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World OOPs! Suzannah Expelled for Nose-Piercing, but Amardeep Isn't Her Father

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by spnadmin, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    You might have read the story of the English Literature professor at Lehigh College, a Sikh born in the US, whose daughter, Suzannah Pabla, was expelled from a school in Utah for wearing a nose-ring. She wanted to be closer to her culture.

    The story starts out like this


    To 12-year-old Suzannah Pabla, piercing her nose was a way to connect with her roots in India. To Suzannah's school, it was a dress-code violation worthy of a suspension.

    To other Indians, the incident was emblematic of how it can still be difficult for the American melting pot to absorb certain aspects of their cultural and religious traditions.

    Suzannah was briefly suspended last month from her public school in Bountiful, Utah, for violating a body-piercing ban. School officials — who noted that nose piercing is an Indian cultural choice, not a religious requirement — compromised and said she could wear a clear, unobtrusive stud in her nose, and Suzannah returned to her seventh-grade class.

    "I wanted to feel more closer to my family in India because I really love my family," said Suzannah, who was born in Bountiful. Her father was born in India as a member of the Sikh religion.

    "I just thought it would be OK to let her embrace her heritage and her culture," said Suzannah's mother, Shirley Pabla, a Mormon born in nearby Salt Lake City. "I didn't know it would be such a big deal."

    It shouldn't have been, said Suzannah's father, Amardeep Singh, a Sikh who was raised in the United States and works as an English professor at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa.

    Wrong guy! Amardeep Singh is not Suzanna's father. He just happened to be interviewed by the AP reporter about the story. Here is Amardeep Singh telling us what happened in his blog. Nose-Piercing, Utah, and a Big Oops (Not Mine) [Updated]

    On Thursday, I spoke to an AP reporter about a story in Utah last week, expressing some views about a girl in middle school in Utah who got suspended from her school for violating dress code, after getting her nose pierced. She and her family said she did it to get in touch with her Indian cultural identity -- she had the piercing done on Diwali just a couple of weeks ago. The school, however, had a strict "ear pierces only" policy, and was only willing to allow her to have a "transparent" stud in her nose, not the more obviously Indian nose ring she wore to school initially.

    Here is the AP story that resulted. It's been printed in a fair number of newspapers around the country. The reporter quotes Abhi (from Sepia Mutiny), Sandhya (also from Sepia Mutiny), and myself. But something goes wrong here:

    "I wanted to feel more closer to my family in India because I really love my family," said Suzannah, who was born in Bountiful. Her father was born in India as a member of the Sikh religion.

    "I just thought it would be OK to let her embrace her heritage and her culture," said Suzannah's mother, Shirley Pabla, a Mormon born in nearby Salt Lake City. "I didn't know it would be such a big deal."

    It shouldn't have been, said Suzannah's father, Amardeep Singh, a Sikh who was raised in the United States and works as an English professor at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. "It's true that the nose ring is mainly a cultural thing for most Indians," Singh said. "Even if it is just culture, culture matters. And her right to express or explore it seems to me at least as important as her right to express her religious identity." (link)


    Um, wait a minute. Did I read that right? Take a look at it again: "...said Suzannah's father, Amardeep Singh, a Sikh who was raised in the United States..."

    [UPDATED: The error has been corrected in the online version of this article.]

    This is a really bizarre and unfortunate error. Just to be clear, I have one kid, and he's three years old. I am annoyed on my own behalf, but I also feel bad for the Pablas. (Suzannah has a dad, who is a practicing Sikh. It just so happens that most of the coverage of this story in the local Utah newspapers doesn't mention his name: see the Salt Lake Tribune, for example)

    When I spoke to the reporter who authored this story, he was 100% clear that I was in no way related to the Pablas. Somewhere between that conversation and the story that has now run in 200+ newspapers around the country, that important fact fell out. I don't know who's responsible for the error -- it appears it's an editor who might have come up with this.

    In the end, it's not really that big a deal; the only people who will really think anything is amiss are people who know the Pablas and people who know me. Still, maybe the moral here is to JUST SAY NO when reporters call you for a quote for a story that doesn't really involve you directly.

    If there is a bright side of this, it's that I got to be photographed by a professional photographer:


    [​IMG]
    In this Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009, photo, Professor Amardeep Singh sits in his office at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. (AP Photo Carolyn Kaster)


    Source at this link:
    Amardeep Singh
     
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  3. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    So, let me try to get it right this time. Suzannah Pabla has a father who is a practicing Sikh whose name is also Amardeep Singh, however Suzannah uses Pabla has her last name which belongs to her Mormon born mum,Shirley Pabla?

    Does the mother practice Mormonism?

    I am still confused.......
     
  4. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Tej ji

    No! Suzannah's father is another person entirely. Amardeep Singh was the "practicing Sikh" in the story. However his only role was to be interviewed about the story because he has an Internet presence. The AP reporter interviewed him; a photographer took pictures. The interview and pics were wired to Utah. Somehow someone mixed everything up and wrote a story in which Amardeep Singh became the father. He doesn't even know Suzannah or her family. But hundreds of news articles are now reporting him as the father.

    This is actually not funny! And he doesn't even live in Utah. He lives in the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, and teaches at Lehigh University. Amardeep in PA and Suzannah in Utah, they are approximately is 3096 kilometers or 1924 miles or 1672 nautical miles away from one another. :rolleyes:

    When I read the actual news article on another site, I remember asking myself, What is going on? How is he teaching at Lehigh University, which is not that far away from where I am, and his daughter is living in Utah? :unsure::unsure: Very strange! And Sikhs aren't supposed to be piercing their bodies anyway. When I looked at the picture -- there he was keshdhari and wearing a turban. Surely he would know - no nose piercings! The entire thing is bizarre. The connection is bizarre. Nose-piercing, Suzannah, **Punjab, Sikhs, Amardeep Singh -- a wild series of associations. Someone did not do his homework and made a mish-mash of it.

    One good thing -- I have read his blog and it is terrific.

    How did you think of including Mormons in this story? :)
     
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  5. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Narayanjot ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    So, who is Suzannah's dad after all? Is he a Sikh or not? And about her Mum, as she is a Mormon born person and still lives in the Mormon country, so I was just curious about her religious practices. I am sure, you chan shed some light on all my queries.

    Regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
  6. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Is the above Amardeep same guy who is one of the author famous blog
    Sepia Mutiny
     
  7. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Yes he is one of the principal writers on Sepia Mutiny :happy:
     
  8. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Tejwant ji

    Here is the sum total of what I can find in the news so far in response to your question. The identity of her real father has not been reported. I don't know anything about the Mormon connection. Suzannah has said that nose-piercing helps her connect with her Indian heritage.


    Yes -- Utah is the spiritual center of the Church of Latter Day Saints aka the Mormon Faith. And Mormons do not condone tattoos and body-piercing for the same reasons that Sikhs do not condone tattoos and body-piercing. I checked this last point at the link:

    Tatoos and Body Piercing
     
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