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Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa On Australia's Got Talent

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Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa On Australia's Got Talent

Inderjeet Kaur

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Oct 13, 2011
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1,766
Seattle, Washington, USA
"...Sikh...We have a lot of hair." At that point, I started giggling. Listen on. She's like no one you've heard before. Australian attitudes look a lot like the attitudes in the USA. Canada's a kinder, gentler country, I guess.

Now say THANK YOU to me. I tracked down the words to her poem and cut them to her performance here.


“If you’re not in Australia, where the bloody hell are ya?”
Remember the Bingle jingle?
Inviting the world to mix and mingle?
Where ‘a fair go’ was your welcome mat,
Unless you’re of caramel descent,
Then ain’t NObody got tiiiime for dat!

You see, rockin’ up for my first job at Coles,
Was like a scene from Border Patrol.

“We don’t want no illegal workers here in Straya."

What makes you Australian?
Is it a Southern Cross tattoo?
Or wombat stew crumbled with a dunkaroo?

Do you think of a time
When Australia has learnt to share and care
And dare to wear its heart on its face
Fully aware that most of us in this place
Are far from fair
But brown and black and slow to attack
But quick to embrace.
A warm Australia.

I’m confused as to why
On Australia Day when the night sky spews bigot bile - I’m left traumatized.
When a teen rips off my Uncle’s turban - I’m an enraged flame of pain and shame,
and sorrow.
For tomorrow, when a hooning Ute throws a rotten peach at my Dad and screams
‘GO HOME YA BLOODY TERRORIST’:
I will plead to you Lara: where the bloody hell are we?

My people the Sikhs came here in 1860
With camels and carts and courageous hearts
And look at the maxi taxi
We’re still driving and steering this country
In offices and hospitals….. even on stage

So when people tell me and my family
To go home to where we came from
I reply with a smile, tongue in cheek
Mate, we’ve been right at home for the past 150 years
I’m not the one who’s the freak, I’m fully Sikh!"


If you want the whole poem, go to http://www.trove.arts.uwa.edu.au/advance-australia-fair
 

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Admin Singh

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Jun 1, 2004
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Sikh Woman's Slam Poem On Racism In Australia Is Winning Massive Applause
Australia is perhaps not the easiest country in the world to be an immigrant in, and people perceived as outsiders have been targeted by bigots in the past. So when a first generation Sikh woman captured the daily injustices people of her community faced in the country in an incredible spoken-word poem, she left some of the audience in tears.

On 8 February, Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa appeared at Australia’s Got Talent and decided to recite an SWP that painted a hard-hitting picture of what the Sikh community faced in the country.

Khalsa, a 21-year-old feminist activist, used dark humour in her poetry to leave the judges spellbound. She started off by asking the audience what makes them Australian, and then painted a heart-breaking picture of the bigotry faced by the Sikh Community.

“When you’ve been given such a loud voice, and when you have the confidence, you need to speak up for the voiceless, she said in a recent interview with a daily for the Indian community in Australia where she also admitted she wasn’t always an outgoing personality. “Humour and satire; that’s the thing Australia uses to get the messages across.”

The video was quick to go viral with 388,087 views on Facebook. However this is not the first time that she has spoken up on social issues in the country. She delivered a longer version of the poem last year in June at the Slamalamadingdong, a poetry slam.

Before delivering her speech, Khalsa who has been hooked onto spoken-word poetry for a few years now, asked people to click along if any of her words appealed to them. What started off as a trickle of clicks quickly gave way to a standing ovation. The judges were overcome with her unique style of combing “anger with heart and humour” and all of them were touched by her words.

Needless to say, she got a unanimous vote to the next round.

Here’s her speech, if you couldn’t catch it all:

“If you’re not in Australia, ‘where the bloody hell are ya?’ Remember the Bingle jingle, inviting the world to mix and mingle?

Where a fair go was your welcome mat, unless you’re of caramel descent and then ain’t nobody got time for that.
You see, rocking up for my first job at Coles, was like a scene from Border Patrol.

What makes you Australian?

Is it a Southern Cross Tattoo or wombat stew crumbled with a Dunkaroo?

Do you think of a time when Australia’s learnt to share and care and dare to wear its heart on its face, fully aware that most of us in this place are far from fair, but brown and black and slow to attack?

But quick to embrace a warm Australia.

I’m confused as to why, on Australia Day, when the night sky spews bigot bile, I’m left traumatised.

When a teen rips off my uncle’s turban, I’m an enraged flame of pain and shame and sorrow, for tomorrow when a hooning ute throws a rotten peach at my dad and screams ‘go home, ya bloody terrorist.’

I plead to you Lara , where the bloody hell are we?

My people, the Sikhs, came here in 1860 with camels and carts and courageous hearts and look at the maxi Taxi, we’re still driving and steering this country in offices and hospitals and even on stage.

So when people tell me and my family to go home to where we came from, I reply with a smile, tongue-in-cheek, ‘mate, we’ve been right at home for the past 150 years!’

I’m not the one that’s a freak, I’m fully Sikh.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2016/02/10/sukhjit-kaur-khalsa-aust_n_9199894.html
 

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