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Heritage Turban's Role in Canadian Life Examined in Sikh Heritage Museum Show

Discussion in 'History of Sikhism' started by spnadmin, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. spnadmin

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    Turban’s role in Canadian life examined in Sikh Heritage Museum show opening Sunday

    ARISSA CAHUTE

    http://www.vancouverdesi.com/news/n...h-heritage-museum-show-opening-sunday/462034/

    About the first image attached for this story: The image does not come from the Sikh Heritage Museum Exhibit site. I chose it because it demonstrates the point of the story very clearly. This is a photograph of the B.C. Sikh who was the first member of Canadian Air Force to wear a turban. His story by Stuart Hunter, Canwest News Service

    VANCOUVER - As the first member of the Canadian Air Force to wear a turban, 2nd Lieut. Jasbir Singh Tatla figures he's a good role model to issue a call to arms to his fellow Sikhs.

    And if you want to honour the Sikh tradition of being warriors, Tatla says, don't get involved in gangs and criminal activity. Instead, he says, sign up with the Canadian Forces, where you can make a real difference and fight - for your country.

    http://www.nowpublic.com/world/b-c-sikh-first-member-canadian-air-force-wear-turban-3#ixzz2INEyPEf6



    ...................... The Sikh Heritage Museum Story

    Satwinder Bains doesn’t want the Sikh history to disappear.

    “We don’t record our history,” the Director of Abbotsford’s Sikh Heritage Museum told Vancouver Desi. “So we need to engage more.”

    The museum’s third historical exhibit — premiering Sunday — takes a look at the “turban challenge” Sikhs faced as they settled into Canada and the evolution of it.

    “Since 1904 from when they arrived there’s been consistent public as well as government attention paid to the turban,” said Bains. “The turban also is part of our history in Canada and we want to make sure that our history is recorded correctly and the history includes us.

    “Sometimes students don’t read that history in their school system.”

    The exhibit takes a look at a pioneer family’s settlement in Canada, displays turbans from around the world and examines challenges the RCMP and army have faced with the turban.

    “Although we have a 100-year history, I think there are still questions in the Canadian mind about the turban and what it signifies,” said Bains. “There’s always this conversation going on around the city that I think we need to … maybe expose it a bit more and find a venue for people to have that discussion about it.”

    She hopes the Sikh Heritage Museum will be one of those venues and help explain the important religious symbolism of the turban, which is that all baptized Sikhs must wear it because it’s part of the five symbols to identify Sikhs given by the last prophet.

    “This is why the RCMP had to understand that we couldn’t just take off the turban at will … it’s something you wear in the morning and remove at night,” said Bains.

    And although the turban has “come a long way,” it’s still “static at some level.”

    “There’s still history that’s old and ancient that continues to carry over into the diaspora,” said Bains. “We haven’t lost that — it hasn’t become part of an ancient folklore history or religion.”

    But with that, it still suffers discrimination.

    “It’s very poignant for us that even today kids are discriminated against in the school system,” said Bains.“The worst thing is fear of the unknown … we’re trying to break that down.”

    The exhibit isn’t just a learning place for non-Sikhs, though — Bains wants the younger generation of Sikhs to understand its importance, because many young Sikh boys aren’t wearing the turban.

    “Is there going to be a time when the younger generation doesn’t have a connection to the turban?” asked Bains.

    “We want to acknowledge that the turban has a role in Canadian life. The turban has so much meaning to us and we want to make sure you understand that meaning.”

    The exhibit officially opens Sunday at 2p.m. and is expected to run until September. Sunday’s opening will include a keynote address from Baltej Singh Dhillon, the first turbaned Sikh member of the RCMP, a turban-tying demonstration, a documentary and food and refreshments.

    The Sikh Heritage Museum is located at 33094 South Fraser Way in Abbotsford, directly across from the Khalsa Diwan Society.

    See also an impressive web site for an impressive Sikh Heritage Museum at this link http://shmc.ca/#exhibits
     
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    #1 spnadmin, Jan 19, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013
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