How BC Sikhs Found Their Voice Again and the Youth Realized Theirs

Thursday, April 16, 2015.  The center of Sikh-world turned towards Ross Street Gurdwara.  The masands and committee members of the Gurdwara showed they were morally bankrupt and willing to lock out the sangat to allow in a tyrant; Modi, himself, a man with little moral scruples showed that the corrupt system he represents will sell out farmers and the poor for the corrupt corporatists and their multinationalist friends, a key principle for all fascists; the Canadian government, long heralding its concerns for human rights, showed that these are largely hollow now and can be sold for promises of trade deals; however, a coalition of 20+ “Communities United against Narendra Modi” showed that they would not be silenced in the face of injustice.  Beneath all of these happenings, there were some stirrings that may have historic ramifications.  April 16, 2015 showed that the Sikhs of British Columbia have a path open to them for finding their political voice again and the day may mark a turning point for the Sikh youth of BC just realized the power of theirs.  They had a choice to make - #MewaOrBela - and those that stood, shouted, and were even arrested outside of Ross Street Gurdwara – indeed showed that they are the descendants of Mewa Singh. Read more

Live from Ross Street Gurdwara

Today we stand with the Communities United Against Modi live from Ross Street Gurdwara.  We will be live-sharing pictures and videos as we receive them.  We stand with all the Mewa Singhs of British Columbia - Vancouver, Richmond, Abbotsford, Surrey, and all the rest - united against the Indian State and its fascism, united with all communities.  While the massands of Ross Street Gurdwara are providing the red carpet, with the Sangat we will be providing the people's voice.  Keep visiting and sharing with your friends.  If you have any images from the event - feel free to send to info@jakara.org Read more

The Descendants of Mewa Singh or Bela Singh? A Generational Decision for British Columbia’s Sikh Community

Generation-defining events (approximately every 25 years) for the Sikhs have been centered in Punjab: in the 1940s, it was the partition; in the 1960s, it was the birth of the Punjabi Suba; in the 1980s and 1990s, it was the Sikh independence movement.  For the generation of the 2010s, we are at the precipice.  While Punjab will always be the center, still the diaspora has always played a prominent role.  This week ground zero is British Columbia! Nowhere in the diaspora has been more critical than in British Columbia, Canada.  From the birth of the Ghadar movement to bringing voice to the Khalistani movement, BC has been at the center of Sikh activism.  However, while the lower mainland has been home to some of the most inspiring Sikhs whom we remember with pride, it has also been the grounds for some of the worst moments for the community as well.   Read more

5 Things You Can Do On the International Day Against Victim-Blaming

For those that may not have known, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM).  We kicked off our efforts in sharing an Open Letter to the Sikh Community.  We hope you all had a chance to read it.  Today on April 3, we are participating in "International Day Against Victim Blaming."   Read more

Jakara and Sikh Environmental Day

  Jakara Sevadars rallied at the Ravidas Temple in Selma, California to start a new recycling initiative in the Fresno valley in an attempt to kick of Sikh Environment Day. The Jakara Movement along with The Sikh Council of Fresno united to distribute recycling bins to all the local Gurdwaras. The Jakara Movement sevadar Harnoor Singh led the march for recycling along with Bhinda Singh. "Well I was a part of the Green Gurdwara camp in the past, and we told kids how they could be more environmentally conscious in our Gurdwaras, well here is a real opportunity to get the work started". Harnoor Singh has been a part of Misl Fresno for 3 years now and takes part in many Jakara events such as, Bhujangi, Jakara Juniors, and our Meal Sharing Programs.  "We don't get a chance to do stuff like this back where I'm from, This is a great opportunity to be an active part of my local Sangat". Bhinda Singh, a Selma native, and one of our newer members all the way from Scotland was overcome with excitement as he carried two recycling bins over his shoulders and made his way over to his first Gurdwara pit stop.  If your looking for a way to get more involved in your local community please click here and get engaged with your local Sangat today!!!      

Powerful Performances

“Kaur Voices” took place on Feb 21 at the UC Berkeley campus. For some performers, the night was a quantum leap - the start of a burgeoning relationship with artistry, the end to their silence. For others, the stage was a regularity - another story in a book, another opportunity to grasp. But whether the performers were new or experienced, Singhs or Kaurs, poets/poetesses or artists, the third annual “Kaur Voices” (organized by UC Berkeley’s SSA) culminated into, what can safely be said as, a night of ten powerful performances about topics that desperately needed to be discussed amongst the Punjabi, Sikh diaspora. The underlying theme of the event, “The Talk We Never Had,” was reflected in thought-provoking pieces about feminism, self-love, identity, female infanticide, Sikhi, and other personal stories that resonated with an audience of about 75 people. “Kaur Voices” was not limited to any age, gender, or ethnicity. Students from high school and college were welcomed to join as performers or audience members. These conversation-starting events are deeply important because they provide a platform for critical thinking, healthy discourse, and positive development. Navya Kaur is a high school junior, a rising journalist, and the first high school performer at Kaur Voices!  

Organized Process

On February 26th 2015, I volunteered with the Sacramento Food Bank with CLF club members and Misl Sacramento. I personally helped placing two bundles of broccoli in a bag to be distributed to the residents of North Highlands. I observed, it was very organized which makes it easier to pass out vegetables/fruits to people. After getting done with packing broccoli, I helped filling front tables with vegetables/fruits as labeled. Also, I helped people get boxes, who were having  hard time caring their food as there were no grocery carts or baskets as there are in a grocery store. It was a very busy but fun experience. I learned how we can make some changes to do our Sacha Sauda Seva in a more organized way.  Karanpreet is a junior at NP3 High and an active member of Misl Sacramento.

Learn and Act

My experience doing the Misl Bay Area Sacha Sauda was really nice as it allowed me to help people who need it. Providing the people who need food to eat with a meal was really meaningful. Everyone needs food to survive so I think this event is a really nice thing to do. Young teens like me can learn from this and keep doing this in the future because whatever you give comes back to you at some point. Akashpreet is a member of Misl Bay Area and a student at James Logan High School in Union City. 

Misl Minnesota: Women's Day Discussion

This past Sunday Misl Minnesota celebrated International Women’s Day by hosting an event after langar called: Women Empowerment Day. During this event we celebrated the lives of Sikh Women in history who have really been a guiding force and inspiration throughout history. From Bibi Nanaki who encouraged young Nanak to pursue his lifelong mission to the 52 women missionaries who helped Guru Amar Das Ji spread Sikhi throughout the country. We also played the Sikhnet animated film called: KAUR which really inspired women from all ages to see the reality that we grow up with.  We ended with a discussion of the film and also statistics of the harsh reality that shows us that the values of equality taught by our Guru’s have been drifting away. This was our first event where we posed this new dialogue to our sangat and so far have gotten positive feedback. We hope to have similar events like this to start changing the narrative of women in our community and broader community. 

Misl Sacramento | Building Friendships

Before this event I couldn’t remember when was the last time I explored the exquisite beauty of the outdoors. Throughout the couple of hours we spent in the outdoors we did icebreakers, games and group activities. During the time, we were paired to play games and do group activities with people we didn’t know and by the end of the activities we all knew each other well. I love meeting new people, I love making new friends and I think you can never have too many friends. During this time, I created more friendships and it was a blessing to meet these incredible individual people that were apart of Misl Sacramento. I enjoyed meeting some of the kindest, funniest and coolest people. While we were at Peak Adventures, we were challenged to go through rope courses and rock climbing, some of us were great at doing it, while others with the support of their friends broke through the fears and faced their fear of heights. This team building event was a perfect balance of visual and hands on problem solving and creating a better relationship within Misl Sacramento. I loved this event because we as a Misl Sacramento become more of a family and it was great meeting new people and essentially creating more friendships. Karen Kaur is a senior in high school at Natomas Pathways Prep. She is an active member of Misl Sacramento and the Sikh Honors and Service Society


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