Amazing how technology has trickled down to the amateurs. I highly doubt anyone in Canada would take the time and effort to make this video for Harper, Dion, Layton or May.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Singh, who came to Goodman from Pennsylvania, wears a blue turban in keeping with his faith.
“I want to tell people that I am good people and I want to do business here,” he said. “I like the countryside. Where I’m from in Pennsylvania, it is a lot like here, a lot of countryside.”
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Sikhs are allowed to wear a kirpan in public places but only if the blade or “lamina” is less than 10cm. Please see diagram below. If the blade is equal to or more than 10cm, the kirpan would be classed as a weapon or “arma branca” (Article 2(1)(l) of Law 5/2006 of 23 February) and would render the wearer liable to prosecution. For a copy of the law (in Portuguese) , please click here:
It’s not against the law in the UK to wear a kirpan of any length. Demanding that Gurmail Singh removes his kirpan is akin to demanding a Christian priest to remove his or her crucifix. It also amounts to discrimination as this was an unjustified and disproportionate interference with his right to manifest his religious belief, which is a breach of Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Let’s fast-forward a year to October 2009. The U.S. unemployment rate stands at 10 percent. Crime is up across the country. The economy is shrinking. No arm-twisting from the Treasury has managed to restore the broken confidence between borrowers and lenders. Banks, the few still standing, are holding fast to their cash. Property prices are down more than 25 percent from current levels.
The Dow is still heading south as people get used to the idea of stocks trading at no more than 10 times earnings, rather than the much higher ratios our former leveraged world delivered.
New buildings stand empty all over New York because at the end of a boom — that’s to say right now — a lot of new construction comes to market. Exports, long a bright spot in the economy, have plummeted because of a rising dollar. The deficit and national debt stand at unprecedented levels.
The hedge fund industry is decimated — its model of flipping cheap borrowings into leveraged bets around the world has blown up — and one desperate, even contrite, former master of the universe has just sold a Rauschenberg for $9 million less than he paid in 2004.
People still have way too much debt, and the collateral for it keeps evaporating. They are angry. Civil unrest is stirring.
I ask you, Senator McCain, Senator Obama, do you still want the job?
Its enough to make you want to move back to your family farm in Punjab...
From our first Wii bowling tournament in Christmas 2006/7 , our family been hooked on the Wii. After Wii Sports, Play, Big Brain Academy, WarioWare: Smooth Moves, Guitar Hero III and Rockband, our latest fascination is Wii Fit.
A blockbuster franchise for nearly a decade, Grand Theft Auto's fantasy world of antisocial behavior has helped solidify a stereotype of gamers as 18-34 males, but the market has expanded far beyond that sector. Wii Fit's success is the most prominent, emblematic example of that shift. And an ironic one at that: Every edition of GTA has aroused complaints over its portrayal of women. Yet this year, it's women consumers who will help steal Grand Theft Auto IV's thunder.
From the UK's Sikh Student Camp. Great video with a great shabad and great pictures.
Flaunting designer clothes, loads of jewellery and expensive accessories, a London-based NRI family chose a rather different way to travel to the wedding venue - pedal-rickshaws and horse carts.NRI Murli Vohra's son Pawan ignored the usual mode of chartered aircraft, helicopters and limousines that rich people travel in to make a style statement on weddings.Pawan, who was getting married at a gurudwara (Sikh temple) in Sector 11 in Chandigarh on Saturday, hired 35 pedal rickshaws and half a dozen horse carts instead of luxury cars to drive the nearly 100 NRI baraatis (groom's party) to the wedding venue.The baraat did the two-km journey from 5-star Hotel Mountview in Sector 10 to Sector 11 with full pomp and show, much to the amusement of passers by and residents of the upscale localities. All the hired rickshaws and horse carts were decked up with flowers to give them a wedding look. And the passengers kept dancing while they made their way to the venue."We wanted to do something unique. And this mode was environment-friendly too. We wanted to give a classical look to this wedding," said Murli Vohra, a well-to-do London resident for over three decades. Vohra's son Pawan tied the knot in Chandigarh with Megha after a courtship.The bride's side was caught quite off-guard when the groom and his relatives came in the 'poor-man's' mode of transport. "We had been asking the groom's side if they wanted us to arrange for vehicles for the baraat but they kept telling us not to worry as they would make the arrangements themselves. What they did was truly unique," a relative of the bride said.After the wedding was solemnised with traditional Sikh rituals, the bride and the groom also travelled some distance on a rickshaw. "Many of those who were in the baraat were NRIs and were sitting on rickshaws for the first time in their lives," said the groom's aunt Namita.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Mongolia wants the services of Punjab farmers for attaining self-sufficiency in food.
President Nambaryn Enkhbayar made a request in this regard to Prime Minister ManmohanSingh on the sidelines of the 7th ASEM Summit in Beijing today. It is perhaps for the first time in recent years that a Head of State has requested an Indian Prime Minister to make available the services of Punjab farmers. The response of Dr Manmohan Singh, sources said, was positive.
Mongolia has thus joined a select band of nations which want Punjab farmers for cultivating their fields and making their countries’ farmers either self-sufficient or even exporters of foodgrains. Australia, Argentina and certain other nations have already formulated their immigration policies to facilitate the state’s farmers.
So this is what the Wassup guys have been up to during the Bush years. Oh boy, are we in trouble..
Friday, October 24, 2008
I was browsing Google's Book Search (which is making huge strides in its mission to organize the world's information) and I came across this great portrait of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Its at the beginning of an book very descriptively titled "Origin of the Sikh Power in the
Punjab, and Political Life of Muha-raja Runjeet Singh, with an Account of the Present Condition, Religion, Laws and Customs of the Sikhs". The book was written by a Henry T. Prinsep who worked with the Bengal Civil Service. The interesting thing about this book is that it was written in 1834, a full FIVE years before Ranjit Singh's Death.
The entire is available to read online here.
I have to admit I haven't had a chance to read the entire book in detail but as I skimmed it came across lots of harsh opinions and insights into the personality of Ranjit Singh:
It has before been stated, that RUNJEET SINGH had no education in any branch of learning or science. He cannot read or write in any language, but the habit of hearing papers read in Persian, Punjabee, and Hindee, and great assiduity in his attention, even to the minutiae of business, have given him a facility in following, and understanding for the most part what is so submitted to him : so that, although quite unable to appreciate elegancies of style, or to dictate verbatim what should be written, he transacts business rapidly, is ready with a short and decided order upon any report or representation read to him, and when the draft of his instruction is submitted, after being prepared in due form, he sees at once whetherit fully meets his view. (Page 178)
His memory is excellent, and stored with minute, as well as important circumstances. His disposition is at the same time watchful, and his eye quick and searching, so that nothing escapes his observation ; while the perspicacity displayed in his appreciation of character, and in tracing the motives of other's actions, gives him a command and influence over all that approach him, which have been mainly instrumental to his rapid rise. With great acuteness, he has a lively imagination ; and though never for an instant forgetful of any ends he may have in view, there is a frankness and naivete about his conversation, peculiarly agreeable. His observations and remarks are given ordinarily in short, terse, incoherent phrase, or in the shape of interrogatories, but they are such, as remain fixed in the recollection of the person to whom they are addressed, as uncommon, and as displaying an original thinker. He has great power of dissimulation, and, under the greatest frankness of manner, and even familiarity in his intercourse, can veil subtle designs, and even treachery.
In action he has always shown himself personally brave, and collected, but his plans betray no boldness or adventurous hazard. Address, and cunning, nay, even corruption, have always been preferred by him, as instruments of success, to any dash of enterprize, calculated to excite admiration or inspire awe. His fertility in expedients is wonderful, and he is never at a loss for a resource in the greatest difficulties, but many of his actions evince caprice, and even instability of purpose, for the motive of them cannot be traced or imagined. His uniform conduct and career through life, prove him to be selfish, sensual, and licentious in the extreme; disregard ful of all ties of affection, blood, or friendship in the pursuit of ambition, or pleasure ; and profligately greedy — plundering and reducing to misery without the slightest feeling, or remorse, widows, orphans and families possessing claims to consideration and respect, that one wonders should not have been recognized, even if it were only from policy.
In his youth he was lavish in his gifts to favorites, and there was liberality in his general dealings, but, as age has come over him, avarice, and the desire of hoarding, have become the ruling passions, and he is approached, even by his confidential officers and those in favor, with more apprehension of robbery and exaction from themselves, than of hope to add to their accumulated means through his indulgence. His temper was in youth excellent, and always under command, but the irritability of an impaired constitution frequently now overpowers him, and he has been known to break out into fits of passion, and to descend to use personal violence towards the objects of his rage ; but, withal, there is no ferocity in his disposition, and he bas never taken life, even under circumstances of aggravated offence. (Page 180)Although no bigot, and active in restraining the zeal and fanaticism of the Akalees, and others, RUNJEET SINGH is yet scrupulous in the performance of all the prescribed observances of the Sikh faith, and, for a certain number of hours every day, has the Grunth read before him by Gooroos, and is liberal in his charities to Fuqeers and men of reputed sanctity. He is indeed superstitious in the extreme, readily conceiving fancies in respect to his destiny, and fortunes, and never failing to consult astrologers before entering upon any important undertaking. (Page 181)RUNJEET SINGH has, in the formation especially of his military force, evinced the same enquiring activity, the same attention to minntias, and perseverance in watching the execution of his plans, which characterized the first Peter of Russia; and, compared with all that we see and hear of other chiefs who have raised themselves to high dominion, he ranks amongst those, whose means have been the least exceptionable, his career being stained by no bloody executions, and by much fewer crimes, than are chargeable against most founders of dynasties. (Page 187)It is no uncommon practise of RUNJEET SINGH, when he contemplates any serious undertaking, to direct two slips of paper to be placed on the Grunth Sohib, or sacred volume of the Sikhs. On the one is written his wish, and on the other the reverse. A little boy is then brought in, and told to bring one of the slips, and, whichever it may happen to be, his Highness is as satisfied as if it were a voice from heaven. (Page 194)
As for the Sikhs, the author offers these observations:
They proclaimed the faith and tenets of GOVIND SINGH, the last acknowledged Gooroo or spiritual guide of the Sikhs, and took the Pahul of initiation into the mysteries of hat religion. The long hair on the head, and flowing beard, the entire renunciation of tobacco, and the use of the audible salutation of " Wah Gooroo-jee ke futeh," (victory to Gooroo jee,) proclaimed that the ploughshare had been exchanged for the avenger's sword, and that the maxims and precepts of the grunth of GOOROO GOVIND had prevailed over the more peaceable doctrines of the vedas and shastras of pure Hindooism. (Page 2-3)
Initiation by drinking of the Pahul is a rite established by GOOROO GOVIND, and is thus described by KHOOSH-WUQT RAEE. The candidate and the initiator wash their feet with water, and then put sugar into the liquid and stir it with a knife, while they repeat five quatrains, the first of which runs as follows :
Surawuk sidh sumoh sidhanuk dekh phiryo ghur Jogee Jutee Kee,
Soor surawuk sidh surawuk suut sumoh uuek mutee kee —
Sare bee desko dekh phiryo mut kooo nu dekhut pranputee kee
Sree Bhugwan kee Bhuye kripa bin ek rutee bin ek rutee kee.
I have been round and have seen all kinds of devotees, Jogees and Jutees,
Holy men, practisers of austerities, men wrapped up in contemplation of the Divinity with all their many ways and habits,
Every country have I travelled over, but the truly godly I have seen no where,
Without the grace of God, friend, Man's lot weighs not the lowest fraction.
The other quatrains are very nearly to the same effect. (Page 217)
Between each quatrain the breath is exhaled with a puff, and the beverage of mixed sugar and dirty water stirred as above, is then drunk to the toast of "wah! wah! Govind Sikh ! ap hee gooroo chela." Hail ! hail ! Govind Sikh ! himself preceptor and pupil." The neophyte, after this ceremony, is a Sikh complete. It is said that when GOOROO GOVIND had only five followers, he went through this form with them, drinking of the water which had washed their feet, and they drinking that which had washed his. (Page 218)In the month of December 1763, the Governor and ZYN KHAN moved out to risk an action with the Sikhs. The forces joined battle at Peer Zyn Munayra, a village about seven miles east of Sirhind, when fortune favored the Sikhs, and the Moosulman leaders were slain. The town of Sirhind was then carried, and most of the buildings razed to the ground, the Sikh animosity against the place being excited by the recollection, that the wife and infant son of their saint GOOROO GOVIND had there been inhumanly put to death by VUZEER KHAN, the governor for Aurungzeeb. Not a house was left standing, and it is even to this day deemed a meritorious act by a Sikh, to pull down three bricks from any standing wall of Sirhind, and convey them to the Sutlej or
Jumnato be cast there into the river. (Page 26-27)
The Sirdars or chiefs of the Sikh nation had been followed into the field by relations, friends, and volunteers, and not ordinarily by hired retainers. Most of these looked upon themselves as partners and associates in each enterprize, and regarded the lands now acquired as a common property in which each was to have his share, according to the degree in which he might have contributed to the acquisition. The associations were called Misuls, implying that they were confederacies of equals, under chiefs of their own selection. The chief was to lead in war, and act as arbiter in peace : he was respected and treated. with deference by the inferior Sirdars, but these owned no obligation to obey, beyond what they might consider to be for their own reciprocal benefit, or for the well being of the Misul. The confederacies had each their distinguishing title, and at this period there are twelve principal Misuls enumerated, which together could bring into the field about 70,000 horse. (Page 28-29)
As you’ve probably noticed (if you’ve read this far), many of these "facts" are in direct opposition to what is believed by present-day Sikhs. Welcome to the study of history. Its messy. There's no facts, only perspectives and they're all biased in some way. In the case of our friend, HENRY T. PRINSEP, the bias is clear. With an eye on conquering
, he writes the purpose of this book is: PunjabHERE is an interest attaching to the character and fortunes of RUNJEET SINGH, and to the dominion he has established over the and the Sikh nation, which promises to ensure to the following pages a favorable reception from the British Public. This interest is founded not less upon the geographical position of the territory of the new state, than upon the fact of its having been silently growing up under our eyes, till our wonder is excited at the accumulation of power and of wealth at the command of its present head. The desire to learn the steps and the means, by which the founder of any empire has risen to greatness, is a natural curiosity of the human mind, intense in proportion to the exaltation reached: but in this instance there is proximity to our own possessions, with the collisions that have occurred in consequence, to add to the interest felt about RUNJEET SINGH (page iii-iv) Punjab
A good friend of mine often quotes an African proverb: "Until Lions tell their own history, history will always glorify the hunters."
And so Walsh, like more and more Irish parents, sends her children to a school where all the lessons are taught in Irish — Ireland's indigenous Celtic language. Over the past decade, gaelscoileanna, as the schools are called, have become one of the fastest-growing sectors in Irish education.
The board first introduced Punjabi at Lincoln M. Alexander Secondary School in February 2007.
Some 30 students enrolled, but this year only 11 have opted for the class. Only students attending the Mississauga school can take the course.
"That does not indicate an overwhelming demand for that language," says Link. (Toronto Star)
So it seems like Punjabis are proud enough about their language to demand that it be brought in as an official language (i.e. Punjab, Haryana) or taught in the public school system (British Columbia, Ontario) but can't get around to enrolling their children in Punjabi classes. However, it is common for Punjabi youth in India and abroad (especially those in private schools) to be learning other 'exotic' languages like French, Spanish or Italian.
So why is this? Complacency, indifference, changing priorities or an inferiority complex? In multicultural, diverse world it seems like the more languages you know the better. I personally know of specific bank locations in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto that require a Punjabi-speaking person to be working at all times. Also, Air Canada's last round of layoffs actually excluded customer service staff who could speak multiple languages becuase they were too valuable to let go.
Live Webcast of:
Gurmat Sangeet Darbar
October 25 & 26, 2008
Saturday, October 25: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (PST)
Sunday, October 26: 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. (PST)
At the historical Stockton Gurdwara Sahib
Tto commemorate the 300th Gurta Gadd Diwas of Siri Guru Granth Sahib
Come celebrate the renaissance in the world of Gurmat Sangeet with the finest Ragis in the Sikh Panth
Kirtan in all major 31 Raags
Presentation: Gurmat Sangeet Appreciation
Documentary: Saz of Gurmat Sangeet
Stockton Gurdwara Sahib
1930 S. Grant Street, Stockton , CA-95206
For the first time, some of the finest Kirtaniyas in the Panth who have preserved the ancient traditions of Gurmat Sangeet will come together at the oldest Historical Gurdwara in North America to offer Gurbani Kirtan in all the 31 Nirdharit Raags of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib.
Do you display any of these sympoms?
- Heightened feelings of anxiety and paranoia
- Frequent glancing at the calendar
- A giddy sense of elation alternating with a pervading feeling of foreboding and doom.
- Holding one's breath unnaturally and wanting to go to sleep right now and wake up on Nov. 4.
If so, you're suffering from the new political syndrome called Waiting for Obama to Win (WOW for short). Glad to see I'm not the only one.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Please feel free to share some links to great Sikh posters and art in the comments.
Roll your eyes and call me a nerd but I can't get Daler Mehndi religious track for 300 Saal Guru De Naal out of my mind. Maybe because its played on tv everytime there's coverage of the 300 year gurtagaddi celebrations or maybe its because its painfully catchy. I guess if I've gotten it drilled into my brain, you can too.
This youtube video is a promo for the album but you can listen to part of the track here.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Thomson Reuters today announced that it has expanded its ground-breaking mobile information service for India's agricultural community to Punjab. Reuters Market Light, which brings commodity prices, crop and weather data to Indian farmers via mobile phone, launched today with over 3,000 subscribers signed up in Punjab, the birthplace of Green Revolution in India.
Amit Mehra, Managing Director of Reuters Market Light at Thomson Reuters, said: "India's farming community is one of the largest in the world but yet it remains a relatively opaque market. RML provides crucial customised agricultural information to help farmers maximise their productivity and increase their returns. Link
Each subscriber to the service gets daily weather updates and price updates on key commodities that help farmers decide where and when to sell their produce.
Let's hope that this technology helps Punjab's debt-ridden farmers eek out a lot more profits for their efforts.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
What do you call a slapshot, Penguin or one-timer in Punjabi?
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
We've been blessed by a comprehensive report that defined about 7,880 villages in Punjab that have no gospel witness. These are unchurched villages where, for the most part, the inhabitants have never even heard of Jesus Christ, let alone the salvation He offers. We are focused, through Project Punjab, on reaching every one of them with the gospel, and planting churches all along the way.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Here's a video showing what the river looks like post-cleanup: