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

monkey main

VIDEO: Monkey saves dying friend at Indian railway station

VANCOUVER DESI A small monkey in India has become an overnight hero after it saved the life of another monkey that was electrocuted at a…
Continue Reading »

bus stop

Father charged after toddler struck in face and abandoned at Surrey bus stop ‘like he was a piece of garbage’

NICK EAGLAND VANCOUVER DESI Police are crediting kind Surrey strangers for rescuing and attempting to identify a three-year-old boy who was struck in the face…
Continue Reading »

narendra modi

Indian opposition lawmakers demand Modi clarify stand on conversion of minorities to Hinduism

NIRMALA GEORGE THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW DELHI — Opposition lawmakers, charging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done little to stop hard-liners in his party…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

bus stop

Father charged after toddler struck in face and abandoned at Surrey bus stop ‘like he was a piece of garbage’

NICK EAGLAND VANCOUVER DESI Police are crediting kind Surrey strangers for rescuing and attempting to identify a three-year-old boy who was struck in the face…
Continue Reading »

Social justice found online voice in 2014: Experts say

By Michelle McQuigge THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — Celebrity watchers and armchair coaches may have produced the most social media chatter over the past 12…
Continue Reading »

tausif

Ottawa police make arrests in drug and robbery related killing of international student

SHAAMINI YOGARETNAM OTTAWA CITIZEN Ottawa police have arrested two men in what is now believed to be the drug-and-robbery-related pathway slaying of 23-year-old Carleton University…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Avoiding relapse, inviting happiness over the Holiday Season

NIRMALA RANIGA VANCOUVER DESI The holiday season can be an especially challenging time for individuals in recovery from addictive behaviours. Holiday parties and celebrations with…
Continue Reading »

Vagina Monologues

Sex workers from India’s largest red light area seek American feminist Eve Ensler’s help

IANS Kolkata – American activist and playwright Eve Ensler Friday met sex workers in Kolkata’s Sonagachi, one of Asia’s largest red light areas, who sought…
Continue Reading »

Miss World

Bikini round removed from Miss World pageant

IANS London – The Miss World contest, which has been an annual feature since 1951, will no longer feature a swimsuit round in their competition,…
Continue Reading »

sexi desi babes

Gallery: Wait for India’s Kingfisher Calendar Girl 2015 is almost over

VANCOUVER DESI The Hunt for the Kingfisher Calendar Girl 2015 is almost over. An Indian lifestyle channel will air the grand finale of the reality…
Continue Reading »

Taliban attack

Pakistani student who skipped school on the day of Taliban rampage ‘isn’t talking to anyone’

VANCOUVER DESI A 15-year-old student of Pakistan’s Army Public School  – which was bombed by the Taliban this week, killing 141 people, of which 132…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

sunny

Indo Canadian porn star Sunny Leone to ring in the New Year in Hyderabad

  VANCOUVER DESI Indo Canadian porn star turned Bollywood starlet Sunny Leone will be ringing in the New Year in Hyderabad, according to the Deccan…
Continue Reading »

Priyanka Chopra

Gallery: Stars come together for another big fat Bollywood wedding

VANCOUVER DESI After Salman Khan’s sister Arpita Khan’s wedding with businessman Aayush Sharma last month, Bollywood stars gathered for another high-profile Bollywood wedding that turned…
Continue Reading »

BOLLYWOOD

Film Review: Aamir Khan’s PK unconventionally outstanding

TROY REBEIRO IANS Film: “PK”; Cast: Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma, Sushant Singh Rajput, Saurabh Shukla, Boman Irani, Parikshat Shahni; Director: Rajkumar Hirani; Rating: *** 1/2…
Continue Reading »