in the Darbar Sahib complex during Operation Bluestar, an initiative such as this begins to ensure that collective knowledge of our community will be preserved somewhere.
As our nation grows and becomes more diverse, it is critical that we appreciate and understand the different backgrounds of all that make this country great. Sikh Americans have significantly contributed to every field of human endeavor from technology, commerce, health, science, agriculture, to the arts – further enriching the cultural fabric of this land of immigrants.
This initiative promotes and builds a progressive understanding of the Sikhs, for fellow Americans, through the expansion of subjects that define and celebrate a community’s heritage and roots. The Sikh Collection will become a permanent resource to help gain a better understanding and insight into our achievements, history and traditions. [link]
A number of events are being held to kick off and highlight this new Initiative including a 2 day conference on June 18th and 19th (’Taking Heritage to the 21st Century’), a photography exhibit titled “A Journey,” and book launch of “Empire of the Sikhs,The Life and Times of Maharaja Ranjit Singh” by Patwant Singh and Jyoti Rai.
Kicking off the conference on June 18th will be members of the Nishaan magazine team, and a session highlighting achievements of Sikh women in art, featuring the Singh Twins- Amrit and Rabindra- and Arpana Caur. June 19th will begin with discussions of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, his son Duleep Singh, and Sikh Royal Artifacts in the UK’s Victoria and Albert Museum featuring authors F.S. Aijazuddi, Navtej Sarna, and the curator of the V&A exhibit, Susan Strong.
The final session of the conference features Sikhs who have been succesful in business, other professions, and a discussion on the importance of Sikh chairs (see schedule below or click on agenda at left for larger image and details).
A sampling of books that will begin the Sikh Collection Initiative in the Library of Congress is forthcoming (and will be posted when available).
If you’re in the DC area on June 18th and 19th, or able to get to DC, this will be worth your while. Register here.
Schedule of Events:
June 18, 2009
The Library of Congress, Jefferson Building
10 First Street, SE Washington, DC 20540
The Sikh Collection Initiative Book
Launch: ‘Empire of the Sikhs’ By S. Patwant Singh & Jyoti Rai &
‘A Journey’ A Unique Photography Exhibit
Welcome Address by the Chief of Asian Division, Library of Congress
Mr. Peter Young at 1:30 PM
‘Portraits of Courage’
Pushpinder Singh, Exec. editor Nishaan Magazine & Dr. Ken Robbins at 1:45 PM
‘Achievements of Extraordinary Sikh Women in Art’
Arpana Caur, renowned artist, activist; The Singh Twins, Amrit & Rabindra, Artists of international standing, authors, at 2:30 PM
Reception: Thursday, June 18, 2009 At 7:00 PM
Attire: Black Tie or Traditional
June 19, 2009
9:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Enter the Maharaja…
‘The Court of Lahore’, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, F.S. Aijazuddin, Author, Honorary British Consul, Principal Aitchison College, Lahore at 9:45AM
‘Sikh Royal Artifacts’, the V&A Museum Collection Susan Stronge, Author, Senior Curator in the Asian Department at 11:00 AM
‘Life & Times of Duleep Singh,’ Navtej Sarna, Ambassador to Israel, Author & Christy Campbell, Author at 11:45 AM
1:15 PM – 4:45 PM
Connecting the Continents…
‘Scaling New Heights’,
the professional and entrepreneurial role and contributions of Sikh
American industry leaders & CEO’s, Mr. Jagdeep Singh, CEO
Infinera; Mr. Daya Singh, CEO Akal Security; Mr. Kanwaljit Singh, Gates
Foundation; Mr. Ranjit Singh, Deloitte at 1:30 PM
‘The Importance of establishing Sikh Chairs in Universities,’ Dr. G.S. Mann, Chair UCSB; Dr. Paul Taylor, Smithsonian Institution; Dr. I.J. Singh, Author & Professor, NYU; Ms. Ajeet Cour, Writer at 2:30 PM
‘Enriching the fabric of American Society since 1899… a vision for tomorrow.’ Mr. Sonny Caberwal, Model, Entrepreneur & Attorney; Ms. Arpinder Kaur, Pilot; Mr. Ranjit S. Rangar, Architect; Mr. Hargobind Hari Singh, Guitarist & Singer at 3:45 PM