Obama De Na

So it seems the Democratic nominee may finally be set. After what a most astute commentator has called The LONG FLAT SEEMINGLY ENDLESS BATAAN DEATH MARCH to THE WHITE HOUSE, the end is finally within sight. It seems that Obama has numerically emerged the victor.

Members of this blog have been very active in campaigning for Senator Obama. I am sure they are pleased.

However, within our community, I believe a false dichotomy has often been presented. Some have stated that while many young Sikhs have been far more engaged with the Obama campaign, older members of our community have fundraised for the Clinton campaign. I believe that this age-difference distinction has always been grossly exaggerated.

Using Occam’s razor, a simpler thesis may suffice. While Hillary Clinton was the favorite at the beginning of the campaign, as the winds changed others were slower to jump on Obama’s bandwagon. I am sure we will see many ‘older’ Sikhs fundraising for Obama as we get nearer to the fall.

In fact, here is one voice that defies such characterization. Here is one Punjabi poets dedication to Obama (yes Phulkari, you get subtitles too!).

YouTube Preview Image

In California, Pashaura Singh Dhillon is a well-known voice. Whether at the Gurdwara, a mela, or even at a poetry reading, his appearance is calming and radiating. I have had the pleasure to engage with him a number of times (and maybe best of all, listen to him sing Waris Shah’s Heer). He is a kind man and a delight. He is also active in helping promote the events within the Sikh community.

Here is a bit of biography from his website:

Actively involved in community matters, along with other members, I have helped in forming the Sikh Council of Central California Fresno, the Punjabi Sahit Sabha California, and the Indo-US Heritage Association in Fresno, California. I take great interest to help organize events such as Interfaith Alliance functions, Nagar Kirtan in Selma, Literary Meetings, as well as events close to my heart such as commemorating functions in the fond memory of the Gadhri Babas and other freedom fighters who laid down their lives to free India. As General Secretary for the Sikh Council of Central California, we helped raise over $50,000 during the 9/11 Disaster Relief fundraisers. Representing the Sikh Council of Central California, I am currently helping to coordinate a Punjabi language course fundraising event at the Guru Nanak Heritage Institute for Punjabi Studies where the local community there has established a Punjabi language course for the past ten years at the San Jose State University. A similar effort is also in the process to start up a Punjabi language course in the Central Valley at the California State University, Fresno. [link]

Any thoughts on the poem? Or the election news and coverage?


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16 Responses to “Obama De Na”

  1. Wow! Although I don't possess the attention span requisite to fully enjoy over 7 minutes of verse in a language I don't speak (I'm a student of the Ogden Nash school of short and silly), I'm impressed by Mr. Dhillon's effort and enthusiasm.

  2. Wow! Although I don’t possess the attention span requisite to fully enjoy over 7 minutes of verse in a language I don’t speak (I’m a student of the Ogden Nash school of short and silly), I’m impressed by Mr. Dhillon’s effort and enthusiasm.

  3. Jodha says:

    Haha, I think short attention spans may be one of the reason that "the jooth" no longer appreciate Punjabi Poetry. Here is a great rendition of the folk tradition of Heer.

  4. kprincess says:

    very beautiful, keeping the punjabi boli alive

  5. Jodha says:

    Haha, I think short attention spans may be one of the reason that “the jooth” no longer appreciate Punjabi Poetry. Here is a great rendition of the folk tradition of Heer.

  6. Reema says:

    Either that man's voice is incredibly cavernous (in jodha's link to Heer) or that hallway/courtyard has incredible acoustics… that was great.

  7. kprincess says:

    very beautiful, keeping the punjabi boli alive

  8. Reema says:

    Either that man’s voice is incredibly cavernous (in jodha’s link to Heer) or that hallway/courtyard has incredible acoustics… that was great.

  9. Mr. Singh says:

    Sir,

    Political projections show that McCain is going to mop the floor with Obama, if he is in fact the candidate. Sikhs would be wise to not make the mistake of, as a community, endorsing any given political party.

    It would be more prudent for Sikh organizations to start working with both parties for the advancement of the USA and enhancing the place occupied by Sikhs in the USA. I'm not saying Sikhs are engaged in partisanship, as that would be the route to irrelevance.

    Sikhs will be more respected, and will have a more active role to play in the USA regardless of who is in power, if they leave partisanship to others.

    best regards,

    Kaptaan

  10. Mr. Singh says:

    Sir,

    Political projections show that McCain is going to mop the floor with Obama, if he is in fact the candidate. Sikhs would be wise to not make the mistake of, as a community, endorsing any given political party.

    It would be more prudent for Sikh organizations to start working with both parties for the advancement of the USA and enhancing the place occupied by Sikhs in the USA. I’m not saying Sikhs are engaged in partisanship, as that would be the route to irrelevance.

    Sikhs will be more respected, and will have a more active role to play in the USA regardless of who is in power, if they leave partisanship to others.

    best regards,
    Kaptaan

  11. [quote comment="2102"]Haha, I think short attention spans may be one of the reason that "the jooth" no longer appreciate Punjabi Poetry. Here is a great rendition of the folk tradition of Heer.[/quote]

    A "jooth", am I? Well you are a festizio! See, I can make up words too, sister.

  12. Seriously, what's a jooth?

  13. Jodha says:

    I see that Mr. Poonjabi. The joooth are the 'youth.'

  14. [quote comment=”2102″]Haha, I think short attention spans may be one of the reason that “the jooth” no longer appreciate Punjabi Poetry. Here is a great rendition of the folk tradition of Heer.[/quote]

    A “jooth”, am I? Well you are a festizio! See, I can make up words too, sister.

  15. Seriously, what’s a jooth?

  16. Jodha says:

    I see that Mr. Poonjabi. The joooth are the ‘youth.’