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

May 16, 2005
341
11
34
Vernon, BC Canada
Re: SFC: Language - A barrier for New Sikhs?

So many responses, I like most of them. I think it’s time to create a solutions thread, seeing how we know what is possible. I will create in the next few days. :)

-Bindy Bains
(Formerly Khalsa Starr)
 
Oct 19, 2006
2
0
Re: SFC: Language - A barrier for New Sikhs?

wjkk wjkf
im desperate i need the sikhitothemax software
can anyone pleaseeeee tell me where to get it???
wjkk wjkf
 

Maskeen

SPNer
Oct 25, 2006
10
4
Re: SFC: Language - A barrier for New Sikhs?

Me and friends are working on a site for new comers to sikhi/non sikhs curious about our faith. The inspiration was numerous posts on beliefnet.com willing to learn more about sikhi but not finding a place to start.

We also have some recorded English katahas - and could use more - what do you guys think.
 
Aug 18, 2006
20
2
Oakland, CA
Re: SFC: Language - A barrier for New Sikhs?

English-language katha - hurray! If you're able to put up transcriptions as well, that would be wonderful. When text versions of katha or other articles are available, I like being able to print out a copy and tuck it inside my journal to take it with me. Then if I have 10 minutes free, I can spend it reading katha and considering gurbani, rather than doing yet another sudoku puzzle. :)
 

HannahBanana

SPNer
Sep 12, 2006
71
0
28
South Florida
Re: Youth and Language barrier?

This is youth side of the possible language barrier.



My friend and I had a very deep and informative disucssion on the phone a few day ago, in that conversation we discussed various issues, but mostly on the language topic.

I found most disturbing was this:

In our gurdwara, all of the services are in punjabi, and most of the families do sit in the main hall. As i looked around though, it appeared that most of our younger audience looked more interested in the crumbs on the floor than the speaker or singers. It then came to me that some of us didn't know what what going on, i wasn't alone!

I heard the sound of kids in the hallway, they were playing hide-and-seek. I looked outside, a group of sikh teens were playing basketball. Am i the only one that sees a problem here? I have a good idea that most of these ppl don't spend more time in the main hall cause they don't know what is going on. It turns out, the language issue pops up again.

I was shocked to learn that many of the younger generations and some of the even the older ppl don't understand punjabi! Not to mention, probably more can't even read gurmakhi.

Now, isnt our youth supposed to understanding and carrying on the word of sikhism? and isnt the future of our religion in our youth?
Well how will that be when most of our youth don't even understand or can't read what's is being tought?

This might be a small factor in why some of our youth find it a little dry or boreing at the temple becasue they don't understand what's going on or what is being said. I even at times found myself being a little tired of listening to something i didn't understand.

Times are changing, and more ppl will want to be sikhs - ppl who don't neccesarily understand punjabi. We need to start bringing in a few changes if we want to change with the times. I don't honestly like it, however it is for the greater good and it will make going to temple a little bit more enjoyable for some.

This makes me wonder how many more youth all over the world don't understand what is going on.

Some thoughts and observations to ponder on.

Have any ideas or change? Have any gurdwara expriences that areflect this issue? please tell us what you feel on this topic.

-Khalsa Starr

BTW, i'm seeting up a internet group for ppl interested more on this issue.
Count me in! If you don't mind. I'll probably be the youngest person in your group :)

This is something I am also afraid of. I want to visit a Gurdwara at some point (though I don't know if there is one in Florida) and I keep being told I have to learn Punjabi. I wouldn't mind learning it, but until then I want to be able to understand what is being said.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

ANN KAUR

SPNer
Mar 12, 2007
3
0
Re: Language Barrier for new sikhs

I have been reading about the new convert's difficulties as they relate to the language. I have discovered sikhism via itnernet adn books after studying many, many religions and scriptures both East and West. I am convinced that my mind has been Sikh for all my life, when I read and learn. But like many of you, I only speak English (for now....I have plans to learn Punjab, Hindi....etc)...It is not just the language barrier. I feel a need to be babtised and join Khalsa and live the rest of my days serving humanity while followig Guru's teaching...but when I go to the Gudwara, I am not greeted. There are no classes for adults. I cannot find a way to be accepted by the people who embrace the very Path...To them I am a stranger. They do not know why I am there. They are not being unkind. They do not know, and this is becuae we are not talking. I believe the the Indian community does not realize how many of us would want to join this path if the doors were open. So, I go to the Gudwara, I sit and listen to Kirtan. I am blessed to have the words on a screen in English. But no one knows that I want to be babtised and we have no dialogue. What should I do? I am a Claifornia USA native, attending a Gudwara right in the middle of California. I am the only American there. I understnad why it would not occur to anyone there what might be in my heart. So, how do I connect?
 

dalsingh

SPNer
Jun 13, 2006
1,064
233
London
Re: SFC: Language - A barrier for New Sikhs?

Ann Kaur

Don't despair about the language issue. Even people from Panjabi backgrounds (like myself) are still making efforts to understand Gurbani despite being able to speak modern Panjabi fluently (I grew up in the U.K.)

Take your time and let your knowledge grow steadily.

All the best.
 
May 16, 2005
341
11
34
Vernon, BC Canada
Re: Language Barrier for new sikhs

...But like many of you, I only speak English (for now....I have plans to learn Punjab, Hindi....etc)...It is not just the language barrier. I feel a need to be babtised and join Khalsa and live the rest of my days serving humanity while followig Guru's teaching...but when I go to the Gudwara, I am not greeted...
It is a know issue, and there are many temples that do now have a system where people can view english versions of what is being said or spoken.

May i ask how many are in your community there?
 

ANN KAUR

SPNer
Mar 12, 2007
3
0
Re: SFC: Language - A barrier for New Sikhs?

OK, that makes sense, But another issue, is that i am not able to connect with anyone at the Gudwara. Most of the people there speak English, although they naturally converse in thier "native" toungue. I am having difficulty meeting people so that I can learn and grow steadily. I am about to giveup, actually. But, then I am left here, where I am....I have a nice life...I should be content....but I wanted to grow on the Sikh Path. It kind of feels like a closed system.
 
Jul 10, 2006
918
77
Re: SFC: Language - A barrier for New Sikhs?

OK, that makes sense, But another issue, is that i am not able to connect with anyone at the Gudwara. Most of the people there speak English, although they naturally converse in thier "native" toungue. I am having difficulty meeting people so that I can learn and grow steadily. I am about to giveup, actually. But, then I am left here, where I am....I have a nice life...I should be content....but I wanted to grow on the Sikh Path. It kind of feels like a closed system.
Dear Ann Kaur,

FYI the originator of this thread has turned his back on the True Guru - Shabad Guru and joined another religion.

Have you ask anyone in the Gurdwara if they hold any classes. Ask about Sikhi camps or search on the net for information on Sikhi camps held nearby or classes in other Gurdwara's.

As for keeping Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji, do not until you know how to and what prayers need to be recited everyday without fail and the respect needed for keeping Guru ji at home.

Do you have any links for online Sri Guru Granth sahib ji.?

For starters, read this online book slowly. Sikhism Based on Gurbani - Home
Look up information on sikhiwiki or other links you might already have otherwise pm me with what you need.

Start reading Jap ji sahib section in this forum. Download the mp3's from .:: UNITED SIKHS ::. to help you when you are reciting Japji sahib.

Its important to read Gurbani. Books help but reading, listening, contemplating and then following Gurbani is more important.

Pm me please if you need further help.
 

kds1980

SPNer
Apr 4, 2005
4,502
2,742
40
INDIA
Re: SFC: Language - A barrier for New Sikhs?

OK, that makes sense, But another issue, is that i am not able to connect with anyone at the Gudwara. Most of the people there speak English, although they naturally converse in thier "native" toungue. I am having difficulty meeting people so that I can learn and grow steadily. I am about to giveup, actually. But, then I am left here, where I am....I have a nice life...I should be content....but I wanted to grow on the Sikh Path. It kind of feels like a closed system.
dear ann kaur ji
sat sri akal
if you want to grow on sikh path then best way is
internet.start meditating on the name "waheguru"
and then start learning mool mantar
sikhi is a relation between guru and sikh don't expectanything from others

for help from sikhs from california i advise you to join
sikh community sites like http://www.sikhportal.com/
or you can join join sikh groups on orkut,yahoo,facebook,msn. .i am sure you will find many sikhs from your place which are willing to help you
 
May 16, 2005
341
11
34
Vernon, BC Canada
Re: SFC: Language - A barrier for New Sikhs?

OK, that makes sense, But another issue, is that i am not able to connect with anyone at the Gudwara. Most of the people there speak English, although they naturally converse in thier "native" toungue. I am having difficulty meeting people so that I can learn and grow steadily. I am about to giveup, actually. But, then I am left here, where I am....I have a nice life...I should be content....but I wanted to grow on the Sikh Path. It kind of feels like a closed system.
Yeah, the best way to deal with this is by just try to make small talk with people there and also get to know the the people who run the temple. I found out that was the best way to get to know people, mind you every person has a different way :wink:

And yes, I am Baha'i now, thought i still have some knowledge of the community and how it works to some degree. As for knowledge on that way of life... that is really up to you how that is done.

Best of wishes on your path!
 

ANN KAUR

SPNer
Mar 12, 2007
3
0
Kaur-1

HANK YOU. You don't know how much your response means to me. I have asked about classes, and they do not have any for adults. However, I will do exactly as you are instructing me and I will look for a camp.

Please tell me more about yourself. I have spoken with men in the religion, but am unconfortable bothering them with all my questions, and being a woman, I find the need to "talk" to other women in order to continue to learn and grow stong on the Path with integrity. I noticed your user name is Kaur-1, so I am imaging that you are female.

Again, thank you very, very much for your guidance. I am a sincere seeker. I will look at the website that you recommended right now.

Thank you so much. I will take your advice to heart. I will learn more about my own relationship between myself and Guru. You are very kind.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Dimitri

SPNer
May 4, 2006
77
5
Re: SFC: Language - A barrier for New Sikhs?

I encourage u to study whatever comes ur way. any religion text etc. Sikh - means to learn right. But u hv to ask urself the question what is the end goal..is it to make friends, social groups ect. to read Guru Granth sahebji its very easy these days..its all on the net many discussions etc are also available.

might sound bit harsh..but ppl who complain abt i wasn't greeted, couldn't make frns at the gurudwara need to just get a life rather then religion!
 
Apr 4, 2007
934
29
Re: SFC: Language - A barrier for New Sikhs?

gurfateh ann... don't worry if they don't have classes for adults, sit in with the kids! it's helped me. :) i'm also a convert, and i'm also trying to learn gurmukhi and punjabi.

i'm lucky in that Uncle ji who is the sevadar at my gurdwara tries to translate everything into english as he goes... we have a multi-cultural sangat, some hindus, some punjabi sikhs, and me, the american sikh. :)

but i've met a lot of american born punjabi sikhs who also do not understand punjabi well, so it's not just us. :) i don't think it's inappropriate to ask for translations of the hukamnama, etc.

also, check out Singhbrothers - Publisher, BookSeller, Exporter, Quality Printer they have nitnem gutkas in english and roman transliteration... it's important not only to understand the prayers, but to speak them in the language they were written in. i've found that by doing my daily nitnem in punjabi i have learned a lot more than i have from classes.

also check out the "gurbani dictionary": http://www.singhsabha.com/Gurbaani%20Dictionary.htm
and Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji online in english and transliteration:
http://www.srigranth.org

let me know if there's anything i can do to encourage you. :)

where are you located?
 
Apr 4, 2007
934
29
Re: SFC: Language - A barrier for New Sikhs?

oh, one more thing... be careful of talking to the men at gurdwara too much if you're there alone... unfortunately some people will misinterperate this. see if you can find a woman in the sangat you can ask questions of... i recommend talking to college age Kaurs if possible, as younger sikhs seem really excited and open to helping us novices out. :)
 

stupidjassi

SPNer
Nov 2, 2007
88
4
mississauga, ON
Re: Youth and Language barrier?

This is youth side of the possible language barrier.



My friend and I had a very deep and informative disucssion on the phone a few day ago, in that conversation we discussed various issues, but mostly on the language topic.

I found most disturbing was this:

In our gurdwara, all of the services are in punjabi, and most of the families do sit in the main hall. As i looked around though, it appeared that most of our younger audience looked more interested in the crumbs on the floor than the speaker or singers. It then came to me that some of us didn't know what what going on, i wasn't alone!

I heard the sound of kids in the hallway, they were playing hide-and-seek. I looked outside, a group of sikh teens were playing basketball. Am i the only one that sees a problem here? I have a good idea that most of these ppl don't spend more time in the main hall cause they don't know what is going on. It turns out, the language issue pops up again.

I was shocked to learn that many of the younger generations and some of the even the older ppl don't understand punjabi! Not to mention, probably more can't even read gurmakhi.

Now, isnt our youth supposed to understanding and carrying on the word of sikhism? and isnt the future of our religion in our youth?
Well how will that be when most of our youth don't even understand or can't read what's is being tought?

This might be a small factor in why some of our youth find it a little dry or boreing at the temple becasue they don't understand what's going on or what is being said. I even at times found myself being a little tired of listening to something i didn't understand.

Times are changing, and more ppl will want to be sikhs - ppl who don't neccesarily understand punjabi. We need to start bringing in a few changes if we want to change with the times. I don't honestly like it, however it is for the greater good and it will make going to temple a little bit more enjoyable for some.

This makes me wonder how many more youth all over the world don't understand what is going on.

Some thoughts and observations to ponder on.

Have any ideas or change? Have any gurdwara expriences that areflect this issue? please tell us what you feel on this topic.

-Khalsa Starr

BTW, i'm seeting up a internet group for ppl interested more on this issue.

You are abs right lionchild. there is more going on in sikh that you so far discovered. I am also trying to do something for my panth but so far, no support . There are still some old people who are incharge of gurudwara and they actually are NOT sikh. In some countries it is in worse shape.
But do not lose hope, we are the youth and we have to do it. I was planning to make a website and group would be good idea also.
By the way where do you live?

stupidjassi
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Sherab

SPNer
Mar 27, 2007
441
20
USA
Re: SFC: Language - A barrier for New Sikhs?

oh, one more thing... be careful of talking to the men at gurdwara too much if you're there alone... unfortunately some people will misinterperate this. see if you can find a woman in the sangat you can ask questions of... i recommend talking to college age Kaurs if possible, as younger sikhs seem really excited and open to helping us novices out. :)
I am also willing to help her, though i do not know much myself...


SSA,
Surinderjit Singh
 

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