Sikh Day 2007 Ottawa, Canada
It was the fall of 2005 when a group of youngsters drove by me and my father and threw eggs at us. That was the first real time I had witnessed that, and it had visibly shaken me. The youths then circled their van around and yelled “Paki’s go back home to where you come from”. Now some would argue that this is an isolated incident, and that these youths don’t represent the rest of what society believes. Yet, in a recent 2006 study, 1 in 3 Canadians prefer not to live beside a person of color. When I read this statistic it struck really hit a chord. What if my neighbour doesn’t like who I am or where I come from? Luckily both of my neighbours are of Indian origin; however, there are many South Asians and minorities in Canada who must wonder the same thing?
A musical quartet places their instruments on stage, while technicians place microphones in strategic places to give just the right atmosphere for Indian classical string instruments. One of these instruments was created by the tenth master Siri Guru Gobind Singh. Its appearance is that of a peacock, and is notably called the “Taos”. Opinder Singh Sadana’s Dilruba Music Academy is ready to perform and does so with a medley initially sung by Jagjit Singh, the great Punjabi gazzal singer. “Satnam Siri Waheguru” plays gently to a crowd who sits listening to the music with cloths placed on their heads out of respect.
This year was the year of film for Sikhs. With Shonali Bose’s Amu, exploring the tragedy of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, and Harpreet Kaur’s documentary on the widow colonies created by this incident, clips of these films was aired while audience members learned about the tragedy. To think it took 20 years after such a tragedy, numerous books, and a second generation of Indians living outside of India to produce such feature films.
Kevin Lee’s “Warrior Saints” project was displayed as well, with a passionate discourse about the Sikh faith and values to which Sikhs proscribe to. Yet Mr. Lee notes that there are still many American’s and Canadians who still don’t know, or appreciate who Sikhs are. What does this tell us about our nations, and how we present our faith to others? On this night many leave the auditorium having a better sense of the issues facing Sikhs, and moreover, a sense of pride in their own character. Artistic displays prepared for after the event, highlight the rich unique heritage of the Sikhs which has been diluted for many years by systematic disinformation campaigns. Another year passes by, yet motivation for the future of Sikhi lives on…
Gursevak Singh Kasbia
Part Time Professor
Faculty of Health Science
University of Ottawa
Sikh Day 2007 Chair
Ottawa Sikh Community Services
Note: Comments do not represent the views of SikhNet. Comments containing
profanity, provocation or slandar will be removed by the moderators.
Email the News Editor Add SikhNet news to your website
Become a SikhNet Supporter
Make a one time contribution or sign up as a monthly SikhNet donor.
History - Donation - Privacy - Help - Registration - Search
Copyright © 2007 SikhNet
Phone: 505-753-3117 - Email SikhNet Support