Sikh Diaspora 2007: Year in Review

newyear.jpgAs we celebrate the New Year and look forward to what it holds in store for us (at the very least an election!), it is important to look back and remember what we have experienced as a community this past year. In celebration of the Sikh Diaspora and what it represents to us today, here is a look back at some of the global stories, books, films and websites that impacted our community in 2007.

  1. Young Sikh Men Get Haircuts, Annoying Their Elders. Its usually college-going students who are more worried about looking good than about their spiritual identity[It] releases a certain amount of pressure.
  2. A new website, Sikh Chic, discussing articles related to the art and culture of the Sikh Diaspora was launched. We need to re-think the Sikh idea in the North American idiom, in our language, in our way of articulating our thoughts.
  3. The Sikh clergy issues an edict directing the Sikh Sangat to snap all ties, including social, religious and political, with Baba Ram Rahim Gurmit, head, Dera Sacha Sauda, and its followers.
  4. Several books for and about Sikhs are published and discussed including Shame, Sacred Games, Sikhs in Britain, Londonstani, Sikhs Unlimited, I See No Stranger: Early Sikh Art and Devotion.
  5. A Sikh-Canadian group slams the long-standing immigration policy that forces people with the surname Singh or Kaur to change their last names. It was later noted that the immigration letter sent out was poorly worded.

  6. The Transportation Security Administration (“TSA”) releases a statement on new airport screening procedures that authorizes Sikh turban pat downs. After much advocacy and petitions, new procedures were implemented. Related stories dealing with turbans were seen in Ireland and France.
  7. The Second Annual SikhNet Youth Online Film Festival inspires 40 film submissions from around the globe. This year’s theme was Sikhi in the 21st Century.
  8. The UK Punjab Heritage Association introduces a new online exhibition called, Empire, Faith and Kinship showing “the rise of the Sikh kingdom of Lahore in 1801 to the settling of the Sikh Diaspora in Britain in the twentieth century”.
  9. Shonali Bose’s feature debut, Amu, about the 1984 massacres of Sikhs in Delhi releases on DVD. The film, “boldly rips away a tapestry of lies and cover ups.”
  10. A school in Wales sends a 14 year old Sikh girl home for wearing her Kara. Sarika Singh, 14, refused to remove her Sikh bracelet because she feels it is “a constant reminder to do good”.

Okay… so that’s a start… but what else got you excited or left you disappointed in 2007?


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4 Responses to “Sikh Diaspora 2007: Year in Review”

  1. MSS says:

    Sundari, Great review for 2007! One of the stories that i found interesting this year was the Canadian Sikh leader's comments on homosexuality: "I hate homosexuality. Most Sikhs believe homosexuality is unnatural and you can't produce kids through it. And secondarily, no major religion allows it." Sometimes i think we need a better filter system to watch for what these leaders say and how they represent Sikhi.

    Also – i appreciated your Sikh book mentions, i'm always looking for a new book to pick up.

  2. MSS says:

    Sundari, Great review for 2007! One of the stories that i found interesting this year was the Canadian Sikh leader’s comments on homosexuality: “I hate homosexuality. Most Sikhs believe homosexuality is unnatural and you can’t produce kids through it. And secondarily, no major religion allows it.” Sometimes i think we need a better filter system to watch for what these leaders say and how they represent Sikhi.

    Also – i appreciated your Sikh book mentions, i’m always looking for a new book to pick up.

  3. KaurBlimey says:

    I would have to say that the "Groom Bashing" stories really got my blood boiling. It's amazing how quickly we can take ten steps backwards. I'm not saying that it's just the Groom's side that disappoints me, it's also the bride's family wanting to one-up each other by spending ridiculos amounts of money. Aren't there more effective and philanthropic ways for these parents to spend their boat loads of money and improve the state of Punjab?

  4. KaurBlimey says:

    I would have to say that the “Groom Bashing” stories really got my blood boiling. It’s amazing how quickly we can take ten steps backwards. I’m not saying that it’s just the Groom’s side that disappoints me, it’s also the bride’s family wanting to one-up each other by spending ridiculos amounts of money. Aren’t there more effective and philanthropic ways for these parents to spend their boat loads of money and improve the state of Punjab?