Efforts to raise awareness about Sikh faith in the form of giving back to the community is just what these blessed souls partook this weekend preaching a silent message about being Sikhs and take their stand about being united against hatred. Members of the Northern San Joaquin Valley’s Sikh community volunteered their time over the […]
Efforts to raise awareness about Sikh faith in the form of giving back to the community is just what these blessed souls partook this weekend preaching a silent message about being Sikhs and take their stand about being united against hatred.
Members of the Northern San Joaquin Valley’s Sikh community volunteered their time over the weekends to work with Habitat for Humanity and to serve food to the needy in downtown Modesto.
These efforts were a part of the third annual Day of Seva, or selfless service, which aims to raise awareness of the Sikh faith and honor the victims and survivors of the 2012 mass shooting in suburban Milwaukee, Wis., in which a gunman killed six worshippers and wounded several others.
“Seva is a huge part of our religion, the principle of giving back to the community,” said Goldie Pabla, a volunteer advocate for the Sikh Coalition. “We always have food and shelter available to anyone at our Gurdwaras (places of worship), especially on Sundays.”
Early Sunday afternoon, Sikh volunteers prepared meals at the Gurdwara Sahib Sikh temple on Hatch Road in Hughson, then distributed the food at I and Eighth streets in downtown Modesto to the homeless and anyone else who needed it, Pabla said.
In their Day of Seva efforts over the weekend, volunteers wore white T-shirts that on the front read “We are all Sikhs” and on the back, “America stands united.”
“We want to be recognized as just Americans,” Pabla said as she and nearly 20 other Sikhs worked with a large group of volunteers to build a four-bedroom home on Signature Court near John Thurman Field in south Modesto. “If there was more awareness (of the Sikh faith), that hate crime may not have happened.”
The Sikh religion originated in the 15th century in the Punjab region of India and Pakistan. In the United States, the faith dates back about 100 years, Pabla said, and the first Sikh temple in the nation is in Stockton. California’s Central Valley has the largest Sikh community in the country, she said.
According to an “at a glance” article on the Sikh Coalition website, “Sikhism is a monotheistic religion based on a definitive revelation. With over 25 million followers worldwide, it is one of the youngest major world religions. … Sikhism preaches a message of devotion, remembrance of God at all times, truthful living, equality between all human beings, social justice, while emphatically denouncing superstitions and blind rituals.”
Shortly after the Wisconsin killings, an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noted they constituted “the most deadly U.S. attack on Sikhs – who often have been mistaken for Muslims and targeted in hate crimes – in recent memory.”
Efforts don’t go Vein! And keeping up that spirit of relentless optimism is what Sikhism is all about!
~ Source: fox6now.com