Some Notes and Random Musings

295225_10150292952132958_501602957_7814496_8072444_n.jpgGuestblogged byMewa Singh.

Here are some general musings and broader notes/reflections that were sparked by my participation in the camp:

On Parenting One thing I found quite interesting was changes in parenting styles. I dont remember having had many choices as a child, when my parents were going to put their foot down, and it seems my own parents confirm this. With the camp, I noticed we had so many parents expressed their desire for their sons to attend, only to begin avoiding our calls as the date approached and telling us our son doesnt want to go. Many of the same parents often complained our son doesnt listen to us and just watches TV all day. I was left wondering, how do these children have the choice? A parent has the ability to parent and limit the childs television viewing, if they so desire. A parent is not helpless to say our child doesnt listen so we must accept the status quo. Many parents desire to be the friend of their child, or be the good guy/gal and never say no. With so many of my friends young parents, I wonder how they will be setting boundaries.

On Consumerism Now members of our community are part of the broader society and one would hardly expect larger sociological issues such as consumerism to not affect us. Still the degrees seem far more now than in my youth. I remember kids having and even getting beat up and their shoes stolen if they had the latest Jordans. With 13-year olds having iPhones, 16-year olds getting BMWs for their birthdays (Jodha had a reflection on this some time ago), and wardrobe prices that went far beyond our $15 jeans from Marshalls, I wonder what are we teaching our children? Ask parents to send their children to a Sikh workshop or even Punjabi/Khalsa school at their Gurdwara and parents will begin about fees being far too high. What do we actually value and what do we wish to teach our children to value?





On Portions – I came from a Punjabi household, where my mom always wanted me to eat one more roti. We didnt eat out much. Pizza, once every 2 weeks, was to be celebrated. Kids eat out much more than they use to and the fat, sugar, and salt contents in rich restaurant foods are far more than in the past. Seeing the rising levels of childhood obesity in the US in general, the Gurdwara is far from the sanctuary. With the young men of the academy, we had a conversation around food and the need to limit portions. For every child it was the first time they had ever had that conversation. Truth be told, even I never reflected on it until after my undergraduate career, but I wonder if in all of our households such a conversation about portions (not just limiting their portions) may be important.

On Canada One of the most interesting dynamics in our community is the belief in huge regional distinctions. When we first announced the camp, immediately we were told to do it in Canada. Even Canadian parents (especially from BC) reached out about how they would love to have their children attend. Due to our own regional constraints and belief that only in California, where the Jakara Movement, has its roots throughout the state, would we be able to maintain regular contact with the first group of young men, we decided to accept only California residents. In the future, we are considering having the program up in Whistler, but for the time being California will be home. While certain manifestations of violence are unique to B.C., I dont believe that the phenomenon of cliques and petty criminal elements are. In fact the violence we see in our community is ubiquitous to wherever Punjabis are found. People often demonize other Sikh communities without realizing that most problems are seen anywhere our communities are found. We are generally from the same homeland and many immigrant issues faced are not very distinct from one another.

I’m sure I have plenty more, but we’ll leave it here for now.

bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark

3 Responses to “Some Notes and Random Musings”

  1. As a parent, I limit our children's TV viewing to the point where we only have a few DVD's that we play on our computer only once a week at most (we don't have a TV in the house). We limit their consumption of sugars and outside foods as well. They've yet to taste soda and juice is a treat. Some people commend these choices and some condemn them. I'm no expert at this parenting thing and only time will tell if we did the right thing. All of your concerns are constantly on my mind especially now that one of our kids is school age. I hope this trend of consumption changes direction. It unhealthy both physically and emotionally. Thank you for sharing your musings. It's nice to know there's yet one more person who feels as we do.

  2. guest says:

    good going. if you can keep them away from sugar and tv, you're headed in the right direction. i spent my childhood growing up outside, i can't even imagine what the children of today who have an iphone and youtube in one hand and a can of soda in the other are going to turn out like.

  3. A good teacher is thoughtful and inventive. He thinks about the best teaching techniques and draws out new inventions, that are useful for students.