July 24, 2019 (Washington, D.C.): A comedic video educating Americans about Sikhs and their turban has gone viral and it has become a sensation on social media. While in recent years America is facing polarized atmosphere, National Sikh Campaign partnered with a Hollywood comedic powerhouse Funny or Die to inject humor in the public conversation while talking about a subject which often makes people uncomfortable. The video has already been watched by a diverse and a young audience close to half a million within 4 weeks of its launch. Every day the number is growing.
The laughter filled video “Diversity Day” features a Sikh director as well as two Sikh actors, Babbu and Sandy Gill, and is set in a modern-day workplace during an HR training addressing discrimination. Audiences have been laughing along as a struggling-to-be-politically-correct moderator addresses a Sikh-American turban wearing man. Their interactions hilariously reveal facts about the Sikh faith and beliefs in a funny and relatable way.
“The Sikh Turban is a symbol of religious and gender equality and worn as a declaration to stand up for injustice for all people. Due to ignorance of this most important feature of Sikhism, Sikhs and their young ones face negative and sometime hostile environment.“ said Anjleen Kaur, Executive Director of the National Sikh Campaign and We Are Sikhs.
She added, “Working together with the phenomenal team at Funny Or Die has been a hilarious adventure in helping eliminate ignorance through educating America’s youth.”
Gurwin Singh Ahuja, Executive Director of NSC, said, “This video has become an overwhelming success and has garnered more than 400,000 views on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube and it continues to grow each day. The video has also garnered support from high profile American civil rights groups such as the Anti-Defamation League, the Center for American Progress, Rock the Vote, the Woman’s March as well as Sikh Instagram influencers.
Even the House of Representative Democrats tweeted official support for the video.
YOUTUBE LINK TO VIDEO, CLICK HERE
FACEBOOK LINK TO THE VIDEO, CLICK HERE
He added, “We are very pleased with the results and this is exactly reaching the right audience especially the millennials and Gen Z. It is critical for us to engage the younger people to help spread the message and help create a better environment for our youth.”
“I was born and raised in a Sikh household with a turban wearing father and like many other first-generation Americans, I felt as though the world didn’t really understand me or my faith,” shared “Diversity Day” Director Hans Sahni. “We purposefully cast male and female Sikhs cast members versus well-known actors for ‘Diversity Day’ as we wanted to portray what everyday life is like for Sikh Americans who are too often victims of harassment and bullying. I feel like this project, and everything the We Are Sikhs campaign is doing, can help today’s young people feel more comfortable, accepted and open in a way that I didn’t get to be.”
Brad Jenkins, Founder of Enfranchisement Productions and former Executive Producer at Funny Or Die and Former Associate Director at the White House, says, “Having made lots of content with Funny Or Die, this is one of my favorites to date. Not only are the engagement and comments way more positive than normal, the video is actually helping to eliminate ignorance through education and even better, with laughs.”
We Are Sikhs initiative is the larger mission of NSC to bring awareness to the Sikh Turban. Other awareness initiatives include a partnership with Ben & Jerry’s, a corporate giant and working with Public Broadcasting Network to launch a series of ads aimed at children, which will air on Sesame Street, Arthur, The Magic School Bus, as well as a series of digital shorts for Millennials and Gen Z.
A majority of American Sikhs experience harassment and the numbers are worse for turbaned Sikh children — where over two-thirds experience bullying. The Sikh Turban represents equality and to stand up for injustice for all people, and We Are Sikhs believes that the antidote to intolerance is education and dialogue.
Turban-tying services boom as young British Sikhs embrace heritage (Asia Samachar, 6 July 2019)