Kids Corner

Current Events

A New Sikh Festival Charms
Los Angeles




The Sikh Arts and Film Festival (SAFF) at the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts: Chapman University in Orange, California, U.S.A., reminded us how far the Sikh-American community has come in recent decades in its efforts to showcase  Sikh arts, culture, and creativity in the U.S. and around the world.

Organized by SikhLens, an exciting and visionary project recently founded by Sardar Bicky Singh, the SAFF is dedicated
to celebrating Sikh culture.

A red carpet warm welcome by beautifully dressed hosts - fit to be Maharajas and Maharanis (the dress code for the evening) - greeted each guest to Friday night's (November 19, 2010) gala celebration at the entrance of Dodge College. The reception area was buzzing with excitement and elegantly dressed guests from around the country and beyond, greeting old friends and making new aquintances, enjoying the artwork on display of a number of Sikh artists and artisans (including K.P. Singh of Indiana - the featured artist - and the famous Singh Twins).

Many distinguished guests and accomplished artists, authors, educators, filmmakers, hilanthropists, businessmen, and representatives of faith traditions were part of the evening. Among them were Dr. Amarjit Singh Marwah; Bibi Inderjit Kaur; the SinghTwins from U.K;  author Bobby Singh; film actors Agam Darshi, Guru Singh, Balinder Johal and Angad Bhai; and Vic Sarin, the director of the feature film Partition; Punjabi folksinger Harleen Singh; musician Neelamjit Dhillon; poet Satnam "Scotty" Narang; Special Effects editor Manmeet Singh; innovative writer and author Sarbjit Rai.

Also attending were Mirin Kaur, President of Kaur Foundation and Janice Singh, designer of the Sikh Studies curriculum for Middle and High School students.prominent personalities.

The entire weekend was filled with fun and feasting, opportunities to learn, participate and make new friends. Besides a whole variety of films on many subjects: The Sikh Faith, history, cultural heritage, significant events, and Sikh diaspora concerns and achievements, were presented in several clusters throughout the weekend in the main auditorium at the Dodge College Film School.

The feature festival film, "Partition", about the Partition of Punjab and India in 1947, written and directed by Vic Sarin, offered a moving insight into the lives of two young people brought together and then pulled asunder by the cataclysmic divides that plagued the land.

The film about the 99-year old Sikh-Briton marathoner, Fauja Singh -  "Nothing Is Impossible", directed by Nina Duttaroy - had some very important lessons for all of us.

The documentary "Wagha" directed by Supriyo Sen about the ceremonial antics at the Indo-Pakistan border witnessed by thousands of Indians and Pakistanis from their respective sides of the border, was a pure delight and a great example of how people of different cultures and communities can find fun and excitement in places that one may least expect.

Bobby Singh signed copies of his book: The Lion's Firanghies; K.P. Singh signed copies of his book: The Art and Spirit of K.P. Singh ~ Selected Drawings and Writings and copies of the 2011 Sikhpoint Interfaith Calendar for all the guests.

People enjoyed the exhibit of the featured artist KP Singh and the creative jewelry designs of Niranjan Singh Khalsa and displays of the breathtaking Golden Temple replicas in glass and gold, crystal kirpans with filigreed metal handles, and other items inspired by Sikh themes.

A national Sikh Studies Initiative already launched and successfully implemeted in several counties in Maryland and Virginia through the efforts of the Kaur Foundation of Washington D.C., was introduced to the gathering by Sardarnis Mirin Kaur and Janice Singh. The latter is the author of the Sikh Studies curriculum.

The California State Deparment of Education has accepted the Sikh Studies Program in principle and, once implemented, it will serve over 6.5 million children at the elementary, middle, and high school level. Over one hundred people participated in the workshop which also included Sangeeta Luthra.

The excitement, energy, and talents of young Sikh-Americans weres evident everywhere. What we witnessed, discussed and experienced in the various forums, such as "The Creative Sikhs," made us proud and very hopeful about our future as Sikh Americans.

Formidable challenges remain, and many unexplored opportunities await us as we adjust to life and opportunities, expectations and responsibilies of our ever-changing world. Each of us felt greately enriched and carried home some valuable ideas for serious pursuit.

We have to build on our strengths and in solidarity on ideas that matter and make a difference. As Fauja Singh says: "Impossible is Nothing!"


November 26, 2010

Conversation about this article

1: Dodge College of Film and Media Arts (Orange, California, U.S.A.), November 29, 2010, 12:49 PM.

We were thrilled to host the incredibly successful SAFF, and are already looking forward to next year!

Comment on "A New Sikh Festival Charms
Los Angeles "

To help us distinguish between comments submitted by individuals and those automatically entered by software robots, please complete the following.

Please note: your email address will not be shown on the site, this is for contact and follow-up purposes only. All information will be handled in accordance with our Privacy Policy. Sikhchic reserves the right to edit or remove content at any time.