Kaur Project: Recognising and celebrating Sikh women

| Canada | 2 March 2017 | Asia Samachar |
KAUR PROJECT: Some of the Sikh women featured are (L-R) Simi Kaur, Dipreet Kaur and Bhavneet Kaur – PHOTOS FROM KAUR PROJECT WEBSITE

Meet three of the 50 Sikh women featured in the Kaur Project.

Canadian-based Simi Kaur, a mother and an author, is working on a book that focuses on learning to count in Punjabi in a fun way for children.

Bhavneet Kaur, who took up gymnastics at the age of five, later took part in the All Star cheerleading, and at the Cheerleading Worlds Championships.

Dilpreet Kaur, who teaches children Punjabi, feels that kirtan is something that grounds her.

These ladies – with their well-choreographed photos and their interesting stories – are captured at the Kaur Project website. See here.

DILPREET: “I was fortunate to grow up doing Kirtan with many different mentors. When I was young, I remember my Dad taking the time to explain what the shabads mean. At the time I didn’t understand why he was spending so much time trying to explain it to me. Now I am grateful for him doing this and inspiring me to take this direction, as studying Gurbani is the greatest gift he gave me as a father.”

BHAVNEET: “Doing things outside of traditional paths, lights fire inside of you to uncover parts of yourself, to yourself.”

The lady behind the camera is Saji Kaur Sahota while the story comes to life thanks to the storytelling by Jessie Kaur Lehail.

What prompted the project? Sikhs are ‘steeped in an old patriarchal culture that makes us complicit in the erasure of women, past and present’ despite the great deal of discussion about women’s equality, answers the proponents of the project.

“The few historicized Kaur stories, often are defined in relation to their male counterparts. Often their full contributions as thinkers, poets and warriors unto themselves have been eclipsed by historians, policy, and our communities.

“But, a new generation of Kaurs exist as teachers, lawyers, artists, entrepreneurs, doctors, homemakers, filmmakers and more, all carrying on the movement of revolutionary women. They have found brave new ways to reflect their identities while offering their own unique voices to public discourse. We are proud to call them our contemporaries — they are sources of inspiration, wisdom and leadership, who deserve to be known.

“The Kaurs highlighted by Kaur Project are modern-day heroines – and for each Kaur story we share, there are thousands more, blazing their own paths,” they say.

The project team has gone on what they call “kaur-spotting” where they explain to the prospective entrant about the project – about the importance of celebrating the diversity and inclusivity of Kaurs.

“Some Kaurs are flattered while others are suspicious. We always ask permission before taking a snap and sharing their story,” they say.


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