Sikhs For Change: Language - A Barrier For New Sikhs?

Gyani Jarnail Singh

Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
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Re: Language - A barrier for New Sikhs

Waheguru Ji ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji KI fateh.

There is a FREE Three CD SET called the SHABAD GURU..and it is Produced by the Sikh naujawan Sabha Malaysia.

One CD is MP# files of entire Guru Granth Ji sahib Paath recitation.
One CD is called Shabad Guru Software...This is a specially developed Search Engine for Instant location of any TUK/Shabad in Guur Granth Ji Sahib. The Projection Screen shows Original Gurbani as in Guru Granth Ji, a TRANSLATION in Contemporary ENGLISH..and Romanised Translitertaion.

The Most famous Banis..nitnem, Ardass, Andnd sahib Sukhmani Sahib japji sahib , barah mah, Nauvenh Mahalle de sloks etc are one click available.

Thsi software is installed on the Desktop of any Windows Computer...and is very suitable for SCREENING in Gurdawra halls for the sangat. It takes only a moment to locate the Shabad the Rragis are singing, or the Hukmanama the Granthi Ji is taking...and the snagat can take part.
 

Lee

SPNer
Re: Language - A barrier for New Sikhs

Heh Khalsa Starr, Count me in, I converted about 4-5 years ago, and yet every Gurdwara I go to suffers from the same problems. At the very least there should be Gurbani/Punjabi lessons. Cheers, lee.
 
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Re: Language - A barrier for New Sikhs

Lee said:
Heh Khalsa Starr, Count me in, I converted about 4-5 years ago, and yet every Gurdwara I go to suffers from the same problems. At the very least there should be Gurbani/Punjabi lessons. Cheers, lee.

Is it just me? It seems as if other religions are way ahead of us when it comes to these issue.:hmm: What is your idea on this thought?
 

Lee

SPNer
Re: Language - A barrier for New Sikhs

Khalsa_starr said:
Is it just me? It seems as if other religions are way ahead of us when it comes to these issue.:hmm: What is your idea on this thought?

My thoughts are probably not going to be very popular I'm afraid. It may be differant where you are but it has been my experiance here in London, UK, that there is an awful lot of casteism in Gurdawaras here. Even those Gurdwara's that are not run on a caste bias, are run and managed by self important people who pay lip service to Sikhi rather than being run by proper Gursikhs.

Now it may be that a lot of Sikhs are not as up on their Sikhi as they think, heh I know that Sikhi as a whole is not as strong as we like to think.

Every time I hear bad mouthing by Sikhs to other Sikhs about cut hair, or eating meat etc... I think what is more important, that you point out bad Sikhi, or that you concentrate on your own Sikhi?

Myself I have the long hair, and the beard, yet I know I'm still a bad Sikh, but it is with Guru's help, and the Sadh Sangat's help, and by Gods will that I shall or shall not make it.

It seems to me that we Sikhs should stop tyelling each other what bad Sikhs we are, and start to help each other be better Sikhs.

As I say, please let me know if I have this wrong, but I was taught that every Sikh should strive to be Khalsa, and that all Khalsa have to keep the 5 K's? So if I'm not Khalsa then there is no shame in not keeping the 5 K's.

Okay yes I do know that by keeping the outward apperance it may be easy to keep the inward, but ask your sleves this. How many non Khalsa Sikhs do you know, that keep the 5 k's yet are big headed about it all?

Me I know loads.

Heh anyway sorry for the waffle, but you did ask. In short my thoughts are Guru Ji started Sikhi in part to move humanity away from meaningless dogma and ritual, now I see that almost every where I look at Gurdwara, and in the Sikhs I meet. Lets stop this, and get back to basics.

Cheers,

lee.
 
Re: Language - A barrier for New Sikhs

Now it may be that a lot of Sikhs are not as up on their Sikhi as they think, heh I know that Sikhi as a whole is not as strong as we like to think.
Dear Lee,

I liked reading your post, which has addressed grave concerns. Deep thinking reveals that sikhism has reduced to just another religion, instead of being 'Akaal Purakh ki Fauj'

The unfortunate divisions, you mentioned are a big blot. With Sikhs realizing actual values of Sikhi, things are bound to change.

Keep coming please. Your suggestions might make a headway for another person, who is also thinking in the same way.

Regards.
 
Re: Language - A barrier for New Sikhs

Lee said:
...that there is an awful lot of casteism in Gurdawaras here. Even those Gurdwara's that are not run on a caste bias, are run and managed by self important people who pay lip service to Sikhi rather than being run by proper Gursikhs.

Casteism in gurdwara's? That's a first time hearing that! OMG What are the signs that this is happeing? I have never heard of this before? Sounds like some hindu stuff is getting into sikh in some places.

Lee said:
Every time I hear bad mouthing by Sikhs to other Sikhs about cut hair, or eating meat etc... I think what is more important, that you point out bad Sikhi, or that you concentrate on your own Sikhi?...
...It seems to me that we Sikhs should stop tyelling each other what bad Sikhs we are, and start to help each other be better Sikhs...

Yes your concerns are ever true, we should stop trying to look at always the bad in ourselves. At the same time, we also have to zero in on areas that need attention and try to solve the problem instead of fixing something that is not broken. We must also look at ourselves and make sure we are "good" before trying to tell others what could be suggested.

Lee said:
Heh anyway sorry for the waffle, but you did ask. In short my thoughts are Guru Ji started Sikhi in part to move humanity away from meaningless dogma and ritual, now I see that almost every where I look at Gurdwara, and in the Sikhs I meet. Lets stop this, and get back to basics.

First step in solving a problem is to see what areas need attention and then act. Many organizations today act before looking at the consequences and later find out what really happens, by then the problem has only got worse.

Part of the "Sikhs for Change" group will deal with real life solutionas and later on, we can work out how to put some of these ideas into reality.

-Khalsa Starr
 
Re: Language - A barrier for New Sikhs

Casteism in Gurudwara means - Gurudwaras labelled as per various sects... a common example being Ramgarhia Gurudwara. I have observed scenarios where ppl who make their own gurudwaras just for hunger of management power, or sometimes stand differs on some particular issue. I feel so sad when I hear in local Punjabi community when they say - this gurudwara is for Taxi drivers, other for educated people, third one for jatts.. etc etc... Sad affair of casteism creeped in Sikhi. On top of that, people supporting it with pride!

Guru Sahib pulled us out of these divisions of casteism, racism... and majority of us seem to have dived into same deep well again! Total contradiction of preaching and practicing.
 
Re: Language - A barrier for New Sikhs

Arvind said:
Guru Sahib pulled us out of these divisions of casteism, racism... and majority of us seem to have dived into same deep well again! Total contradiction of preaching and practicing.

I wonder how they would react if someone pointed out to them that Guru Nanak doesnt approve of any type of caste system?

Some ppl just won't listen :}:)
 
Re: Language - A barrier for New Sikhs

Anyone who doesnt want to listen is their problem. Anyone who is willing to listen, but doesnt have correct information, is the best candidate to spread the work with. SO, without any excitement, hatred or anger, just keep on doing your work... interested people will keep on joining you and help spread out the msg.
 

Lee

SPNer
Re: Language - A barrier for New Sikhs

Arvind said:
Anyone who doesnt want to listen is their problem. Anyone who is willing to listen, but doesnt have correct information, is the best candidate to spread the work with. SO, without any excitement, hatred or anger, just keep on doing your work... interested people will keep on joining you and help spread out the msg.

Arvind Ji,

I feel you have the truth of it there, I have been reading ovber the past couple of days, heh brushing up on my Sikhi so to speak. What I have come to realise is that Sikhi is a hard, hard way. It is a disciplined life that we must lead. There are many Sikhs, but not many Gursikhs, so really keep pluging away at it, be the best Sikh you can be, and others of the same ilk, will find you then you'll find that the company of the holy comes.

Cheers,

Lee.
 
Re: Language - A barrier for New Sikhs

Dear Lee,

Thanks for your kind words.

I strongly believe that:
1. When one becomes an able student, Guru Himself comes forward to find that disciple and teach more.
2. Be more concerned about how I myself can become a Sikh. With Guru's Kirpa, someday I too will get company of blessed souls. Right now, SPN forum is the saadh sangat, with whom I share my feelings with, and learn from.

Bhull Chukk Maaf.
 
Re: Language - A barrier for New Sikhs

Arvind said:
Anyone who doesnt want to listen is their problem. Anyone who is willing to listen, but doesnt have correct information, is the best candidate to spread the work with. SO, without any excitement, hatred or anger, just keep on doing your work... interested people will keep on joining you and help spread out the msg.

So true, you cant change everyone! Only ppl who are interested will join a cause.

How to spread the msg...
 
Re: Language - A barrier for New Sikhs

Khalsa_starr said:
How to spread the msg...
Representation by ourselves through own thoughts and importantly actions. By not waiting for someone to do something for you.
 

Gyani Jarnail Singh

Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
Mentor
Writer
SPNer
Re: Language - A barrier for New Sikhs

Arvind said:
Representation by ourselves through own thoughts and importantly actions. By not waiting for someone to do something for you.

Agree completley arvind Ji.

Leadership by EXAMPLE..is the way to go.

jarnail Singh Gyani
 

Amarpal

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Re: Language - A barrier for New Sikhs

Dear Khalsa Ji,

When ever we enter a new domain we experience such barriers. Keep in mind that when we were born we couldnot communicate at all. We all are great learners, each one of us had over come this barrier. Keep making efforts

With love and respect for all

Amarpal Singh
 

beauty

SPNer
Re: SFC: Language - A barrier for New Sikhs?

Hi,
My native language is English and I also would like to understand Punjabi. Seems a beautiful language - there's an adequate (so it seems to me) English translation of Sri Guru Granth @
http://www.sikhs.org/english/rahiras#rahiras
Page 1
[Rahiras] [Sohila]
It's 1420 pages long. On a personally distressing note, I see some similarities to the Koran and to the Bible. Still Sikh perspective, particularly Guru Nanak, is very interesting to me. Seems many religions become obstacles to personal communication with Universal/Cosmic Spirit/Consciousness. I don't want a religion based on going to service regularly, which seems like a ritual in and of itself! Christians do this all the time at their Sunday services - it's all social and mental and they seldom give but lip service to actualizing their potential to become like their saviour Jesus. No doubt, I'll get in trouble for speaking plainly but Hypocrites comprise the #1 religion on this planet. Hypocrites are in every religious congregation. Personally, I want enlightenment and I am prepared to work for it and/or realize it. That's why I am attracted to Sikh "religion". On a practical note, regarding language barriers: perhaps some of the Punjabi speakers could help teach others the Punjabi language. I know that Chinese immigrants often establish Chinese language/culture schools for their children so they will keep their culture. Do Sikhs really care whether their gurudwaras grow to include native English speakers, Spanish speakers, etc.? Personally, I was thinking of posting a notice expressing an interest in obtaining a tutor either on an individual basis or in a group setting at the gurudwara I sometimes visit. Today, I found someone at work who speaks Punjabi so I may be able to practice with her. A tutor or teacher is much better though. - Sat Naam
 
Re: SFC: Language - A barrier for New Sikhs?

Beauty;

Welcome to the forum and welcome to the plight of English speaking Bhagatees of the Guru's. (devoted ones).

If you do not get help from people, then consider getting the word-by-word translation of JapJi available from www.a-healingways.com for $25 and begin with that, as I did. You might be able to get a copy of it from someone at your Gurdwara. Ours had copies available to borrow and I worked from that.


I have moved beyond that after some months and at some other Sikh forum somewhere, (probably www.sikhnet.com forum), found a recommendation for some books which I am now using to continue teaching myself the language.

"The Sacred Language of the Sikh Gurus" by Christopher Shackle (reprinted 1999 Heritage Publishers)
and
"Glossary of Guru Naanak" by Shackle (same author)


These are both really fine books. I googled them and got used copies in excellent condition at not much cost - maybe $30 for the pair? - from New Delhi, India.

I found after a while with the JapJi that I was getting hobbled by the different verb tenses and various grammatical cases and realized that understanding a little bit of grammar would go a long way. That has indeed proven to be the case! Having worked through eight chapters of the Gurmukhi grammar I now find that nearly every English translation you find for any Gurbani will have errors in it; especially errors due to not recognizing whether a pronoun is the subject of a sentence or the object of the verb. The difference can be as big as "They look but do not see" compared to "The (merciful)Glance (of God) does not come to them."
(From JapJi 30th Pauri: "...Onaa nadar na aavai,...")

Out of five translations of that line, only one translates correctly "Onaa" (they or them in the sense of TO them), which is the so-called "oblique" case, meaning it is the object of the verb rather than the subject of the sentence.

I had to buy a little English grammar book to help me recognize some of the grammatical terms, "gerund" "transitive case" and such things as that, but really Shackle does a nice job with examples so that you get the idea without having to know the formal grammatical names of parts of speech.


The other thing I really like about these two books is that I am learning a lot more vocabulary than I was by studying JapJi alone. I will say that JapJi did teach me a lot of vocabulary for quite a while, until the variety of forms of verbs and nouns and adjectives began to bewilder me. The first book I listed has vocabulary in each chapter and then gives about 20 lines to translate using almost exclusively the words and grammar concepts introduced in that chapter.

The biggest problem I am having is that there are no answers given to the translation exercises. When you really "get" one, you pretty much know you are right, but I find myself struggling with about 1/3 of them in each chapter. Correct translations would be instructive. I am thinking of finding someone that can provide me with that much.

Sorry if I am overwhelming you with all this. I realize you might not be the least bit ready to hear all this yet. It is just that I have done a lot of this work since posting here last and had a lot I have been wanting to share in this "Language barrier" thread and you kin of got me started about it.

I would love to hear about how Sikhism came to be on your path. That should probably be posted in the "new people introduction" section though. I find people's stories very inspirational.

Wahe Guru!
Nam Hari Kaur, Eugene, Oregon
 
Re: SFC: Language - A barrier for New Sikhs?

NamHari Kaur ji,

I believe, the information you provided is going to be very useful for beginners.

Thanks for sharing.

Regards, Arvind.
 

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