Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Sikh multimedia museum in Bangla Sahib Gurdwara becoming a popular attraction

Baba Baghel Singh Multimedia Museum in Gurdwara Bangla Sahib.
Delhi's first religious multimedia museum - 'Baba Baghel Singh Sikh Heritage Multimedia Museum' – is becoming a popular attraction not only for the Sikh community but also for people from other religions.
The museum, located inside Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, has been named after Baba Baghel Singh, a brave Sikh soldier, who played a significant role in defending Sikhism. He conquered the Red Fort in Delhi in 1783 and established seven historic gurdwaras in Delhi.
The force behind the ideas was International President of World Punjabi Organisation (WPO), Vikramjit Singh Sahney. Sahney conceptualised and started the museum in the memory of his father, late Gurucharan Singh Sahney.
with thanks : IAMIN : LINK : for detailed news report.

Sikh bodies seek ban on Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim's debut film Messenger of God

Gurmeet Ram Rahim

Controversial Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim's yet-to-be-released film Messenger of God (MSG) has kicked off a controversy even before its release.

Various Sikh organisations are up in arms against the dera chief's debut film MSG which is slated for a January 16 release .

All India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) on Sunday said that it will soon move the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking a ban on the film. AISSF president Karnail Singh Peermohammad said even the film's teaser is controversial as it shows the dera chief challenging people (Sikhs) with his dialogue "Jo hamse takrayega" (who will try to confront me).

110-year-old 'Christmas- loving' Sikh is oldest man in Britain

LONDON: An Indian origin 110-year-old man will be celebrating his 111th Christmas in 2014. 

Nazer Singh, who was born in Punjab and had not heard of Christmas until he moved to England in 1965, said that since he came to England he takes pride in receiving gifts and giving presents, but he is running out of items to ask for, the Daily Express reported. 

The ex-labourer, who lives with the 61-year-old son Chain in Sunderland, is planning to spend the day with family, won't be seeing all his nine children, 34 grandchildren and 63 great-grandchildren. 

Chain said that they always get warm clothes and whisky for Singh, who is the 3rd oldest man in the world after two 111-year-old Japanese men, Sakari Momoi and Yasutaro Koide.

with thanks : Times of India : LINK

Friday, December 19, 2014

$7K of items stolen from Sikh temple in Jacksonville

with thanks : actionnews : LINK


Vishavjit Singh

Facebook has regularly been releasing advertisements called “Facebook Tips.” They are generally around 27 seconds long, and explain to you how to have a better Facebook experience. Vishavjit Singh, the star of a recent ad, just happens to be a Sikh American. In the video, he discusses how your likes affect your timeline. However, Facebook users rarely miss a moment to bash on something, releasing their steady stream of hateful references.

with thanks : world religion news : LINK : for detailed report.

Sikhs have a separate identity, says Badal

Sikhs have a separate identity, says Badal

Ruchika M Khanna
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 17
Indicating that the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) is going back to its Panthic agenda, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said that the Sikhs had a separate identity that must be preserved.
He said the SAD would ask the Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP government in Haryana to repeal the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee Act enacted by the earlier Hooda government.
Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, SAD Member of Parliament, has moved a private member’s Bill in the Rajya Sabha, seeking an amendment to Article 25 (b) of the Constitution which clubs the Sikhs with Hindus.
This is the third such attempt, but the timing is significant. With the RSS reportedly making inroads in Punjab villages, amid speculation that the BJP may go it alone in the next Assembly elections, the SAD is looking at consolidating the Sikh vote bank.

with thanks : Tribune : LINK : for detailed news.

American Idol's First Sikh Contestant is Back in the Spotlight

Gurpreet Singh Sarin made history as American Idol's first Sikh contestant.

Like most performers, Gurpreet Singh Sarin will never forget the first time he performed live on stage. But unlike most, this singer's first public performance had an audience of millions, as he took the American Idol stage to sing Ray Charles' "Georgia on My Mind" for the show's judges and everyone watching at home.
"It was the first time I ever performed with a band," said Sarin, the first-ever Sikh contestant, in what was then 12 seasons of the singing competition.
The University of Maryland grad says that prior to auditioning for the show, his musical background was rooted in Indian classical and devotional music. "I saw a lot of connections between Indian ragas and the blues and jazz music," Sarin said. That connection led him to start posting his own covers of popular R&B songs to YouTube.

with thanks : nbsnews : LINK : for detailed news report.

Countdown to new memorial for WW1 Indian heroes

A closer look at the memorial statue

Pictures of how the memorial in Staffordshire will look

Pictures have been unveiled of a new permanent memorial in honour of the Indian soldiers who fought during World War One.
The "WW1 Sikh Memorial" will take the form of a statue at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, and it will commemorate around 130,000 Sikh soldiers who fought in the Great War.

A national campaign for the permanent memorial began back in August. Work is now well underway for the statue, and it is due to be unveiled in a special ceremony at the Arboretum in March next year.
Despite only making up 1% of the Indian population at the time, the Sikh contribution to the war efforts is recognised as remarkable. They constituted 20% of the British and Indian Army and were represented in more than a third of regiments at the time.

with thanks : itv : LINK : for detailed news with more pics.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Shilanayaas of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University !

Shilanayaas of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha Vishva Vidyalay in East Delhi by HRD Minister Smriti Jubin Israni. Pic with thanks from : Jivan Rastogi

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sikhs advocacy group ask US lawmakers to ensure religious liberty in military

WASHINGTON: Sikhs enjoy greater religious liberty in the militaries of countries like India, Canada and Britain than the US, a Sikh advocacy group has said, presenting a case for removal of barriers for the members of the community to join armed forces in America.
"Sikh service members in the militaries of Canada, India, and the United Kingdom can expect to enjoy a greater measure of religious liberty than their peers in the United States," the Sikh Coalition said in a written submission to the House Armed Services Committee's subcommittee on military personal.
with thanks : Economic Times : LINK : for detailed news.

U.S. Based Eco-Sikh Backs Water Conservation Efforts In India

WASHINGTON – Eco-Sikh, a Washington based organization, has launched a water conservation programme in India’s Punjab state amid reports of severe groundwater depletion there and other parts of Northern India.
Eco-Sikh’s Punjab team is actively working to teach locals about how and why they should conserve water and live in harmony with the Earth, it said.
The group has also asked the Punjabi diaspora to relay environmentally-friendly practices to their counterparts in India by teaching them how to farm plants that use less groundwater.
CBS News’ 60 Minutes programme last week highlighted with satellite images how Punjab and rest of India are losing groundwater at an alarming rate posing an impending disaster.
“The evidence is credible that the food basket of India is in serious danger and this issue should be treated with urgency and with immediate action by the state and central governments,” Eco-Sikh President Rajwant Singh said.
“When people in Punjab do not have access to water because it is being overused, the results will be disastrous,” said India Project Manager, Ravneet Singh.
In the U.S. too, California is facing its fourth year of summer droughts, which has forced residents to take major steps to conserve water, such as not irrigating their land and taking shorter showers, Eco Sikh noted.
Like in Punjab, Californian farmers must find new ways to conserve water, or else face major water droughts that will leave their plots of land like deserts, said Eco-Sikh’s U.S. programme manager, Sumeet Kaur.
with thanks : thelinkpaper : LINK

Hungry Vancouver man learns values of Sikhism after turning to Reddit for help

Langar-Sikhism-temple-free food


When Vancouver’s Tommy Castelli — a recovering heroin addict who’s been clean for eight months and suffers from liver disease — ran out of money waiting for his December disability cheque to arrive, he turned to social media in a desperate search for a “free bite to eat.”

And while Reddit is often known for its trolls and cruel anonymous commenters, Castelli was greeted with a surprising response — generosity and a lesson in the values of Sikhism.

“I am hungry and have no money. I’ll save you the sad story, anyone know where I can either get a free bite to eat or food to cook today, I haven’t eaten in two days,” Castelli posted to the Reddit Vancouver board earlier this week.

“I live off a very small amount of money,” Castelli, who lives in an SRO in downtown Vancouver, told Vancouver Desi on Friday, clarifying that he wasn’t asking for money, but rather a safe place to find a free meal to tide him over until his next payment came in. “For the most part, people have been incredibly generous.”

“People gave me helpful advice and I was really moved.”

Some Redditors privately messaged Castelli and dropped off groceries, homemade meals and even meal tickets to a local community centre.

“It (also) started a really great conversation about Sikhism,” Castelli said.

One Reddit user pointed out that Castelli can “always have dinner at one (of) the Sikh temples,” and shared a link to a directory.

Another user further commented, expanding on the Sikh concept of ‘langar,” which is the kitchen found at all gurdwaras where free meals are served to visitors.

“Never forget this, every single Sikh temple in the world will welcome you with open arms (and) offer you free food without any sort of judgment,” the user wrote. “You will be welcomed there for free food, free of judgment, even if you came there every day for every meal. Nothing will be asked of you in return.”

with thanks : vancouverdesi : LINK : for detailed news.

Mixing tradition with fashion to bring style to Sikhism

Young Australian blogger Karan Kaur is treading a fine line between her Punjabi morals and her love of fashion.

Meet the 20-year-old student from Glendenning who's bringing some catwalk style into wearing a turban.
For Karan Kaur wearing a turban is the heart of her identity as a Sikh, but styling it up isn’t always easy.
That’s why she created “Style with Kaura” an Instagam account that mixes her Punjabi culture and her love of fashion. 

with thanks : SBS : LINK : for detailed news.

Sikh woman elected as council member in California

Washington: A Sikh woman has been elected for the first time as a council member of California's Yuba City that has one of the largest concentration of Sikhs in the US.  
The first women of Sikh descent to be elected as Yuba City council woman, Preet Didbal was sworn in by her daughter, Arianna Khan and her mother, Gurbaksh Didbal on Wednesday.
"This is a big day. It is very emotional and I still can't believe it," Didbal was quoted as saying by KCRA 3 News.
Currently a correctional health care services manager in the California Department of Corrections, Dibal said she encountered some of that traditional thinking during her campaign and was taken aback by it.
"In general, the women have always been more subservient and have followed the lead versus being the leader. Our culture is very different and hopefully starting to open up and educate young girls not to be subservient. It's exciting to be an example," Dibal was quoted as saying by the local Appeal Democrat newspaper.

with thanks : Zee News : LINK

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Walking side-by-side : Unconventioal Sikh wedding ceremony symolising Gender Equality

Shawn Singh Tucker and Baljit “Bally” Kaur Lehal walked  together side-by-side  around the Guru Granth Sahib during their marriage ceremony  in Atlanta, GA :visual indication of Egalitarianism in Sikhism

Someone would call this act unusual. Some would call it controversial while others might call it awesome. Regardless of one’s opinion, the bride-and-groom walking side by side around the Guru Granth Sahib (as opposed to the more common groom in front of the bride) is definitely an unconventional act.The couple thought about To do their Anand Karaj in this way so it would embody the Sikh spirit of equality more visibly.

“As a kid, when I watched my cousin sister get married, it didn’t make sense to me that the bride walked behind the groom,” said Shawn. “I wondered ‘If men and women are equal in Sikhi, like my parents keep telling me, why is it this way?’ From then on, I knew I wanted to try something different.” 

“In Sikhi, marriage is one of the biggest public statements that you make. Sadly, in our society men always come before women; men are central and public. But in Sikhi, we are supposed to be equal so, it really bothered me that our most sacred religious ceremony put the man first,” said Shawn. “Plus, I’ve told all my non-Sikh friends that equality is a core Sikh value so if they were to see me walking in front, it would be really hypocritical. It would make no sense.”

“I agreed with what Shawn was saying,” said Bally. “I was really supportive of his thoughts. Many people said we couldn’t do it side-by-side because it’s against tradition, but doing something simply because ‘it’s tradition’ doesn’t make sense. You need to know the logic behind it.”

Bally added, “We never got anywhere by following the rules. Guru Nanak broke every norm and questioned everything. That’s how Sikhi came about, by challenging the status quo. So, why should we stop now? Why shouldn’t we question things that don’t make sense?”

 Link :