Waheguru Ji Ka KhalsaWaheguru Ji Ke Fateh Dear Jakara Movement Community and Sevadar/nis, I am humbled and very excited to join the ranks of the Jakara Movement as a staff member serving as the next Northern California Community Organizer. To share a little bit about myself, I was born and raised in Fresno, California and it was there when I first learned about the Jakara Movement in 2005 while witnessing a kids camp centered around the theme of Creating Kartarpur. Although I did not volunteer at the camp I was awestruck and inspired by the teachings of Sikhi and by the confidence of the volunteers. Never would I have guessed that in 2010 after being discharged from the Marines I too would be a part of this same movement. Read more
Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that despite age or experience in life, we are all living – breathing – humans, who question everything. The recent Jakara Juniors at Glen Rock Gurdwara did just that – fostering real, intellectual discussions in collaborative, group settings. I had forgotten just how fresh the minds of our younger Sikh brothers and sisters are. Topics we addressed ranged from Visakhi to Seva to poetry, from bullying to handling one’s emotions to women in Sikhi - and finally - from learning about the Sikh way of to then applying it to our individual lives. The fluidity of our group conversations with such young kids was inspiring – sometimes they need these kinds of smaller breakaway camps more than we do. It gives them a platform where they can intellectually try to analyze Sikhi, they can share stories about themselves, and most importantly, they can share their IDEAS and brainstorm in a safe, welcoming environment. Two hands on project ideas that really stood out to me were the shabad translations as well as the seva project. Read more
On Thursday, June 25, 2015, I traveled to Chicago to attend Lalkaar 2015 – Midwest edition. I also had the privilege of being a facilitator for the conference focused on Guru Granth Sahib Ji. As soon as I landed, I was taken to the hotel to start facilitator training for the weekend. There, I met other facilitators where we bonded and starting connecting to Guru Sahib together. After training ended, we met the other participants through icebreakers, which lead to enjoying Rahraas Sahib together and of course, my first experience with the one and only, real, amazing Chicago Pizza from Giordano’s. On Friday, June 26, 2015, the conference material officially started as we traveled to University of Chicago campus to have diwaan and start the workshops. The first workshop focused on the structure and format of Guru Granth Sahib Ji called “Know your Guru”. This was the participants’ first chance to interact with Gurbani’s structure as a group. After a yummy lunch, the participants had another workshop called Music of the Guru. The last workshop for Friday was called “Court of the Guru”, which took place in the diwaan hall in front of Guru Sahib. This was one of my favorite workshops because as a sangat, we discussed physical barriers to the Guru Granth Sahib Ji within our gurdwaras, our homes, our faith, etc. The workshop became more of a discussion with everyone speaking as the sadhsangat in front of Guru Sahib and to Guru Sahib. The night ended with a banquet for participants to dance, hang out and spend time with their new Midwest sangat. Read more
Join the Movement as the Northern California Community Organizer The Jakara Movement with the Guru’s Nadir (Grace), seva of our volunteers, and the baksh (benediction) of the Sangat is pleased to announce our fourth employment position. We are seeking a Northern California Community Organizer to help develop the gambit of Jakara Movement programs and chapters (misls). Position Title: Community Organizer Organizational Relationship: Reporting to the Executive Director General Summary: The Jakara Movement Community Organizer will recruit, develop, retain and train volunteers, help them organize communities through local chapters, and implement community campaigns, programs, events, and actions. Read more
Physical fitness is a very important aspect of a persons life. Staying fit and healthy will not only make you feel better about yourself, but it will help you out in the long run. It prevents getting serious diseases and health issues such as, type two diabetes and obesity. Exercising doesn't always have to be boring or hard. You can always just go for a bike ride, a walk, roller skating, or play your favorite sports for about thirty minutes to an hour per day and that will do it! Being physically fit also means eating healthier. Sometimes it's better to choose the apple rather than the candy bar. When you decide to change your eating and exercising habits you change as an individual. You start feeling more confident, become more outgoing, and your surrounded by more positive vibes. Being healthy leads to stronger bones, healthier heart and a happier you. (: Chaman Kaur is a student at Livingston High School and wrote this blog after the Sports Day in Livingston.
Kaur Voices was an amazing experience. It was an eye-opening event and I learned a lot about the experiences of others in the Sikh community. This was my first time attending and I loved it. My favorite part of the event was hearing about topics that aren't commonly addressed in the community. Overall, this event provided a lot of positive insight and I will definitely attend again in the future. Jasminn Bling is a college student in Sacramento and active member of Misl Sacramento.
It was a hot summer afternoon. All she can remember is hanging out in the living room, watching Clifford. She heard a knock on the door, of course she was told not to answer it, because you never know who it may be. Her grandmother was home, she walked up to the door, and she heard her cousin’s voice. Excited as could be, little did she know her life was about to change. Read more
This was the second time I volunteered at the Sac Food Bank with my peers. This time we volunteered at a different location and helped through different tasks. My task was to make bags of light bulbs and distribute them to the people. My peers worked in truck, they bagged dairy products. It was interesting working along other people from different locations. The other task I did was bagging the appropriate squash. Some of the squash was ruined so as I bagged the squash I had to analyze and toss the bad squash away. Later, I unfolded the boxes. As other volunteers distributed the food items, it looked like a mini farmers market. Overall, this experience was great because we got to meet new volunteers as well as contribute by using our skills. Manpreet Kaur is an active member of Misl Sacramento and the Sikh Honor and Service Society. She is a junior at NP3 in Sacramento.
Joining the Sacha Sauda Seva was one of the events that have changed my entire outlook on and attitude towards the life. Before I used to think that every human being on earth is capable of taking care of his or her self. But when I went to the very first event Misl Bay Area, Sacha Sauda in February, I saw the reality, which was painful to the eyes. Hi, this is Karan Singh. I’m currently living in Dublin, CA. I’m going to school full time for majoring in computer science and along with that, I’ve a part time job to support myself financially. My friends and I have been going to Fremont Gurdwara every Sunday night since last four years and helping there in seva at night. During the seva last year, I met Aman. Aman and I became pretty good friends in just a short time of period. Over time, Aman would tell my friends and me about Jakara Movement. In January when he first told about us their new Sacha Sauda event, I was very excited to team up and contribute in it. We ordered pizzas along with that we provided salad, drinks and bread. Then we went out to the location at Saint James Park in San Jose, CA. The moment we reached there, I was stun by seeing so many homeless people. Some of them are sitting on the grass bare feet; some of them are sleeping at the place, looking tired, starving for food. They have no idea when and where they will get food. When I looked in their eyes, they had some type of hope that they were looking for. As we started offering out the food, a big line of people was created just in seconds. As others and starting giving out the food, I’d hear out comments like “god bless you,” “thank you,” these comments made me feel like I’m blessed. We all were putting smiles on their faces and it was so pleasing to my heart after seeing that. I was very delighted and pleased after the event. I was feeling proud of myself after what I did the other day. I didn’t participate this event for money or because of my friends; I joined this event because I felt good from inside. It felt like I was doing something to help and change the society even though it was very little. Every change starts from little contributing from one person and I think Jakara Movement have started this change. I’d be so glad if this event continues for long time because it can provide help to the people out there who really need help. We did the same thing again on March 1, 2015 and it was incredible experience. Looking forward to contribute more in future to Sacha Sauda events. Karan Singh is an active sevadaar and member of Misl Bay Area.
My name is Gurmun Singh and I just wanted to reminisce about the college workshop that took place in Sacramento. As junior year is finishing up and AP tests, the SAT and ACT, and applying for colleges are closing in, it becomes a stressful time for us. With this college workshop, I was provided with information that I may have not received until I was in college and having this early exposure truly helps out. This workshop cleared out many of the myths of college and provided me with great knowledge of how college works. Being able to understand how to apply for financial aid and the benefits of applying to scholarships is valuable. Not only did this workshop provide us with information on how to apply for colleges, it gave us an early insight into the college life and also how to avoid being pressurized into things that you don’t want to take a part in. Hearing the college experiences from different backgrounds, such as one who went to a UC and stayed at the dorms and one who went to a CSU and stayed at home, gave different views on the college life and each perspective was helpful. One big thing that I took away from this workshop was that the college that I end up at is not the person that I am because college is a place for education. As I advance onto my senior year and start the dreadful process of college applications, I will keep my confidence high and remember the advice that was given at this workshop to do my best. Thank you to Jakara Movement for putting this workshop up in Misl Sacramento. Gurmun Singh in a junior at Sheldon High School in Elk Grove. He is a member of Misl Sacramento and has been a part of the Bhujangi Youth Academy.