Sikh

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Telling Your Story Can Change The World

A few years ago I decided to embark on a backpacking trip across Europe for two months. Towards the end of my travels, I found myself at the Sisteen Chapel in Rome, Italy. As I was standing there, enchanted by this insanely crazy masterpiece, I felt a soft whisper perk the tiny hairs on the back of my neck.
Nisian Hughes via Getty Images

I Don't Want to Be the Only Minority at the Table. I Want to Add More Chairs

I remember so distinctly staring around at the room of Toronto Star editors and the people around me, including my own fellow interns, and I remember the exact moment of realizing that everyone in that room, except me, was white. I often believe its all too easy when you exist as a member of the "other," like a minority community like ours, for someone to cling to the idea of being the "first one," the "only one" and achieve what they can in the world for themselves and then go home with the pride of that recognition and nothing else. What if instead of believing there are limited seats to the table, we all chose to add more chairs?
Alamy

How Canada Should Fight Terrorism

This week, Canadians observed the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism. For Sikh Canadians and Jewish Canadians alike, the Day of Remembrance has particular resonance. That our two communities have shared experience in facing terrorism was pointedly on display during the 2008 Mumbai attack.
Brendan Nahmias

Oak Creek: We Should All Be Less Ignorant About Sikhs in Canada

About a year ago today tragedy befell the Sikh community in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. It claimed six lives and left others with emotional and physical scars. As I watched coverage on CNN, they eventually dragged out an "expert" to explain to those watching what a Sikh is. The explanation left much to be desired. I chose to educate myself as best I could, so I could better understand not just Sikhism, but my Sikh friends, about whose religion I knew relatively little. There has been a lot of talk over the years about how multicultural Canada is. It's often expounded as one of our virtues, but what we haven't always addressed is how little we know about each another.
VPL

Wrestling With The Komagata Maru

The Komagata Maru was introduced to me sandwiched between narratives of the Chinese Head Tax and Japanese Internment. It had no scope to breathe. No room for discussion and further explanation. And it was the only time I remember seeing people that looked like me in my school textbooks. But the Komagata Maru is more elusive. It took me years to unlearn the biases I had built up around the story, hear the voices of the pioneers and understand the history on its own terms.