Sunday, November 20, 2005

Soul Sikher

I went to watch a play in Manchester, yesterday. My brothers friend got some tickets so we went along with him.

The play was called Soul Sikher and was by a Sikh guy called Sody Singh Kahlon.

I have seen Sody on T.V before, he came across very well so I was looking forward to his new work.

Soul Sikher is about a man called Palwinder AKA 'Paul'. He is a British Sikh who is completely disconnected from his Sikh roots. He cut his hair when he was younger and rejected Sikhism because he was being teased and he thought it was holding him back in his life.

Now he has a job where his manager uses him to setup big contracts and then sends Pauls white collegues to finalise the deals.

The play is about how he tries to find himself and the people he meets along the way (all played by Sody himself).

I really enjoyed the play because it was a comedy (with some basic laughs) but more importantly it also had multiple layers that tried to highlight issues in the British Sikh community.

Some of the issues that it highlighted were
  • Two faced Sikh girls who pretend to be religious on one side then go out secretly drinking etc on the other.
  • People who wear a turban as a fashion statement
  • People who live off thier parents earnings
  • People who don't know (or don't want to know) anything about there history
  • People who think Punjabi culture is Sikh culture
If you can catch the play it is well worth watching.

Bradford Shooting

I am writing this as a mark of respect to Pc Sharon Beshenivsky and Pc Teresa Milburn and the Police Service in general.

It is a sad time for Bradford.

Two policewomen were shoot and one died on Friday 18th November 2005 at 15.25.

They were responding to a call about a robbery taking place at a Travel Agency on Morley St in the City Centre.

Six people were arrested in London, on Saturday 19th November 2005, a day after the shooting.

What makes this incident more worrying than other incidents is the fact that it happened in broad daylight, in the city centre and a police woman was killed.

Lets hope this is an isolated incident

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Meeting Surinder Shinda

Last year (Oct 2004) while coming back from India we saw a few Panjabi 'Super Stars'.

We saw Surinder Shinda (the singer)

and Sardara Gill.

After much deliberation we persuaded my cousin (Kiren) to ask Surinder Shinda for an autograph.

We were going by Turkmenistan Airlines (A budget airline) from Amritsar to Birmingham so it was funny seeing theses well known Panjabi celebrities going on the same flight.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Siege of Bethlehem vs. Operation Blue Star

I remember watching a documentary about the Siege of Bethlehem, 2002.

This was when Israeli forces laid siege to the Church of the Nativity were Palestinian Militants were hiding out. There were innocent Palestinians and Christians with the militants also.

The Church of the Nativity is one of the most sacred places in the Christian religion because it marks the location where Jesus was born. It is also a sacred place for Muslims.

The Israeli Forces were under extreme pressure (by the Pope and the international community) not to go into the Church because this could mean that the church being desecrated.

While watching the documentary I remember thinking that the siege had some parallels with Operation Blue Star. This was when Indian forces attacked Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple), Amritsar, one of the holiest places in Sikhism because it was being used as a base by Sikh militants

Whatever you think of Operation Blue Star and it's rights and wrongs the fact remains that Harmandir Sahib was desecrated when Indian forces entered it and many innocent people lost their lives during the operation.

The Indian leaders should have shown restraint and respect for the situation and not allowed the army to entered the Harmandir Sahib complex. By showing respect they would have gained the respect of Sikhs all over the world.

I don't know enough about the Middle East situation to hold an informed opinion about the Israeli / Palistinian conflict but in the case of the Church of the Nativity Siege I have to say that the Israeli forces showed restraint in the stuation (admittedly under pressure!!) by not entering the Church.

I just wish the Indian leaders in 1984 could have shown the same respect in similar circumstances.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Sikh Gurus - Their Lives and Teachings

This is one of the few books that I have read. I bought this book at Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar in 1998.

It is the best Sikhi related book that I have read.

The style of writing is very easy to get into and read. The book has a chapter devoted to each Guru Ji. Many of the sakhis of each Guru Ji are covered in the book and you get a good idea of the personality of each of the Gurus. Each chapter ends with shabds of the Guru Ji.

A very good book for everyone who wants to know more about Sikhism

First time wearing a dastaar

I saw this question on the tapoban message board. So I decided to post about my first time wearing a dastaar


Where I live in Bradford, UK children used to change school between Year 8 and Year 9 (Age 13). So I decided to take the plunge then and start wearing a Pag at that time.

Throughout the summer holidays before I changed school I practised on a very small black Pag. My brother showed me the basics and told me to start practicing.

My brother had learnt to do his Pag from our Grandad's friend (Giani Ji). Giani Ji had a unique way of tying his Pag. (I don't know of anybody else who does it like I have been taught)

Anyway before the holidays were finished I got my Pag in a presentable state. I had to go to my new school to pick up my uniform so I decided to take my Pag out for a test drive. I walked out of the house and up my street. My heart was thumping and it felt like everybody was looking at me but I carried on.

In the early days of wearing it my arms used to get tired tying it and it felt like I was balancing something on my head because it was so loose but as with everything you get used to it. I even used to play football with it on, at lunch time.

Now I feel akward without it.


Questions that people ask when they first meet a Sikh

Here is a list of question that Non-Sikhs ask me when they meet me for the first time.

1. How long is your hair? (most popular by far)

2. How long does it take to tie you turban (pag) in the morning?

3. Is your religion a mix between Hindism and Islam?

4. Don't you feel hot with a turban (pag) on all day?

5. Do you have to have an arranged marriage?

I don't mind any of the questions because it gives me a chance to let people know more about who I am and what my religion is all about.

Great cartoon of yester year

I don't know about you but whenever I am with a group of friends, sooner or later the conversation always comes around to how great cartoons were when we were kids and how poor they are now.

So I thought I should list the best cartoon that I remember from the 1980's and early 1990's.

  • ulysses

  • I remember Ulysses as a bit of an off beat cartoon. The main thing I remember about it was that Ulysses was trying to get back to Earth with his family. Obviously there were many problems along the way. I remeber the starting credits were there were lots of people all floating around asleep in a space ship (spooky!!)

  • Mysterious Cities of Gold
    This cartoon was set in South America, where some people were trying to find the myterious cities of gold. Thats all I really remember (apart from the cool intro song). But I remember that it was really good, honest!!

  • Thundercats are HOOOOO!
    Thundercats was class, with Liono, Panthero (my favourite), Mumraa etc. We used to play Thundercats at school, i always used to be Panthero. I remember at Uni that someone had a copy of one of the Thundercats episodes. When I watched it I realised that it probably wasn't the best cartoon of all time even though I used to think so when I was a kid. Advise - don't watch cartoon that you liked as a kid when you are older, you maybe disappointed. I watched Ulysses recently and that was a good as I remember, so the rule doesn't always apply. BTW I still think Thundercats is cool (The episode I watched must have been one of the very few poor ones ;-))

  • Dungeons and Dragons

    This was a cartoon where a group of kids are transported to a different world when they got to there local fair. They spend the rest of the series trying to get back home. They are helped or hindered in their quest by a midget wizard called 'Dungeon Master'. When I look back he did seem to be abit freaky. I remeber on of the characters was the funny one who always gets in trouble.
This is the list so far. It may increase as I remember more cartoons

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Play acting in the beautiful game (Football)

Diving / Simulation / Play Acting whatever you want to call it is the one thing that I hate in football at the moment.

The thing is that everybody is at it and it is seen as a normal part of the game, when it should be frowned upon.

One of the most famous incidence of play acting occurred in Brazils match against Turkey.

While Rivaldo was getting ready to take a corner one of the Turkey players kicked the ball at Rivaldo. The ball hit Rivaldo on the knee but Rivaldo collapsed to ground covering his face as if he had been hit in the face.

The incident resulted in a red card for the Turkey player and Brazil won the match 2-1.

Rivaldo was fined a few thousand pound for the play acting (which is peanuts for him!!!). He should have been banned for a few games.

People are always complaining about play acting in football but FIFA never does anything about it.

What should be done

I think referees should yellow card any play actors. (I know this happens already to a certain extent but most of the time the referees just tell the player to get up and then they continue with the game)

If the referee doesn't spot the play acting then video evidence should be used after the game and players should be given a yellow or red card.

Something has to be done because at the moment there is no punishment for the play actors and so they just carry on diving until they get a decision to go their way.