Saakhi Competition Deadline Extended to Oct 31st and 150+ Submissions So Far!

Open to all, with current submissions from participants ranging from 3-75 years old!

Many years ago, I was brought onto the SikhNet team for the purpose of creating audio stories for children. Since then, I've been honored to produce dozens and dozens of stories.

A very endearing memory I have is when a friend visited one year and expressed how important the stories were for his child: "He really takes the lessons in deeply. He asks spiritual questions about karma and life when we're doing something totally unrelated to the stories. These are a real treasure!" Another sentiment I heard from an Uncle Ji who introduced his nieces and nephews to the audio stories was: "Since they started listening [to the stories], their behavior has changed for the better." I've even heard from a skeptic who noticed a difference in his daughters, "It has real life results."

There is a teaching in SGGSJ from Guru Amar Das:

ਬਾਬਾਣੀਆ ਕਹਾਣੀਆ ਪੁਤ ਸਪੁਤ ਕਰੇਨਿ ॥

baabaaniaa kaahaaniaa put saput karayn

The stories of the ancestors make the children good children

I'll give an example. I found a story from the time of the 10th Guru. It involved teaching a boy that he can't simply let others do all the work for him. With his own hands he needs to serve, only then will he have truly clean hands; "the hands that do not serve are polluted." I called the story 'The Boy With Soft Hands', and I hoped that it would serve as an important lesson to counter an epidemic of our time: youth who are spoiled with modern conveniences and comfort. Recently, I was very happy to see that two young sisters from Malaysia retold the story by acting it out themselves. 

They did this as an entry for the 'International Saakhi Competition' which launched at the beginning of September. 

I was so happy to see this competition take life. While this initiative is put forward as the first of a yearly competition for all ages and Sangat all over the world, the Sevadars behind it have a more ambitious vision: to become the go to place for Sikh stories online. In the course of the month, they impressively received over 150 submissions and from participants aged 3 years old to 75 years old!

And you can add your contribution as well: the deadline for submissions has been extended to October 31st in order to accommodate Sangat experiencing delays due to COVID, internet issues, school starts, etc. 

Please see tinyurl.com/saakhi for all rules, instructions, cash prize amounts (ranging from $50-$250), and FAQs, and submit your video to [email protected] with your name, age, and location! 

Here is my (perhaps long-winded) submission. I look forward to seeing yours added to this growing library. 

In the words of one of the organizers, "I want kids to cry about turning off a Saakhi on YouTube as much as they do Peppa Pig or Paw Patrol... We have amazing stories from our history at the ready; we just need to ready our ears and hearts for them."

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