Thursday, January 12, 2012

Prize for Masters Thesis on Sikhs : Sara Cosemans,KU Leuven Student

Sara Cosemans received the award for her research "Sikhs in Haspengouw: Migration and integration from a female perspective"
She is a student of history who did her master thesis about the Sikh community in Hesbaye. It earned her the first prize at the Gülen Chair for Intercultural Studies (GCIS)& reaches out for the best master's thesis about multiculturalism,immigration and minorities at the KU Leuven,Belgium.

Sara said "When I heard about a thesis topic was about Sikhs,I was immediately approached - I was studying history after an exchange year in Guatemala and was sensitive to the backgrounds of migration. In Sint truiden-, where I live, you have the biggest and most traditional Sikh community in Belgium, but we really know very little about them. It is also very difficult to establish contacts. Luckily I have a friend whose parents Sikhs employing and housing, and she gave me in contact with people.In Haspengouw you have a group of some 1,500 registered Sikhs - from three waves of migration - and you can talk the successful integration without assimilation. Sikhs look obviously very distinctive and recognizable, but generally speak Dutch well and almost all have a home and even your own fruit farm. A number of young people studying at university successfully. I've mainly worked on the basis of interviews and also I have a lot of information collected online through Facebook by joining a number of groups. The title of my thesis refers not only to the fact that I primarily studied the position of women , but also on the fact that I did as a female researcher.It would be much harder for a man to penetrate the female part of the community. I mainly talked with women but also men, in order to determine how both groups influence each other's identity. "

"I am very honored to receive the prize and especially pleased with the publication by Acco .With the prize money - $ 1,500 ; I would like to study abroad and it will certainly come in handy. And hopefully I can continue with a PhD study ... "

Photo 1: Young girl wearing a chunni(a scarf)

Photo 2: Photo taken during a protest by the Sikhs in Louvain against the visit of Minister Kamal Nath.

Photo 3: Photo taken during the life of St.Truiden(2011) an initiative of the Cancer Foundation.

Dr.Gurdeep Kaur
University of Milan

Associate Professor
SGND Khalsa College
University of Delhi

1 comment:

RahulB said...

its the best sikh blog I've ever come across...