By Caitlin Grams Not In Our School and the UNITED SIKHS presented the winning films for the NIOS and United Sikhs Anti-Bullying Video Contest at the Gurdwara Sahib in Fremont, CA in June. The contest asked Sikh students from across the state to create short videos to share their anti-bullying message and teach peers of all backgrounds about the Sikh culture and religion. The goal of the contest was to promote intercultural understanding and to help create welcoming environments that are free of bullying.
"Dialogue does not mean everyone at the ‘table’ will agree with one another. Pluralism involves the commitment to being at the table—with one’s commitments." —The Pluralism Project at Harvard University The California legislature designated November as Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month By Amrit Kaur Sidhu My 5-year-old Sikh-American brother came home from his local public school wearing a headband of paper feathers that adorned the top of his patka (small turban). He proudly showed me his ‘magical’ macaroni necklace, as he told me that he was dressed as a Native American. Struggling to react to this inherent irony, I was once again reminded of how I had been taunted as a Sikh-American in elementary school for being a ‘dot-Indian’ or a ‘feather-Indian’. Not only was his school perpetuating a stereotype, but was also blatantly misappropriating the culture of an indigenous community that has systematically and historically been bullied.
California Sikh Youth Voices Promoting Diversity: A Video Contest Share Your Story about Sikh Culture and Your Experiences Standing Up to Bullying The goal of the Sikh Youth Voices video contest is to create more awareness and understanding of Sikh culture and to help schools create more welcoming and inclusive environments that are free of bullying. Not In Our School and UNITED SIKHS are proud to share student-made videos on our websites for use in classrooms across the country and the world. We believe that building, understanding and creating awareness of Sikh culture as well as solutions to bullying will help make schools safer and more inclusive for all students. Sharing stories through the voices of Sikh youth is a wonderful way to make that happen. We are seeking youth-made videos that share the following: