From The Editor's Desk ...
We've now completed six months since we started this brave new venture - the online magazine called sikhchic.com.
Our experience with it, and the response from the diaspora we seek to serve, has exceeded all our hopes and expectations. For example, our readership - and it hails from virtually every nook and cranny of the globe - has doubled every two months, and continues in that trajectory.
We feel humbled by all of this, but are eager to take pride in one thing only - that we have also been successful in working hand-in-hand with sister-sites and other community organizations. This is particularly important to us because our intent has never been to engage in competition, but rather to complement the wonderful work already being done by pre-existing websites and blogs, many of which are already providing yeoman service to the community.
The niche we have chosen for ourselves is "art & culture of the diaspora". It cuts a wide swath, and brings many a challenge with it. And we refrain from what we describe as "full-frontal" religion, politics and news. Not because we are not interested in any of them. It's just that other sites are already addressing those areas, and we've felt no compulsion to duplicate their efforts needlessly.
We hasten to add that we don't shy away from difficult topics. The choice and direction of many of our stories to date should easily dispel any concerns in this regard.
But, we are very clear in our goal: to celebrate Sikhs, Sikhi and the Sikh world-view. We are willing to push the envelope a bit, from time to time, but the single-most important criteria that runs through all that we do is "chardi kalaa".
Moreover, our aim is to provide a forum which brings the wider community together. We consciously avoid divisive issues, not because we think they are unimportant, but because we feel others can do - and are doing - a better job of it.
The definition of "Sikh", for the purposes of our magazine, is unabashedly a broad one, which includes any and all who are of Sikh origin and/or consider themselves Sikh. We do not attempt to judge others as to who is a good Sikh and who isn't, or who falls in or out of any particular definition.
This, no doubt, will cause some distress to a few at every point of the spectrum. There are opinions of every ilk and colour, expressing valuable perspectives on such issues.
We have, however, chosen to steer away from this discourse, not because we don't have our own opinions, but because we think the particular service we wish to provide is also an important one - a forum where all Sikhs can gather and freely share their joys and sorrows, their hopes and aspirations, their plans and experiences.
Within the parameters outlined herein, we welcome one and all.
The exclusions, if and when applied, are for anything that is perceived to be mal-intentioned or hurtful (even if inadvertent), whatever is contrary to the all-inclusive spirit of Sikhi, and things that generally fall outside the ambit of our self-enunciated "mission".
Also, we feel that culture (which, in its wider definition, includes art) is the glue that holds a community together, and to understand, appreciate and nurture that culture, it must be given free rein - something that will invariably test us in many ways.
One thing is certain: we'll make mistakes. We are open to suggestions and criticism, and promise to try our best in everything that we do.
However, one thing we will not do is to waver from the guidelines we have set for ourselves. Please bear with us, especially if you disagree with the exercise of our discretion, or with the content of any of our postings.
After all, we share the same goals.
July 3, 2007
[Photos on this page: Top, detail from "Easy Rider", by Vivek Sharma. Bottom, detail from "Chic Sikh", by Charles Meacham. Thumbnail, detail from "Drawing Hands", by M.C. Escher.]
Conversation about this article
1: Harinder (Pune, India), July 04, 2007, 6:10 AM.
I love this site. It is so important to have something like this. The only slogan I was brought up with was: "The only culture of Punjab is agriculture". This site disproves it and makes us feel justifiably proud of Sikhi and Punjabiat. May Waheguru make the site grow from strength to strength.
2: Shivraj Singh Sandhu (Leicester, U.K.), July 04, 2007, 8:58 AM.
What a great site! Brilliant and nicely designed. A great read.
3: Jagdeep Singh (London, England), July 04, 2007, 9:08 AM.
Long may you prosper doing what you do, reflecting the art and culture of the Sikh diaspora, and representing the spirit of plurality, tolerance and multi-cultural acceptance of differences - which was at the very heart of Guru Nanak's message.
4: Thira (Bangkok, Thailand), July 05, 2007, 8:13 AM.
I log on to sikhchic.com everyday for the inspirational daily Quote and the interesting articles.
5: Joravar Rai (Melbourne, Australia), July 05, 2007, 5:40 PM.
I would, firstly, like to commend the sikhchic.com team for doing a fantastic job. Not only is the website aesthetically pleasing, but the content is also a joy to read. Secondly, I would like to thank the team for serving the entire Sikh community, and not any particular segment. This website has shown me that there is still hope out there. Please do not let anyone deter you from continuing your good work, as it is much appreciated.
6: Ekta Kaur (New Delhi, India), July 06, 2007, 9:21 AM.
This site is wonderful. It makes us proud. Love the articles...keep up the good work!
7: Maninder Singh (Markham, Canada), July 08, 2007, 9:21 AM.
Congratulations to the sikhchic.com team on coming up with such a great site. Brilliantly written articles. Keep up the good work. Thank you for providing food for the soul.
8: Raminder Kaur (Delhi, India.), July 20, 2007, 11:38 AM.
It's fantastic. I appreciate your effort in staying "neutral", and bringing every one under one umbrella. Unity is the first lesson taught by our Gurus. "Waheguru ji aapji di mehnat nu saflaa paun."
9: R. Sandhu (Brampton, Canada), July 20, 2007, 4:55 PM.
This site is turning into a valuable resource for all. Thanks.
10: M. Banwait (Fort McMurray, Canada), July 20, 2007, 9:01 PM.
Awsome site. Even my non-Sikh co-workers enjoy the site.
11: Kanwal Talwar (Jacksonville, U.S.A.), July 21, 2007, 10:18 AM.
I recently discovered your site. Truly amazing - something I have long wished we could have. Congratulations on bringing to life something we only dreamed of - and for also appreciating the fact that we can work with other websites that serve a different need. It is a fresh start to unite and bond. Thank you, and I look forward to being on this site more often.
12: Prabhu Singh Khalsa (EspaÃ±ola, New Mexico, U.S.A.), July 24, 2007, 3:37 PM.
I really enjoy this site as well and definitely feel that it is unique and unifying. As the site administrators already know, I especially prefer highlighting the achievements of Sikhs who stand in the image of Guru Gobind Singh! I hope that someday I may be able to contribute to this site as well. Congratulations on your acheivements!
13: Pritam Singh Grewal (Canada), July 24, 2007, 8:13 PM.
Excellent site. Excelsior!
14: Gurumustuk Singh (Espanola, U.S.A.), July 27, 2007, 9:47 AM.
Keep up the great work!
15: Gurbani Kaur (Richfield, Ohio, U.S.A.), July 29, 2007, 8:21 AM.
My name is Gurbani Kaur. I am a sixth grade student in Ohio. I am Ohio's Winner for a poster contest to promote skin cancer prevention awareness. In my poster, I used cute frogs to promote the messages of skin cancer awareness. I am a young, straight A student, who stays in the Sikh Rehat. I was the local winner in the Sikh Youth Symposium in my group. I sing shabads in the Gurudwara at Richfield, Ohio. The Shade Foundation of America is dedicated to eradicating melanoma through the education of children and the community in the prevention and detection of skin cancer and the promotion of sun safety. It sponsors a Sunwise Poster Contest for school children. The National Winner will be decided after online voting at the website www.shadefoundation.org. Voting is open till July 31, 2007 and 5 votes are allowed per valid email address. TWO DAYS LEFT! Please encourage me by casting your vote for POSTER no. 22 at www.shadefoundation.org/vote.php. I humbly request you to vote for me and post this on your website.
16: Gurpartap Singh (Chandigarh, Punjab, India), August 07, 2007, 7:14 AM.
I'm very impressed by your site. May God bless you.
17: Sodhi Jagtesh Singh (Brampton, Canada), August 07, 2007, 2:20 PM.
Very nice and appreciable projection of Sikhism. May Waheguru be with you ... keep up the good work.
18: Kanwal Nain Singh (Lindsay, Ontario, Canada), August 12, 2007, 11:29 AM.
This site offers a great service in connecting the community on a global basis. It is wonderful to be able to feel one with the community across the continents, discuss matters of mutual interest, and get educated on concerned issues.
19: Brijinder Kaur Khurana (Delhi, India), August 13, 2007, 1:46 AM.
Its a wonderful attempt to provide information to everyone. The home page is very nicely designed: it attracts everyone to enter it. I visit your site daily and enjoy reading the articles/stories. etc., especially "Today's Quote". All the best, and Good Luck.
20: Jaibir Singh (Kolkata, India), August 13, 2007, 9:09 AM.
Well, it's really good to see Sikhs abroad still with their roots strong. I admire their work ...
21: Pritpal Singh Gulri (Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.), February 06, 2008, 10:17 AM.
Dear Editor & Team: Please give me the opportunity to congratulate your team on inspiring the community, providing a platform for sharing, and aggregating powerful and relevant content within the site. I believe a major component missing from the site is a Technology area. Technology content, ideas, tools, social networking components, and trends to help the community in enhancing their personal and professional lives, is needed and valuable. As a Sikh-American who has been involved intimately with all aspects of technology from product to business development for the last 20 years, I bring a perspective that may be beneficial to the community. Please let me know if I can be of some help. [Editor: Great suggestion! We'll give it some serious thought. Thanks. In the meantime, we'd more than welcome further and specific suggestions, ideas, proposals, etc. You can forward them to email@example.com]
22: Brijinder Khurana (Delhi, India), December 16, 2008, 12:16 AM.
Sikhchic.com is my home page. I visit this site every morning to learn more about Sikhism as I feel that my knowledge has been enhanced while visiting this site. I got the power of Sikhism due to this site. Thanks to the Editorial staff of Sikhchic.com for making such a wonderful site.
23: Pat Williams (United States), April 10, 2009, 3:54 AM.
I liked your site.
24: Iqbal Kaur (Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, U.K.), January 17, 2010, 1:39 PM.
I have logged on to your site for the first time today and I do think that any thing which educates and informs people in the world about Sikhi and Sikhism is just fantastic!
25: Ravnder Kaur (Calgary, Alberta, Canada), February 03, 2010, 9:33 PM.
Excellent site! Please continue providing a positive non-judgmental perspective on Sikhi and an open forum for discussion.
26: Bimal Kaur (Mumbai, India), February 22, 2010, 11:05 PM.
It is an inspiring site. I wish to contribute the English translations of Bhai Vir Singh ji's works. Please let me know the procedure. [Editor: Please e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org]
27: Sonu Singh (Mumbai, India), March 29, 2010, 6:15 PM.
Congratulations ... this is a really good site ... systematic approach and easy to follow. Kudos!
28: Leela (India), September 27, 2010, 5:48 AM.
I want to make a documentary on forgotten Gurdwaras. How can you help me out. [Editor: What help do you need?]
29: Jamil Mirza (Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan), November 02, 2010, 1:11 AM.
Informative and interesting site. Can you make another site with the name of "Punjabchic" so that the Punjabies of West Punjab can take part in it. Although I see there are no restrictions on this site. Thanks and regards.
30: Panjab Singh (Yuba City, California, U.S.A.), April 16, 2011, 2:29 PM.
Dear Editor: I admire what you are doing and I regularly visit your website as an authentic source about Sikhi. What you are missing is mainstream ground-realities of Punjab. You have a forum to project the balance in the best traditions.. Go outside the box. Overall, you are doing a great job.
31: Kuldip (Crawley, Sussex, United Kingdom), June 14, 2011, 1:17 AM.
I see this was a better place for me making my comment. I agree with what this website is doing, but as I have lamented on the article re Surinder Kaur, the readers give many comments on the religious political aspects but I noticed on the true art related articles, very few opinions are offered ... That is sad and not taking advantage of the remit of this site. We should be proud of our Punjabi language and sahit.
32: Baldev Singh (Bradford, United Kingdom), July 24, 2011, 2:33 PM.
This is a great magazine for current affairs and extremely important topics to pass critical comment on ... Thanks, sikhchic.com.