Learn About Sikhi at Sidak 2012
Guest blogged by Sharandeep Singh http://www.vimeo.com/37006707 Sidak, run by Sikh Research Institiute, is a diamond among jewels. It is one program, which after attending, completely changes your outlook on Sikhi, and life – I speak unequivocally when I say there is nothing else like it! As a...
Vaisakhi {a poem}
Guest blogged by Preeti Kaur. Preeti wrote this poem for The Langar Hall in commemoration of the 312th anniversary of the birth of the Khalsa this week. Vaisakhi ive never seen a wheat harvest never worried over winter punjab frost monsanto seed or otherwise grown into grain carried tender on the...
Liberation or Racism?
The French government is at it again. France’s lower house just passed a law that would make it illegal for women to wear the full Islamic veil (burqa or niqab) in public. It would fine women 150 euros for not complying. Sundari posted on this issue back in February, and now this attack on...
Sikhi and Transformative Justice
Guest blogged by Brooklynwala A few days ago, a friend sent me this powerful open letter she wrote in order to spark critical thinking and dialogue on the pitfalls of calling the police and relying on the criminal (in)justice system to deal with issues in our neighborhoods and communities. We live in...
It Takes A Sangat
A few years back, I went to my first Charni Lagna ceremony. Charni Lagna – literally, “at the feet of the Guru” is the traditional name of the event where a Sikh formally begins reading from the Guru Granth Sahib. Like most Sikh ceremonies, it is actually quite simple. After shabad...
An “Amrit Vela” State of Mind
After following some of the recent on-line debates, and discussing the topic at our local Gurbani Veechar meeting, I’ve been reflecting a bit on the concept of amrit vela in Sikhi. To summarize the debate, many feel that amrit vela is a specific time of day (roughly three hours before dawn) where...
When Grace Is Refused
A few weeks back, while skimming through the news, I found an interesting report on Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s recent visit to the Darbar Sahib in Amritsar. Although I didnt care much for the hoopla around his visit, I did find it interesting that he “offended” Sikhs...
A Little Outrage…
I was really moved by this audio essay from Cecilia Muoz titled “A Little Outrage Can Take You a Long Way” on NPR’s This I Believe segment. In her reflection on activism, I connected with the statement about defeats outweighing victories, and how it motivates her to continue her work....
Getting back to Sikhi’s treehugging roots
Environmental issues have taken a backseat for way too long. Even under this administration – which promised to create jobs through new and clean energy initiatives, and rejoin the international community to reduce worldwide carbon emissions – environmental issues have taken a backseat...
Seva & I
I was nervous. It was my first day on the job as a crisis hotline volunteer. Although I had just completed weeks of rigorous training on how to handle all types of calls – from anxiety, to depression, domestic abuse, and the dreaded suicide – I was still a little uneasy. I met my mentor for...
To The Last Hair, To The Last Breath
A few weeks ago, while at the park with my family, an elderly woman dressed in a sari came over to say hello. After a brief introduction, she said to us “wait here for a second” and called out “Alex…come here!” A little boy with light skin and brown hair ran over to us....
Ardaas – What Are The Rules?
We’ve all sat through it before…or…stood through it, that is. As Anand Sahib ends, we stand for Ardaas and collectively reflect on the lives and accomplishments of the Gurus and the 18th century martyrs who gave their lives to preserve our Sikh way of life. Somewhere in between this...
A Discontinuous Journey
A few weeks back, an article called Outsourcing Prayers [scroll to the bottom], by Khushwant Singh caught my attention. It discussed how people pay big money to religious institutions abroad to carry out services and prayers on their behalf. This “outsourcing” of prayer helps out the “well-to-do”...
On Common Ground
Years ago, I attended a Sikh retreat far from home – outside of the United States and outside of my “normal crowd.” It was interesting to experience Sikh life in a different country…and I think Bono had it right when he said, “We are one, but we’re not the same.” The...
Sikhi by fear, guilt or love?
Please upgrade your browser He locked the washroom door, unravelled the nine-metre turban, took a pair of scissors and started cutting. Ten minutes later, three feet of hair lay in a pile and Charanbir Singh sat down and cried. Outside, his parents and grandmother were in tears. Two friends persuaded...
Hair for a Sikh, an African American, and a trichotillomaniac
Kes is an important part of the Sikh identity but it also carries social, cultural, and political meaning for more than just Sikhs. Recently, a film student from NYU explored this less explored cross-cultural perspective by speaking with 3 individuals from various backgrounds in an interesting (and short-18...
Lose you turban and I’m outta here
The crisis of Sikh identity was once described to me in very simple terms; most Sikh males no longer want to look like Sardars and most Sikh girls don’t want to marry Sardars. In fact, I distinctly remember several Sikh guys that I went to school cutting their hair for the simple reason of “getting...
Finding Freedom In Forgiveness
I’m a bit of an NPR Junkie, and one of my favorite series I listen to is called This I Believe. This I Believe is a national media project that engages everyday people in writing, sharing, and discussing the core values and beliefs that guide their everyday lives. I’ve been following the...
Thee Di Mangh?
No longer are Punjabi staarz (i.e. Gurdas Maan, Arminder Gill, etc.) or Sukhbir Singh Badals Mrs., Harsimrat Kaur Badal (i.e. Nanhi Chhaan project), the only ones focusing on the girl child, but also a granthi at a California Gurdwara. I was recently surprised to hear a granthi support the idea...
Dont Feel Sorry For Me, I Am The Daughter Of A Shaheed
As the 25th anniversary of 1984 approaches us, TLH posts have covered some activities commemorating this devastating time in our history. My most vivid memories of “1984” are watching Indira Gandhis funeral on television and the border of photos inside my local Gurdwaras Langar Hall of...
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