Turban’s role in Canadian life examined in Sikh Heritage Museum show opening Sunday

Published: January 18, 2013

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Turbans at Sikh Heritage Museum

Satwinder Bains, Director of the Sikh Heritage Museum in Abbotsford, with UFV student Anmol Boparai, set up some of the displays for the new exhibit: ‘Canadian Sikh Identity: The Turban Challenge and the Evolution of the Turban or Pagri.’ Larissa Cahute/PNG

Satwinder Bains doesn’t want the Sikh history to disappear.

“We don’t record our history,” the Director of Abbotsford’s Sikh Heritage Museum told Vancouver Desi. “So we need to engage more.”

The museum’s third historical exhibit — premiering Sunday — takes a look at the “turban challenge” Sikhs faced as they settled into Canada and the evolution of it.

“Since 1904 from when they arrived there’s been consistent public as well as government attention paid to the turban,” said Bains. “The turban also is part of our history in Canada and we want to make sure that our history is recorded correctly and the history includes us.

“Sometimes students don’t read that history in their school system.”

The exhibit takes a look at a pioneer family’s settlement in Canada, displays turbans from around the world and examines challenges the RCMP and army have faced with the turban.

“Although we have a 100-year history, I think there are still questions in the Canadian mind about the turban and what it signifies,” said Bains. “There’s always this conversation going on around the city that I think we need to … maybe expose it a bit more and find a venue for people to have that discussion about it.”

She hopes the Sikh Heritage Museum will be one of those venues and help explain the important religious symbolism of the turban, which is that all baptized Sikhs must wear it because it’s part of the five symbols to identify Sikhs given by the last prophet.

RELATED STORIES:

“This is why the RCMP had to understand that we couldn’t just take off the turban at will … it’s something you wear in the morning and remove at night,” said Bains.

And although the turban has “come a long way,” it’s still “static at some level.”

“There’s still history that’s old and ancient that continues to carry over into the diaspora,” said Bains. “We haven’t lost that — it hasn’t become part of an ancient folklore history or religion.”

But with that, it still suffers discrimination.

“It’s very poignant for us that even today kids are discriminated against in the school system,” said Bains.“The worst thing is fear of the unknown … we’re trying to break that down.”

The exhibit isn’t just a learning place for non-Sikhs, though — Bains wants the younger generation of Sikhs to understand its importance, because many young Sikh boys aren’t wearing the turban.

“Is there going to be a time when the younger generation doesn’t have a connection to the turban?” asked Bains.

“We want to acknowledge that the turban has a role in Canadian life. The turban has so much meaning to us and we want to make sure you understand that meaning.”

The exhibit officially opens Sunday at 2p.m. and is expected to run until September. Sunday’s opening will include a keynote address from Baltej Singh Dhillon, the first turbaned Sikh member of the RCMP, a turban-tying demonstration, a documentary and food and refreshments.

The Sikh Heritage Museum is located at 33094 South Fraser Way in Abbotsford, directly across from the Khalsa Diwan Society.

Tags: , ,




Featured

guru-sacrifice

Indian guru lynched after beheading boy, 5, in suspected child sacrifice

IANS Guwahati – Simmering tension prevailed in Assam after a guru sacrificed a five-year-old boy to appease the God of death and was later lynched by…
Continue Reading »

PAK ATTACK

Officials: Gunmen hijack buses in Pakistan, kill 19 passengers and battle security forces

ABDUL SATTAR THE ASSOCIATED PRESS QUETTA, Pakistan — Around 20 armed men hijacked two buses in Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan province, killed 19 passengers and battled…
Continue Reading »

premature babies

Canadian pediatricians recommend letting 22-week-old preemies die. Should doctors try to save the tiny newborns?

TOM BLACKWELL POSTMEDIA NEWS Measuring just 10 inches long, Carter Lake should never have made it past his first few desperate hours outside the womb….
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

premature babies

Canadian pediatricians recommend letting 22-week-old preemies die. Should doctors try to save the tiny newborns?

TOM BLACKWELL POSTMEDIA NEWS Measuring just 10 inches long, Carter Lake should never have made it past his first few desperate hours outside the womb….
Continue Reading »

Surrey MP Nina Grewal

Tory safety minister praises Surrey MP Nina Grewal for helping make Surrey safer

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW OTTAWA — Canada’s Minister of Public Safety Steven Blaney has thanked his Conservative colleague Nina Grewal, MP for Fleetwood-Port Kells, for…
Continue Reading »

Editorial Exchange: Voluntary CPP payments no fix

By Winnipeg Free Press THE CANADIAN PRESS An editorial from the Winnipeg Free Press, published May28: High principles and foreign policy have never been easy…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

sexy legs and breasts

Men prefer brains over big breasts and long legs: Study

IANS London – What do men prefer, beauty or brains? According to a British evolutionary biologist, men prefer intelligence over big breasts and long legs…
Continue Reading »

blood sugar-desi

South Asian people poor at managing diabetes

IANS London – Limited knowledge of diabetes and the belief that the state of their health is out of their control has led to poor…
Continue Reading »

Aga Khan

PM Harper, Aga Khan discuss threat posed by violent extremists

VANCOUVER DESI Prime Minister Stephen Harper expressed his condolences to the Aga Khan Tuesday for the recent terrorist attack on the Ismaili community in Pakistan. The spiritual…
Continue Reading »

tallest man-India-desi

India’s tallest man spends his days in a cage-like structure posing for photos at an amusement park

VANCOUVER DESI Life is not easy for India’s tallest man Dharmendra Singh, who stands at 8-ft 1-inch, his height being the biggest barrier for his career and…
Continue Reading »

indian summer

It’s so hot in India right now the roads are literally melting

At least 1,100 dead in month-long heatwave THE ASSOCIATED PRESS & NATIONAL POST STAFF It’s so hot in India right now that the streets are…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Sunny Leone

Celina Jaitley says Sunny Leone “drove me to seek legal help”

VANCOUVER DESI AND HINDUSTAN TIMES Indo-Canadian actress Sunny Leone, who was living in a house owned by Bollywood actress and activist Celina Jaitley, has been…
Continue Reading »

Ramleela Bollywood

Bollywood babe Deepika Padujone finds rumoured beau Ranveer Singh ‘incredible’ in ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’

IANS Mumbai – Deepika Padukone is “blown away” after watching Zoya Akhtar’s film “Dil Dhadakne Do”, and she is especially impressed by rumoured beau Ranveer…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood badshah tweets first look of Salman Khan's Bajrangi Bhaijaan

Bollywood gives ‘blockbuster alert’ post ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ teaser

IANS Mumbai – There is style, glamour, action, energetic music and dance — all packed in one. The teaser of Salman Khan’s next “Bajrangi Bhaijaan”…
Continue Reading »