Thursday, August 11, 2022

Sikh history in Canada on display at permanent exhibit in Ottawa

“(As a child), when I went to India, people said, ‘Well, you’re not Indian’. And when I was here, I didn’t feel like I was Canadian,” said Mandeep Singh, a member of the Ottawa Sikh Society. “Now I have history going back to Punjab. But I also have 200 years of history in Canada.”

— Mandeep Singh

PRAVASISAMWAD.COM

The Ottawa Sikh Society in Canada has put up a new permanent exhibit of Sikh history that will help tell the story of Canada through a uniquely Sikh lens. Mandeep Singh believes that the permanent exhibition of Sikh history in Canada will bring a hope that it will help others like him, who have to live with dual identities as a Canadian and a Sikh, reported CBS News.

“(As a child), when I went to India, people said, ‘Well, you’re not Indian’. And when I was here, I didn’t feel like I was Canadian,” said Mandeep Singh, a member of the Ottawa Sikh Society. “Now I have history going back to Punjab. But I also have 200 years of history in Canada.”

The Ottawa Sikh Society launched the exhibit of Sikh history in Canada, which dates back to 1809, on July 23 at the Ottawa Sikh Society Gurdwara in Nepean.

CBC News reported that the timeline was developed by researchers at the Sikh Heritage Museum of Canada. It starts in 1809 and takes the visitor through landmark events such as the turning away of the Komagata Maru in 1914, of Sikh soldiers fighting in the First World War and the first turbaned officer being inducted into the RCMP. “For us in the Ottawa Sikh Society, it was important to bring this exhibition here. It’s the story of the Sikhs in Canada. Or you could say it’s the story of Canada through a Sikh lens,” said Singh.

The timeline was developed by researchers at the Sikh Heritage Museum of Canada. It starts in 1809 and takes the visitor through landmark events such as the turning away of the Komagata Maru in 1914, of Sikh soldiers fighting in the First World War and the first turbaned officer being inducted into the RCMP

“What was our Canadian heritage? Where does that exist? Where’s our history there? Where are our ancestors?” Singh asked. “This exhibition here, that was designed by those historians in Toronto and in B.C., is our story, actually dating back to even before Canada was formed.”

Inderjit Singh Sambhi, secretary of the Ottawa Sikh Society, said this exhibition would be of great value to a younger generation of Sikhs in Canada who want to connect with their Canadian heritage. “They want to find out how many years we have been here in Canada, what our struggles have been and what our successes have been, so that they can learn from our mistakes and they can move on from our progress and progress more.”

Sambhi also said, “We know that Sikhs fought many wars alongside the British, because we were British subjects in India,” Sambhi said. “But after that we don’t know what happened in Canada. This particular exhibition connects us to that gap.”

******************************************************

Readers

These are extraordinary times. All of us have to rely on high-impact, trustworthy journalism. And this is especially true of the Indian Diaspora. Members of the Indian community overseas cannot be fed with inaccurate news.

Pravasi Samwad is a venture that has no shareholders. It is the result of an impassioned initiative of a handful of Indian journalists spread around the world.  We have taken the small step forward with the pledge to provide news with accuracy, free from political and commercial influence. Our aim is to keep you, our readers, informed about developments at ‘home’ and across the world that affect you.

Please help us to keep our journalism independent and free.

In these difficult times, to run a news website requires finances. While every contribution, big or small, will makes a difference, we request our readers to put us in touch with advertisers worldwide. It will be a great help.

For more information: pravasisamwad00@gmail.com

Roma Ghosh
Roma Ghosh has recently retired as Associate Professor for Media Studies from an international university. She was with the Times of India as a correspondent for many years. Her passion is cooking and she has been doing recipes and photo shoots for Women's Era for the last 15-odd years.

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

EDITOR'S CHOICE