Bhujangan 2012 15 girls. 4 days. A lifetime of change. On July 19, 2012, five Sikh women established the first ever leadership retreat for 11-17 year-old Sikh girls in Central California. Bhujangan, founded by the Jakara Movement earlier this year, was intiated with the enthusiasm and openness of 15 young Kaurs and their 9 sevadaars. The four-day and three-night retreat was filled with activities designed to enhance the girls’ understanding of Sikhi and our history, promote the building of confidence and friendships, and facilitate leadership development and an understanding of how a Kaur can identify and access opportunities for empowerment. Read more
"Stop wasting your time!" "Always Jakara this and that, what are you even doing?" "Is Jakara some sort of cult?" All of these comments and we could probably think of half a dozen more that would use inappropriate language on a blog like this are what we all commonly face. Sevadars often know their path is lonely and not always met with the enthusiasm from their parents. Even ridicule from friends and siblings are commonly expressed. You are not alone. We all face it, but we remain inspired by the seva, sangat, and the cause. The Guru's lalkaar (challenge) to us stirs us from our lethargy. Find a sangat that understands and supports you. Also be proactive - don't just disappear to do seva, tell your parents about it! Sign them up to our monthly newsletter! Share with them the goals of Bhujangi (our camp for "at-risk" young men) and Bhujangan (our camp aimed at teenage girls); talk to them about the topics discussed at Lalkaar CA and NY; get them to take your younger brothers/sisters/nephews/nieces to our Jakara Juniors camps; bring them to the next Sikholars conference. You'd be surprised at the difference it makes, once they see the bigger picture and the wonderful seva you are involved in (no guarantees with annoying siblings, though!) Read more
A HUGE thank you to ALL the amazing volunteers from Fresno and beyond that came and made this year a success. We are humbled by your seva. This year, we sold over $50,000 in fireworks (we are still figuring out expenses before we know our take-home). Check out this amazing video made by the one-and-only Navjit Singh Mann Read more
The pictures are up! A HUGE HUGE thank you to our dynamic quadro (?) - Ajay/Aman/Aman/Navi. And for those that have still not PLEDGED BEGAMPURA. Read on our petition (we're pushing for 200 people), share the information with your friends and family, push them to pledge. Let's keep the momentum going!
For those of you unable/unsure to come to Lalkaar 2012 - Building Begampura: Confronting Caste - hear some the thoughts of our participants and find out what you're missing out on!
Day 2 of Lalkaar 2012 complete. After early morning Nitnem, the conference began with a powerful video documenting the quotidian apartheid that occurs in our Gurdwaras, villages, hearts, and minds. The first workshop called for "deconstructing the divisions." Participants were challenged to re-think where we get knowledge about caste from, how it influences our thinking, and what are the ramifications for our community in the future. The second workshop, titled "confronting caste" sought a historical understanding by re-looking at the institutions that shook the basis of "untouchability" in Punjab. The Gurus gave us a "spirit" with the institutions of langar, khanda di pahul, Singh/Kaur, and even calling for Sikhs to discard caste and pay no attention to it in marriage. Discussions revolved around Gurbani, Rahit Literature, and selections from Jagjit Singh's The Sikh Revolution. Here are some pics: Keep reading below the fold for the rest info on the rest of the day! Read more
For every Lalkaar conference, things have to go exactly right and it requires enormous coordination from a large team. Most participants interact with their facilitators and spend most of their times in various groups, rarely thinking about all the pieces that make a successful conference. They don't see staff sevadars like Jasmine doing the exhausting work of filling the buckets for drinks and keeping stocks high to serve nearly 150 participants. Read more
The opening ceremony of Lalkaar always begins at the Gurdwara. For years in Fresno, but for the past 2 years West Sacramento Guru Ghar has been home to us. Here's some pics from last night! (Special shout out to our videography/photography team - Navi/Aman/Aman/Ajay)
Yesterday, the fabulous Lalkaar Committee, staff, and Facilitator Class of 2012 converged upon Davis, CA. The facilitators are busy going over materials and making sure they are ready, competent, and capable. The staff is dotting all the i's and crossing all the t's, making sure that all aspects of the conference will run smoothly. We'll continue live-blogging and keep all interested, updated. Looking forward to all the participants joining us this afternoon. Then inaugurating the conference at the Gurdwara this evening. Stay tuned.
Last year the Jakara Movement held the first ever Bhujangi Youth Academy camp, aimed at young “at-risk” Sikh males, ages 13-17. It was a HUGE success. You can see the previous description and reflections write-up from last year. This year the camp is happening again and we're expecting more bhujangis, more counselors, and a more terrific camp. We need your help and that of our sevadars and readers to spread the word. WHEN: July 15-24, 2012WHERE: Camp Sierra (central California)HOW TO REGISTER: Visit www.bhujangi.org WHO TO CALL: For more information, call 1-408-905-7454 (English and Punjabi) There will be fun activities such as paintballing, horseback riding, and sports. There will also be classes to instill a sense of pride in our collective Sikh past, but also an opportunity for reflection, emotional growth, and anger management. The Jakara Movement is willing to work with all families of any means. As the deadline is soon approaching, we need your help and encouragement. Recommend a family member or talk to a friend if they have a young son, nephew, cousin, or brother that may be able to benefit from such an experience. Read more