A new contest + award is in place for Sikhs. Who will be the Chic Sikh of the Year for 2008?
The sponsor is Sikhchic, the online magazine which promotes Sikhs in the arts (and also invites articles on an array of subjects). The nomination process is completely transparent, which makes it interesting. Anyone can nominate by simply entering a nomination and the reasons for it as a comment. It then gets posted, so you can see all of the nominations here. So far, the illustrious nominees include: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Singh Twins, Fauja Singh, Amandeep Singh Madra, and I.J. Singh.
The award doesn’t have to be awarded to a Sikh. It’s unclear how much of a connection a nominee has to have to the Sikh community- whether they have to commit a Sikh-like deed or act to somehow promote/improve the Sikh community. It also doesn’t have to be to a person- it can be to an institution. There are many organizations that have done some really interesting things in the past few years for the Sikh community, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing some of them nominated.
Awards validate ideals- confirm that they mean something. It ‘s unclear so far what ideals this award will recognize since the parameters for nomination have been left purposefully vague. I guess we’ll know more when an awardee is chosen.
On this topic, we have an opinion from our newest blogger, Mapleleaf (Welcome, Mapeleaf!). He mentioned in a recent post on his other blog:
We want members of our community to achieve in all aspects of life (business, politics, community, arts, etc) and we constantly lament the lack of contemporary role models for our youth. Yet, when a young Sikh excels in a particular field and the customary accolades accompany their success, what do we do? We say that he or she has been become full of ego and pride. They’re only doing it for the recognition or personal gain.
You can’t have it both ways!
We need Sikhs to do amazing things in the world and be RECOGNIZED for doing amazing things. Sikhs need to create a virtuous circle of Sikh role models inspiring young Sikhs to achieve, who in turn become role models themselves. Yes, our Gurus and historical Gursikhs are inspiring and their lives need to promoted to youth. However, in addition to that, we need to see living, breathing Sikhs doing great things in the today’s world. How else can we demonstrate that Sikhi is relevant in the 21st century?
In addition to the above tendency, we also like to put people on superhuman pedestals. We see them excel in one specific area and we extrapolate to everything. Then we’re angry and disappointed when we find out that they’re not perfect. So like my Nana Ji always said, stop focusing on a person’s 1 fault (augun) and focus on their 99 virtues (gun). [Maple Leaf Sikh]