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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sikhs Seek Understanding Of Their Faith

Sikhs turn to schools with DVD to tell their story PDF Print E-mail
Written by Onkar S Bindra Thursday, December 13, 2007

ImageSince 2005, California Sikhs have pointed out to the State Board of Education that Sikh culture and Sikh contributions to California history are under-represented in the school textbooks, leading many to mistake Sikhs for what they are not. They have suggested how to better incorporate Sikhs into the history-social science curriculum, pointed out inaccuracies, and submitted "The Sikh Next Door" program and "Meet the Sikhs" DVD for inclusion in the approved Supplemental Instructional Materials.

"Meet the Sikhs" is a short video, produced in 2005 by the Public Broadcasting station KVIE (TV Channels 6 & 7, Sacramento). It was telecast by the KVIE numerous times. After a successful Legal and Social review in 2006, the video was included in the list of approved Supplemental Instructional Materials for California's Public Schools. Dr. David Hosley, the General Manager of the KVIE, kindly agreed that the video may be used for educational purposes free of charge.

Mr. Jack O'Connell, the Superintendent of Public Instructions in California, has taken a commendable step in writing to County and District Superintendents, at the request of this reporter, to make use of the video. The Superintendent wrote "Members of the Sikh community have testified to the SBE that Sikhs have been targets of hate crimes, especially in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, by Americans who mistakenly identify them as Arab or Muslim." Mentioning that the short video "Meet the Sikhs" is available in Quick Time format at free of charge, he stated, "I encourage you to make use of this video to inform students about the roles and contributions of Sikhs to the history of California".

Sikh parents should personally see the Principals of the schools of their children to provide them one or two copies of the DVD with a request that the DVD may be shown to all their staff, faculty and students. They could also offer their services for a half-an-hour presentation on Sikh culture, history and religion to the teachers. Sikh organizations, Gurdwaras and Punjabi schools could motivate the parents and choose volunteer parents for contacting each Principal.

In case of problem in downloading the DVD, KVIE { Toll-free: 800-347-KVIE (5843)} could help.

And this EXCELLENT video: One Light' celebrates the oneness of all people in the footsteps of Guru Nanak who traveled thousands of miles and reached millions of people in the conflicted world to impart the message of One God, One humanity. In this film a 13 year old from suburban Atlanta takes on a project to educate his neighbors about himself as a Sikh and learn about them. The mission is to connect with them drawing on similarities, and inspiring everyone to take a baby step in the direction of making this world a friendlier place by education, connection and inspiration.

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