Proud To Be Six

TLH_Six.jpgIt’s that time of year again…camp time! Sikh youth all over the world are packing their bags and heading out to their favorite Gurmat camp to learn, reflect, and have a blast with their Sangat! I’m very lucky to have been involved in Sikh youth camps for most of my life – as a camper, counselor, and administrator…and boy do I have a few stories to tell! To mark this exciting time, I’d like to share a story I call “Proud To Be Six.”

I remember the first time I was ever a counselor. I was 18 years old and my first task was to lead an orientation for the youngest kids at camp. After several unsuccessful attempts to a lead a discussion, I went with what I knew…and just did a bunch of jakaray!

The kids were all riled up and having a blast! Then I yelled at the top of my lungs, “Are you proud to be Singhs & Kaurs of the Guru!” They all yelled out “Yeeeaaahhh!” “Are you proud to be Khalsas!” They all yelled out “Yeeeaaahhh!” “Are you proud to be Sikhs!” Silence…

I thought perhaps they didn’t hear me. I said, “Are you proud to be Sikhs!” Still, silence…then all the kids started looking around at each other in confusion.

Then finally, one brave little boy raised his hand and said, “VeerJi, I’m only five.” Quickly, hand after hand went up with kids saying “me too, me too…I’m only four”

After holding in my laughter and finally composing myself, I thought I would try an experiment. Although I had to cringe when I said it, I yelled out:

Are you proud to be Seeeeks! They all yelled out “Yeeeaaahhh!”


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11 Responses to “Proud To Be Six”

  1. Harman says:

    Haha cute story :)

  2. Harman says:

    Haha cute story :)

  3. Singh Soorma says:

    Those kids should be scolded. Their parents are nothing short of fools for not teaching them the proper manner of annunciating the title "Sikh". This is just another example of the Punjabi language detereriating among the diaspora. That IS BAD! Punjabi will be dead within a generation or two because current generations are a**holes and don't care to speak the language. That seriously annoys me so much. As a first generation Punjabi-American, I don't think I've spoken more then 1000 words of english when I am at home with my parents or grandmother. AHHH! This is just so frustrating to see that Punjabi is dying.

  4. Singh Soorma says:

    Those kids should be scolded. Their parents are nothing short of fools for not teaching them the proper manner of annunciating the title “Sikh”. This is just another example of the Punjabi language detereriating among the diaspora. That IS BAD! Punjabi will be dead within a generation or two because current generations are a**holes and don’t care to speak the language. That seriously annoys me so much. As a first generation Punjabi-American, I don’t think I’ve spoken more then 1000 words of english when I am at home with my parents or grandmother. AHHH! This is just so frustrating to see that Punjabi is dying.

  5. RP Singh says:

    Poor kids…don’t scold them Soorma Singh :)

    Although it wasn't the "spirit" in which I posted this, your point about pronouncing "Sikh" properly is also a pet peeve of mine. However, I know many adults who are fluent Punjabi speakers that also say "Seek" in certain settings. To me, it has less to do with pronouncing Punjabi words properly and more to do with our insecurities. Kind of like how many adults will still tell non-Sikhs friends how they go to Church or Temple on Sunday. The way I see it, if we can learn how to say Christian, Hijab, and Synagogue – why not take the extra seconds to teach the non-Sikh to say Sikh (not Seek), Dastaar (not Turban), and Gurdwara (not Church). Just a thought…

  6. RP Singh says:

    Poor kids…dont scold them Soorma Singh :)
    Although it wasn’t the “spirit” in which I posted this, your point about pronouncing “Sikh” properly is also a pet peeve of mine. However, I know many adults who are fluent Punjabi speakers that also say “Seek” in certain settings. To me, it has less to do with pronouncing Punjabi words properly and more to do with our insecurities. Kind of like how many adults will still tell non-Sikhs friends how they go to Church or Temple on Sunday. The way I see it, if we can learn how to say Christian, Hijab, and Synagogue – why not take the extra seconds to teach the non-Sikh to say Sikh (not Seek), Dastaar (not Turban), and Gurdwara (not Church). Just a thought…

  7. Singh Soorma says:

    I am in complete agreement with you RP Singh; are insecurities are at the base of this issue. Well said!

  8. Singh Soorma says:

    I am in complete agreement with you RP Singh; are insecurities are at the base of this issue. Well said!

  9. Singh Soorma says:

    Sorry, I meant "our insecurities are at the base of this issue."

  10. Singh Soorma says:

    Sorry, I meant “our insecurities are at the base of this issue.”

  11. Nikole says:

    Britney Spears has integrated four completely new dates to her forthcoming UK tour. The pop superstar, who will definitely be bringing her Femme Fatale tour right onto British shores around October