Monday, November 16, 2009

I asked God

From Painting My Life Blog

I asked God to take away my pain.
God said, No.
It is not for me to take away,
but for you to give it up.

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.
God said, No.
His spirit is whole,
his body is only temporary.

I asked God to grant me patience.
God said, No.
Patience is a by-product of tribulations;
it isn’t granted, it is learned.

I asked God to give me happiness.
God said, No.
I give you blessings.
Happiness is up to you.

I asked God to spare me pain.
God said, No.
Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings
you closer to me.

I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said, No.
You must grow on your own,
but I will prune you to make you fruitful.

I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said, No.
I will give you life,
so that you may enjoy all things.

I ask God to help me love others, as much as He loves me.
God said…Ahhhh, finally you have the idea.

The writer is anonymous, this was not written by me. However, it is saturated with the truth. We often keep asking God for more, but everything is a blessing. When we are unawakened, we are blind to the limitless miracles all around us.

Sikh Youth Slate Wins in Surrey- From CTV.com

Youth Slate to run No. 2 Sikh temple in Canada
Updated: Mon Nov. 24 2008 13:43:22

ctvbc.ca

A Sikh Youth slate has taken control of North America's second largest Sikh temple, after being elected to run the executive of the Guru Nanak Temple in Surrey, B.C.
Observers say the Sikh Youth slate was able capitalize on in-fighting between two separate groups of moderate Sikhs, who have managed to retain control of the Temple for the past decade.

This election is being closely watched because of divisions within the community over issues such as the use of tables and chairs in the communal dining area, a place that is meant to promote equality.

The moderate Sikhs have favoured keeping tables and chairs at the temple, while the Youth Slate favours getting rid of them.
It is an issue that has sparked violence in the past.
When the results were declared at 3:00 a.m. on Monday, the more fundamentalist Sikh Youth slate emerged with 5,900 votes, beating a moderate slate led by Balwant Singh Gill, which came in second with 4,470 votes.
Another group of moderate Sikhs, led by Sadhu Samra came in third with 3,947 votes.
Of the roughly 21,000 Temple members who are eligible to vote, 14,594 actually did so.
Now that the Youth slate has won, it is expected to hold a referendum on the issue of whether to keep tables and chairs in the temple.
Like another youth slate which controls the Sikh Temple Sukhsagar in New Westminster, Guru Nanak's new executive is expected to hold seminars in a bid to discourage young Sikhs from taking drugs and get them more involved in religion and temple affairs.

"We're a new generation and we're hoping we can just put the whole community together again, and you know, move past this issue of the tables and chairs," said Randheer Singh, a Youth Slate member told CTV on Sunday.

Under the new executive, the temple will no longer be used for political purposes, said Radio India talk show host Harpreet Singh.

Guru Nanak is North America's second largest Sikh temple. The Ross Street Temple in Vancouver is the largest.



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Sunday, November 15, 2009

War Story

In 2005 an American woman wrote a letter on the SikhNet Question & Answer forum sharing some things that I thought you might like to read.

MAKING AN IMPRESSION: A TRUE STORY
“First, I would like to say Hello to everyone here and wish you all the Peace of God in your lives. I am a Christian who came here to learn about Sikhism, and I have never posted before, but I would like to do so now, as I have recently read some posts from the young people here about the difficulty of keeping hair, beard and turban in a western country.
“I am not young, I am 44 years old. The reason I wanted to learn about Sikhism is that during World War II, in Italy, my favorite, and very loving uncle was an American soldier. At the battle of Cassino, he was wounded, could not walk, and was buried so deep in the mud that when the American troops went by, they thought he was dead. When my uncle regained consciousness, he thought he was finished, and began what he thought were his final prayers. After some time, he saw the legs of soldiers, and he cried out in a weak voice "water". A Sikh soldier came to help him. He carried him over two miles on his own back under heavy gunfire to a medical aid station. If it was not for a Sikh, I would not ever have had the opportunity to know my Uncle Danny, who was very special to me. Uncle Danny did not know what a Sikh was, but he was very thankful for being saved. Before the Sikh soldier left him at the medical station, he asked him what his name was, all the soldier said was ‘Singh.’
“Uncle Danny wrote from the hospital to his sister, my grandmother, about this soldier over 60 years ago, in a letter. He also wrote to his commanding officer to tell him that this man should get a medal, but all he knew was that his name was ‘Singh,’ and he could never locate him.
”Way back in 1965 when I was 5 years old, Uncle Danny took me to the Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia because everyone else in the family was tired, and I was the ‘baby’ of the family, and his children were already grown at that time; he volunteered to keep me quiet:-) Well, when we were downtown at the parade, a man with a turban, beard and the biggest moustache I had ever seen walked by, and I asked my uncle to pick me up because I was frightened of him. Uncle Danny picked me up and said, ‘Elena, don’t be afraid of him. He is a ‘Singh’, and ‘Singhs’ are the bravest and kindest people I have ever known. They come from a far away country called India, where I know there are a lot of brave people, but they are the best.’
“Uncle Danny died of cancer in 1977, when I was in my first year in college. Before his death he was the father of two daughters, and grandfather of four children, not to mention loving uncle to my mother and all of us. If it were not for a Sikh, he would not have come home to us.
“Although I have known Sikhs in the past, and was friendly with several especially during my college years, I became interested in understanding their beliefs because of two incidents; the first being the hate crimes committed against Sikhs after 9-11, and the second was inheriting the family photos and papers when my grandmother died in December 2003, three weeks away from her 92nd birthday. When I went through the box of papers and photos, I found the letters Uncle Danny had written to her during the War about the ‘Singh’ who saved his life. At the time I found the letters, I also recalled that Thanksgiving Day when I first saw a Sikh. The Sikhs I had known in the past were also very upstanding and decent people who would help anyone, of any faith, or race, and I became interested in what their religious teachings were, as I thought it may have something to do with the way they behave towards others. I also wanted to learn about Sikh beliefs because I live in an area where there has been a lot of prejudice after 9-11, and if there is anyway that I can help by teaching people, or even just saying something positive about my Sikh neighbors when I hear ignorance, I wanted to be able to tell them more than just, ‘they are not Muslims.’So please, to all the Sikh youth out there that are considering giving up your hair, beards and turbans, I would ask you to reconsider, and keep your identity. Practice your faith, as it is very beautiful.
“Although I am a Christian, I am of Middle Eastern back ground, so I know what prejudice can do; I also belong to a Christian group that believes in head coverings, and after 9-11 it was frightening for a while. I really wanted to take off my headscarf, and look like everyone else. After much prayer and soul searching I came to the conclusion that God and my belief in my path to Him was the most important thing, not the opinions of others.
“All you need to do is to be a faithful Sikh, and let people get to know you, and the wonderful person you are, because you are faithful.
Thank you for allowing me to share with you, and I wish you all of God’s blessings in your life.”

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sikhs in the World Wars




Over 138,000 Indian troops fought in Belgium and France during World War I, many of them Sikhs. More than one quarter of these soldiers would became casualties.
In the first battle of Ypres at Flanders in 1914 a platoon of Dogra Sikhs died fighting to the last man, who shot himself with his last cartridge rather than surrender.

After the bloody battle of Neuve Chapelle in 1915 the Sikh regements had lost 80% of their men, 3 regements stood at only 16% of their original compliment.

Sikhs are not recgonized enough for their fearless and courageous contribution in both World Wars and in other wars.
For more information, you can visit sikhs.org for film footage and photos

There are also inspirational stories that I will be posting for month of November.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Domestic Abuse

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Domestic Violence is not something unheard of in Punjabi Culture.

In Feb 2009 (as you probably know), Rihanna (singer/mega-star) was brutally beaten by her boyfriend Chris Brown (also a singer/mega-star). There was a giant media uproar- and even a greater uproar when Rihanna went back to her abuser three weeks after the incident.

She became a stronger person though and dumped her abuser boyfriend, stating in an interview that it was because she wanted to be a good role model to the girls that looked up to her.

In an interview with Diane Sawyer (part of which I posted), she states " Don't react out of love, 'F' love" and tells other women who are victims of abuse to look at the situation from a third person perspective.

I posted this video today because domestic violence can affect anyone, no matter what culture you are from. Rihanna had the courage to get of a dangerous and potentially life-threatening relationship with her boyfriend, even though she loved him. I wish more Punjabi women in abusive relationships will look at their relationship from a third person perspective and realize that they deserve a better life than they are living.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Water Goddess

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

A young author from Prince George has published her first book called, "The Water Goddess". Jesmeen Kaur Deo, only twelve years old, has accomplished what many young authors wish they could do: actually finish the novels that they are working on. Her first novel is sold at amazon, barnes and noble and will be coming soon to Chapters. If you are looking for a perfect gift for your child this season, this book is perfect. Congratulations Jesmeen on your accomplishment!
Click here for the link to amazon

This is a short description of the plot.
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Jeff and Whitney are the lifeguards at the pool (note: Jeff can't swim!). When the manager tells them they have invitations to go to a summer camp as supervisors, they're all for it. So they go, and become friends with one of the other supervisors, Mona, and between lessons with bratty kids, challenges involving untrained bears and eating fast food, they can't find any time for themselves. But Jeff and Mona do find time to follow Whitney, who takes trips into the forest at night of which Jeff and Mona can't seem to find the purpose of.
But when wolves invade the camp, Jeff, Mona and Whitney are randomly chosen to journey across the forest and river to the village in the valley for help. A journey that none of them will forget, when all is revealed. This fun kids' novel is full of ridiculous twists and turns that will get you laughing in no time.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Blood Drive

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh


Sikh Nation also holds a blood drive in the lower mainland, where they have helped save the lives of thousands of people.

"Blood Donation by Sikh Nation
To commemorate the memory of the victims of the November 1984 Sikh Massacre, the Sikh Nation started the campaign of blood donation in North America in November 1999. Along with our fellow Canadians, we invite you to join this campaign to save lives by donating blood.
Canadian Blood Services - CBS (Canadian federal organization) presented the Sikh Nation a "Top Donor" award for being the foremost in saving lives."

Here are the dates for all of the cities:

Surrey: 6830 King George Hwy
Fri, Nov 06 2009: 11:00am - 5:30pm
Sat, Nov 07 2009: 11:00am - 5:30pm

Penticton:
Fri, Nov 06 2009 1:45pm - 5:00pm

Prince George:
Sat, Nov 07 2009: 10:00am - 2:30pm

Vancouver: 4750 Oak Street
Sun Nov 08 2009: 10:00am - 6:00pm

Kelowna: 1865 Delworth Drive
Thu, Nov 12 2009: 12:00pm - 6:10pm

Kamloops: 1205 Rogers Way
Tue, Nov 17 2009: 12:00pm - 6:00pm

Abbotsford: 3145 Gladwin Road
Sat, Nov 21 2009: 11:00am - 5:00pm

Victoria: 3449 Saanich RoadSat,
Nov 21 2009: 10:00am - 4:30pm

Cloverdale: 17475 59 AveSun,
Nov 29 2009: 11:00am - 4:20pm

Calgary: 395 Fallshire Drive NE
Sat, Nov 07 2009: 08:30am - 2:30pm
Sat, Nov 21 2009: 08:00am - 2:30pm

25 years ago, in November 1984, more than 10 thousand Sikhs were hunted down all over India. They were burnt alive, the girls were gang raped then killed and the Sikh's properties worth billions of dollars was looted and destroyed. Since 1984, the successive Indian Governments have been fooling the people by setting up various commissions. The failure to punish the guilty indicates the complicity of the Government and its agencies in the "Sikh Massacre". Instead of prosecution, the perpetrators of this heinous crime were awarded with medals or rewarded with promotions. But on the contrary the Sikhs who voiced against the carnage were branded as terrorists and killed in fake encounters. The people who were clearly responsible for this carnage enjoyed political patronage and administrative positions. No one has been hanged or given suitable sentences for the genocide.
To commemorate the memory of the victims of the November 1984 Sikh Massacre, the Sikh Nation started the campaign of blood donation in North America in November 1999. Along with our fellow Canadians, we invite you to join this campaign to save lives by donating blood.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cool Science

Here is a cool science video from the Ellen Degeneres Show on her Halloween show.
Enjoy!

video

Sunday, November 1, 2009

New Question

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

I have a new question, hopefully one that will generate more debate.

There is obviously a difference in style in the way that Punjabi parents raise their kids vs. mainstream culture. In an interview that I heard on Punjabi Omni news (I can't remember the woman's name; the interview got erased on my PVR), one woman mentioned the difference in the way that we introduce the world to children. She noticed that mainstream parents have a tendency to introduce the world in a restricted way; ie. they restrict the freedom of their children, whether it be by only allowing them to play in a playpen, by baby-locking all of the cupboards, or only allowing kids to eat certain vegetables in their early years. As they grow older, the amount of freedom given to kids, though, increases exponentially. By the time they are 13, kids are given the freedom to be with their friends until late hours of the day, with the parents often not knowing where they are or what they are doing.

Punjabi parents on the other hand, place less restriction on a child when they start walking and exploring the world. They usually don't baby-proof cupboards, or restrict them to certain toys. If the child wants to play with pots, or flour, or the broom, they usually let them and also let them play wherever they want (as long as it is safe). As the children get older though and enter their late teens, usually, parents want more control over their life; ie they want to know where they are going, what they are doing, who they are going with. And of course, ultimately, parents want to decide or have a say on who the child marries. But, by then, reasoning with the children, or "controlling" them can't be done.

The effects of the first method on late teenagers, to me, will probably make the child feel that their parents don't have an interest in their life anymore, or that they can get away with anything (If parents only knew what their children were doing with firecrackers on Halloween night!)

The second method would probably confuse the child. Here they were with so much freedom when they were young, and now all of a sudden parents want to place restrictions on them. It will seem unfair to the children as they get older.

So, obviously, there is an inverted way that each culture deals with enforcing restrictions or giving responsibility to their children. I know that this doesn't apply to everyone, and that each culture is continuously changing, but I have seen these trends in parents today.

So what are your comments? Do you agree with these observations?