A Change of Heart at Bhujangan Fresno

When I first heard about Bhujangan I wasn't too keen on attending the camp because I thought it would be nothing different from the Punjabi camps I had attended as a child. When I heard about the kayaking and hiking however, I was more thrilled about going. Once I got there and got to spend a few days bonding with and getting to know the rest of the girls at Bhujangan, my initial thoughts about not liking the camp faded away. Over a short weekend I had so much fun with my newfound sisters. We ate together, did paath together, and found strength in one another through our stories. Our older penjis gave us very valuable lessons and techniques to keep in mind and reflect on. The workshops were very helpful and necessary for us American Punjabi youth. I'm so glad that I was able to attend Bhujangan and gain so many new sisters and experiences out of the camp.   Amrita Kaur is a high school student in Fresno, CA. This was her first interaction with the Jakara Movement and we are excited to see her be more involved! 

Sisterhood at Bhujangan Fresno

A couple days before the retreat as we were walking out of Michaels in Fresno I asked the Junior Counselors if they could design a shirt forBhujangan. When they asked me what the theme was, I replied, “I don’t know, I guess we don’t really have a theme.” They ended up designing a shirt that read “Because there’s one thing stronger than magic: sisterhood.”  Read more

Bhujangan LA Recap

It is so refreshing to be a part of something that really focused is on young Sikh girls. I had the privilege of being part of the committee for Bhujangan Los Angeles for the last couple of years, and after completing our second retreat in southern california, I am left beyond impressed and inspired by these amazing young ladies.  Sisterhood. Power. Agency. Sikhi. These were all things that we saw blossom in the attendees and counselors throughout the 4 day retreat hosted in the Los Angeles Mountains.  Read more

Bhujangi 2014 Recap

Bhujangi Youth Academy is a place for boys to learn to be men with responsibilities.  Somehow in that process, even men get to re-learn how to be boys with wonder.  Since 2011, the Jakara Movement has been hosting Bhujangi Youth Academy in central California.  The program has seen phenomenal growth from a mere 6 boys in that inaugural year to nearly 30 in 2014.  Our expectations are that it will continue to grow…Why?  Because there is nothing else like it in our community and that word of mouth is the prime driver.  Boys that attend once are hooked for a lifetime. Read more

Lalkaar NY 2014 Recap

It was a hot June day, and I was stuck in traffic. This was the last place I wanted to be today. As the cars infront of my inched little by little I imagined myself in my frigid air-conditioned room reading a book or watching Netflix, instead of sweltering in the heat of my run down car slowly making my way across northern New Jersey so I could live in the woods for a weekend. When a friend I met at a book club told me about Lalkaar, a Sikh camp run by a more progressive Sikh organization, I was excited to learn more about it and check it out. But at this moment, I wish I had stayed behind. It was only a week or so before that I had finally decided that I wanted to go, between job hunting and living at home this summer was turning into a long rut. I wanted something to break the norm, I wanted to immerse myself into something larger than me. Unsure if they would consider my financial situation, or the timing of the application I sent a request in anyway. To my surprise the folks at the Jakara Movement, the organization that runs the Lalkaar camp accommodated my needs and were happy to have me attend. I couldn’t say no to that. Read more

Episode 10 - July 27, 2014

Listen in on AM 900 KBIF 9-10pm PST Sunday Evenings Shabad of the day Guru Nanak, Guru Granth Sahib, p.360 jy skqw skqy kau mwry qw min rosu n hoeI ]1] rhwau ] Jay saktha sakthay kau maaray thaa man ros na hoi (rahao) If the powerful strike the powerful, then the mind doesn't feel grief ||1||Breath||   skqw sIhu mwry pY vgY KsmY sw pursweI ] Saktha seeh maaray pai vagai khamai saah pursaaiy But if a powerful tiger attacks a flock of sheep and kills them, then one must answer for it. Read more

Misl Richmond: Jakara Juniors

When I started at Jakara there years ago, I remember listing out some of my goals:  where in California could we formalize misls?  Where would we hold Lalkaar in the coming years?  Never, did I think that in 2014 we would be having Jakara 'firsts' in a whole other state (not to mention the opposite coast!).  Our first multi-day Jakara Juniors camp was held in Richmond, Virginia.  The sangat and volunteers were unconditionally welcoming, and ready to work hard for their community.  I spent three days with local volunteers working through a camp that focused on healthy choices, sangat, Sikh heros & sheroes, Gubani, and lots of fun activities.  Each of the facilitators and volunteers were committed to providing for these young participants a space to learn about themselves and each other.  From the local families that donated food, to those that made sure we had enough bananas for Roshni's relay games, to Baltej hauling wheel barrows full of soil for the new garden - everyone worked together to make this camp a success. Read more

SoCal Bonfire and 2nd Regional Meeting

We've had quite a few people join Misls LA, Orange County, and San Diego after Lalkaar! For all those that attended - come out to see your fellow participants and to share your experience with everyone else. We are looking forward to seeing everyone! It is a potluck so feel free to bring something to eat or drink! Have no idea what Jakara is, or have always wondered what it is all about? This bonfire is perfect for you. Get to know some of our local volunteers and what we've got planned in the coming months.The bonfire will be held at Bolsa Chica State Beach in Huntington Beach, CA Message our Community Organizer if you have any questions - amrit@jakara.org or 916-690-3185

First Ever Rally Against Underage Drinking

The Jakara Movement hosted its first ever alcohol awareness campaign. This past Saturday, June 28th, 2014 Misl Fresno and the Paaras Youth Center brought together Sikh Sangat for a rally at Rio-Vista Middle School. The rally was preceded by a hosted carnival games, a Sair for Sehat, as well as a basketball tournament. The day was packed with dozens of events throughout the rally and put to an end by highlighting up and coming artist Harleen Singh. The school was painted red by the sight of Sikh youth in Fresno running around with their red shirts that had the slogan, "Punjabis like me, proud and alcohol-free".   Read more

An idea to reality

Throughout the past two years Misl MN has tested out different ways to reach out to the sangat, gather volunteers and do sewa. One idea that came from our youth Gurshaan Madan was to start a food drive at our Gurdwara. He announced this idea to the sangat, bought a few bins in which the can goods/non-perishable items could be held. After just a year we have already collected 1,017.5lbs of food which has been donated to a nearby food shelf in Bloomington, MN (where our Gurdwara is located). Gurshaan collected food in the end of each week/month. We are SO proud that he brought an idea, executed it on his own (with help from sangat in donations). Shows that any idea (big or small) can make a HUGE difference!

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