SIKH Heritage Month BC is celebrating its fifth anniversary with a series of events and awards aimed at recognizing and celebrating the unique contributions of Sikh Canadians.
The theme for Sikh Heritage Month 2022 is “Sat Sri Akaal”. Though this phrase is commonly recognized as a greeting used amongst members of the Sikh and Punjabi community, few stop to think about the origin of the phrase and the true meaning behind it.
This year, SHBC will explore the concept of “Sat Sri Akaal” through a series of in-person and virtual events aimed at encouraging intercultural dialogue and spreading awareness about the contributions Sikh Canadians have made to the province of British Columbia.
* Sikh Heritage Month 2022 Gala on April 2 at 2 p.m. at Surrey City Hall. Guests will enjoy live musical performances and food, official recognition of SHBC’s scholarship recipients, celebrate and recognize three ‘Community Changemakers’.
* SHBC’s “True Home” interactive exhibit from April 8-10 at Hubcast Studios, 8240 188 Street, Surrey. Inspired by the theme for 2022, True Home is an immersive interactive installation which invites guests to explore a “typical” Sikh-Punjabi home. True Home allows guests to explore the importance of a physical place and its spiritual role. The experience is semi-guided, with a series of rooms and prompts curated and executed by local artists. A virtual version of True Home will be offered to increase accessibility and ensure that all guests feel safe. For more information visit: ਸੱਚਾ ਘਰ – True Home – an immersive installation — Sikh Heritage BC.
* Gurdwara tour and Shastar exhibit on April 30 at 3:30 p.m. at Gurdwara Sahib Sukh Sagar in New Westminster. This event will give all members of the community an opportunity to tour a local gurdwara and learn more about the significance that such a place has for members of the Sikh faith. SHBC representatives will guide visitors through the experience and answer any questions that might arise. All guests are welcome to take part in langar, a free communal meal, during their visit. The Shastar exhibit is an opportunity for guests to learn about and see first-hand, historic Sikh artifacts which were often used in battle but have also served a purpose which far surpasses that role. Caretakers of these Shastars will be available to explain their significance and answer questions.
In addition to the above-noted events, SHBC will also be hosting a number of partnered events throughout the month. Further details can be found at www.sikhheritagebc.ca.To honour Sikh Heritage Month BC’s fifth anniversary, SHBC has launched five $1,000 scholarships. These scholarships are available to anyone attending a post-secondary institution in September 2022, regardless of their ethnicity, religion or status. They include the Bhai Mardana Ji Arts Scholarship, the Bibi Harnam Kaur Ji Leadership Scholarship, the Mata Bhaag Kaur Ji Athletics Scholarship, the Mata Khivi Ji Community Service Scholarship, and the Sant Teja Singh Ji Academic Achievement Scholarship.
“In keeping with our mandate, these scholarships are an expansion of our education project,” says Jasleen Kaur, the Director of Education at SHBC. “Although applications have now closed, we will announce the scholarship recipients at the onset of Sikh Heritage Month. We hope funding opportunities like these will assist young British Columbians in pursuing their dreams and making an impact in their communities.” For more information visit www.sikhheritagebc.ca/education.
SHBC has also added a series of new lesson plans to supplement those which were unveiled in 2021. These lesson plans aim to incorporate Sikh voices and stories into BC classrooms and are created by teachers for teachers. For more information, visit www.sikhheritagebc.ca/education.