through!

My thoughts and prayers for those families who lost their loved ones during this dark period of our Sikh history. Given all the odds aginst Sikhs, sometimes, I wonder how not only Sikhi has survived but continues to thrive up to this day. May Waheguru keep you in Chardi Kala!

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Which society or country is better equipped during War?

Which society or country is better equipped during War? And, why?

a) One with Better Intelligence
b) One with Better Weapons
c) One with Better Ethics and social values
d) All of the above
e) None of the above

Don't ask me why, but thoughts just came to me and I decided to post it as a question.