Sikh Resource Society participates in the Global Arts Festival in Bartlett, IL

The Sikh Resource Society (SRS) of Schaumburg, IL an institutional member of the American Sikh Council (ASC) participated in the Bartlett’s 3rd Global Arts Festival held on June 22-23, 2019. The representatives of SRS with many other local Sikhs from the Chicago and Indiana area participated in the outdoor festival by holding an exhibit and creating awareness about the following:

–           the dastaar/turban

–           the kirpan

–           educating neighbors of Sikh involvement in America’s History

–           educated the visitors of Sikh participation in World War I and II as well as other world events.

–           educating neighbors on Sikhi and the basic ideas of the Sikh ethos (equality, social justice, and creating a peaceful society)


Some of the donors and volunteers who organized and ran the two-day event were – Bibi Asvinder Kaur, Baba Fateh Singh of Gatka Dal Team (Greenwood Gurdwara, IN), S. Bharpoor Singh, S. Davinder Singh (Schaumburg), S. Davinder Singh (Streamwood), Bibi Gurpreet Kaur, S. Himmat Singh, S. Ipninder Singh, S. Jasdeep Singh (Baba Fateh Singh Gatka Dal coordinator), S. Jasvinder Singh, S. Kuldeep Singh, Bibi Laj Kaur, S. Makhan Singh, S. Manpreet Singh, S. Rishpal Singh, Bibi Rosey Kaur, Bibi Sonia Kaur, S. Surjit Singh and S. Tandeep Singh.

Thousands of people attended this multicultural event as the festival was a microcosm of all the ethnic and religion thriving in the greater Chicago area.

Volunteers talked about The Sikh identity and the Kirpan. Many of the visitors wanted to see, hold, and experience what the kirpan was like. Some of volunteers allowed them to handle one with clean hands. The sense of touch is a powerful thing, one can build a relationship with the strangers and neighbors when we allow them to understand and feel what we feel for our Kirpan.

S.Davinder Singh explained the insidious nature of bullying which most turbaned Sikh children go through in public and private schools across America every day. He presented the book; ‘Bullying of Sikh American Children – Through the Eyes of a Sikh American High School Student ‘ authored by Karanveer Singh  to the audience.

He further highlighted how the Sikhs ideology and the Boy Scouts motto/law/oath parallel the Sikh way of life.

A Shastar Vidhiya/Gatka demonstration was held on Sunday June 23, 2019, thanks to the Baba Fateh Singh Gatka Dal from the Greenwood Gurdwara Sahib in Indiana. They drove over 2.5 hours just to educate residents of the greater Chicago area on the martial tradition of a Sikhs. It was striking to see the Singhs and Kaurs interacting afterward at the different booths and learning as well as talking to the neighbors and the general public visiting the event. Even more wonderful was the sight of them showing everyone and teaching them about Gatka and the shastars.

These events definitely help clarify the Sikh uniform and allow for our non-Sikh co-citizens, not only to appreciate but hold Sikhs accountable for their identity and their actions in our communities. Its events like these that will continue to chip away at the anxiety some may have of the unknown and create mutual respect, and understanding for the kakaars such as the kirpan.

The volunteers tied many dastaars while keeping the visitors engaged in discussions.

These exhibits are critical and need to be held regularly in order to sustain the education of everyone around us. There is nothing better than face to face teaching because volunteers are able to answer questions and visitors get to meet Sikhs in person breaking many misconceptions and preconceived notions.

All the volunteers did an excellent job of educating hundreds of visitors while enjoying the festival.

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