Vernon residents are invited to a special event during Sikh Heritage Month.
“Sikh Heritage Month invites us to remember, celebrate and educate about Sikhs and the important role that we play in the community,” says Ramandeep Kaur, settlement worker with Vernon and District Immigrant and Community Services Society.
“We celebrate Sikh Heritage Month not only to commemorate the resilience and achievements, but also to remember that there is much more to do.”
The public invited to attend the Gurdwara Vernon Sikh Temple, 3800 Commonage Cres., on April 12, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
A lunchtime discussion circle will feature kirtan (a practice of call and response chanting that combines mantra and devotional music), refreshments and an opportunity to engage in an open dialogue with local Sikh women to better understand the past and present contributions of Sikhs in the North Okanagan.
Following recent violence targeting a Sikh student attending UBC Okanagan in Kelowna, the event will provide a space to better understand the experiences of Sikhs in Vernon and to explore individual roles and responsibilities with respect to advocacy.
“Sikh Heritage Month is an important opportunity to reflect on the prevalence and impact of systemic racism,” says Naaz Kaur Grewal, local immigration partnership council co-ordinator.
“Starting constructive dialogues about racism can be daunting, but these conversations are a vital aspect of building a stronger, consciously more inclusive community.”
Seating is limited and pre-registration is required.