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Sikh News Explaining Sikhism

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by Neutral Singh, Feb 8, 2005.

  1. Neutral Singh

    Neutral Singh
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    Jun 1, 2004
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    Explaining Sikhism
    By Bruce Buchanan, Staff Writer
    News & Record

    GREENSBORO -- Jasbir Singh doesn't want to push his religion on others; he
    simply wants people to understand and respect it.

    Greensboro Day School officials produced a curriculum to accompany a new
    educational film called "The Sikh Next Door." Singh, a Greensboro Day
    parent who worked on the project, asked the school to participate, and
    school officials said yes.

    "It was one of those deals we couldn't refuse," said Ralph Davison, the
    headmaster at Greensboro Day. "It happens to coincide very deeply with the
    school's values."

    Sikhs from across the country decided to make the film because some Sikh
    students were bullied and harassed at school after the Sept. 11, 2001,
    terrorist attacks because they were confused with Muslims.

    In April, a Sikh student at UNC-Chapel Hill was attacked near campus by
    three teens who called him "Osama bin Laden." The teens were convicted of
    ethnic intimidation and assault.

    In the film, Sikh students from across the country explain their religion
    and its customs in their own words.

    Aprille Black, Greensboro Day's middle and upper school librarian, said she
    and others from the school collaborated with the film's producers and Sikh
    educators to offer suggestions on making the film more useful to teachers.
    They also produced a curriculum for middle and high school students, which
    includes lesson plans and classroom exercises, to accompany the film.

    Several schools across the country, including Greensboro Day, are already
    using "The Sikh Next Door."

    The Sikh religion originated in the Punjab region of India and Pakistan.
    The religion emphasizes equality and, like Christians and Jews, Sikhs
    worship a single god. There are about 500,000 Sikhs in the United States
    and 22 million worldwide, making it the world's fifth-largest religion.

    Guilford County's Sikh population is small.

    The Rev. Mark Sills of FaithAction International House, a Greensboro
    organization that promotes religious tolerance, estimates that fewer than
    100 live in the county.

    Sikhs do not cut their hair for religions reasons, according to the film.
    Men cover their heads with turbans called pagri.

    Singh said Sikh men often are mistaken for Muslims because they wear
    turbans. However, they are different religions.

    Greensboro Day students screened the 15-minute film last week, and Singh's
    daughter, ninth-grader Gulnaar Kaur, spoke to her classmates about it. In
    the Sikh religion, men traditionally take the last name Singh, while women
    use the last name Kaur.

    "It's not something to be feared," Gulnaar said.

    She has attended Greensboro Day since first grade and fits right in with
    students from different backgrounds. She plays piano and is on the school's
    field hockey team, which her dad helps coach. Her brother, Anoop Singh,
    graduated from Greensboro Day in 2003 and attends Duke University.

    "The beauty of Greensboro Day School is being a part of the family," Singh

    Although the film focuses on Sikhs, Singh said its lessons of diversity and
    tolerance can be applied to all religions and cultures.

    "We all want to be respected for our differences," Singh said.

    Contact Bruce Buchanan at 373-7078 or

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  3. S|kH

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    Jul 11, 2004
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    My cousins went through the Greensboro Day School system too.

    The school administration LOVES Sikhs. I remember the principal at that time quoting from the Guru Granth Sahib when they had a "World religions week". Both cousins never recieved any problems, and went on to graduate from Duke University.

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