The Sikh female is a figure doubly marginalized – first as a minority within a larger western landscape; second as a woman, a discrimination she faces both within and outside the Sikh community. To dedicate an event to the voices of Kaurs is a small homage to an ongoing conversation about Sikh woman that is starting to take seed and that we hope to expand.
On February 1, Misl Bay Area held its second annual Kaur Voices. Over 80 young women and men from all over California gathered in Berkeley’s International House to listen to spoken word and narratives, and explore artwork produced by Sikh women. After establishing the Kaur Voices space, we could not be happier with the engagement of our audience and the willingness of our performers to share personal stories. We had over 15 Kaurs and a couple Singhs who shared intimate details of their lives or their perspectives on subjects that are often categorized as taboo or inappropriate to be discussed. One Kaur discussed her personal struggle with mental illness, highlighting how imperative it is that we address mental illness as a community rather than isolate those who might be affected. A Singh discussed his mother’s journey in the face of an abusive husband. And another Kaur shared an anonymously submitted story written about two Kaurs in love with each other.
We are also very excited to be expanding Kaur Voices events to Los Angeles, Minnesota and Maryland this coming spring! Please check back for more details.