Friday, November 4, 2011

Guru Nanak Dev Ji's Birthday

Happy Gurpurb

It was Guru Nanak Dev Ji's birthday on Nov 2. There will be an akhand paath at the Guru Nanak Darbar on Nov 7-8-9.

From ""
Guru Nanak founded and formalised the three pillars of Sikhism:

1. Naam Japna Guru ji led the Sikhs directly to practise Simran and Naam Japna – meditation on God through reciting, chanting, singing and constant remembrance followed by deep study & comprehension of God’s Name and virtues. In real life to practice and tread on the path of Dharam (righteousness) - The inner thought of the Sikh thus stays constantly immersed in praises and appreciation of the Creator and the ONE ETERNAL GOD Waheguru.

2. Kirat Karni He expected the Sikhs to live as honourable householders and practise Kirat Karni – To honestly earn by ones physical and mental effort while accepting both pains and pleasures as GOD's gifts and blessings. One is to stay truthful at all times and, fear none but the Eternal Super Soul. Live a life founded on decency immersed in Dharam - life controlled by high spiritual, moral and social values.

3. Vand Chakna. The Sikhs were asked to share their wealth within the community by practising Vand Chakna – “Share and Consume together”. The community or Sadh Sangat is an important part of Sikhism. One must be part of a community that is living the flawless objective values set out by the Sikh Gurus and every Sikh has to contribute in whatever way possible to the common community pool. This spirit of Sharing and Giving is an important message from Guru Nanak.

It is cool to see how far Guru Nanak Dev Ji traveled on foot!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Some things I have learned

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Life can be hard, especially as Sikhs when we are very aware about the patterns of our mind and our subconscious.
Here are some tips that I have learned in my life as a Sikh, some things I have noticed as I journey forward. 

1.      Don’t generalize. When facing an adverse situation, it’s sometimes convenient to say, “Oh this always happens to me” or “I’ve been going through this forever.” But these kinds of statements, not only bring the negatives emotions of past events into the present, but also paint a bleak picture for the future. Try to focus on the current event, what the problem is, what you can do about it, what you have learned, what you would differently in the future.  Remember, there are always exceptions to the rule, and although finding a pattern in your life can sometimes be useful, it can also be detrimental to stay stuck in the past and convince yourself that past events will repeat in the future. The same applies to making generalizing comments to someone else like “you never care about me” or “you always do [blank]”.

2.      Be careful of TV. In the old days, people had to sit down and watch their fave tv show at the exact time it came on TV. Now with modern technology, like DVR/PVRs, DVD players, youtube etc. we can watch entire seasons of TV shows at a time, something I admit to doing. Someimtes watching TV though is to keep your mind preoccupied. If you are watching TV excessively, you should ask yourself why. Chances are you are trying to avoid thinking about or feeling something that is bothering you, which leaves you exhausted the next day. Watching TV should not come at the expense of your sleep. It is better to be well rested to tackle the next day, than watch another episode of Modern Family.

3.      Consider yourself equal. With the increasing globalization of the world comes more competition for jobs and positions. Sometimes you have to tout your own horn to get ahead. Although many Sikhs are adverse to bragging about what they have done, there are very few CEOs or committee members that would understand this. You have to let people know what you have accomplished in an honest fashion. Don’t think your better than anyone, but don’t think you are less than anyone either. If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish many things without the need to sabotage or destroy your competition.

4.      Don’t self-sabotage. Sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in our past, and let the decisions we made rule our future. Remember, Waheguru gave you this opportunity to life for a reason. If we live in chardi kala (a positive attitude) and rise to the challenge, then Waheguru will give us all the tools and skills we need to complete the tasks we are meant to complete. But if we self-pity and think that we are too inadequate for the job, we are not only self-sabotaging ourselves, but also fighting against Waheguru’s hukam- thinking that we know better than he does.

5.      Care about what you think about yourself. People will judge us no matter what. Some people will think good things and some people will think bad things about what we do, how we dress etc. What people think about us is not really a reflection about us, but rather a reflection about the person who is judging and their mindset. For example, an open-minded positive person may think very highly about a project that we completed, but another person who has a negative mindset or a person who gets jealous may tell us our project is a disaster. None of these opinions are the absolute truth and more or less reflect on the person judging us, rather than our project. So it is more important to understand what you think about yourself, rather than strangers. 

So these are just some things I have learned on my journey, by serious self-reflection.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Keeping Traditions Alive

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
There are a lot of old traditions that were passed down generation to generation in Punjab, but as the world gets “westernized”, people around the world are leaving the rich traditions and practises behind. Items that used to be handmade in the past are substituted by modern mass production items, which we use once and then throw away. With modernization, we lose part of rich heritage and part of our cultural consciousness.

My father learned how to weave manja from his great-grandfather, who lived to be more than a 100 years old. A manja is a woven bed that was frequently used in India. My great great grandfather, I have heard, was always doing things, utilizing his energy to create something, even in his old age. In a way his legacy lives on, as my father showed my two sisters and I how to weave our first manja.

Click on the link to read more

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Watch your drinks

By Prince George Citizen
Police warn to check your glass after incidents involving more than mix

Men and women in Prince George are having their drinks spiked with drugs.

Police do not consider recent findings to be an anomaly, but tests have found that within the last couple of months a man and a woman have both been victims of illicit drink doctoring in unrelated incidents.

“They were completely different places and situations,” said Prince George RCMP spokesman Cpl. Craig Douglass.

The timing of each incident was not disclosed, nor the social setting in particular, because Douglass said the issue is ongoing and could happen in any large social group.

“The motives for slipping a drug into the drink of a male or female can be quite different,” Douglass added. “For females it is typically done to facilitate a sexual assault. It is often done to males to make them vulnerable to violence.”

Without specifying, Douglass confirmed that in at least one of the recent cases harm was done to the targeted victim. More than one investigation is underway.

“The precautions the public should take would apply as much in any other town in the province, but you should definitely put those precautions into use here in Prince George,” Douglass said.

The most commonly administered drug to put people in a vulnerable position is alcohol, he said, so beware of overindulgence, especially at the encouragement of someone providing the drinks.

Other drugs that have locally shown themselves in recent times include Ketamine and Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB).

Although common in medical use, and to some extent naturally occurring in the human body making them challenging to detect, these chemicals are predatory drugs said Douglass, that kick in after only a few minutes. They are “often odourless and often tasteless when mixed in a drink,” he explained, and have very similar effects to alcohol.

“Should you feel your drink has been spiked, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Get to the nearest hospital for a urine test right away,” Douglass said. “It is imperative that you do not go to the bathroom. Drugs that are used to facilitate sexual assaults are quickly metabolized in the body and excreted through one’s urine. Preserve as much evidence as possible. Do not shower, bathe, urinate, eat, drink or throw away clothing. If possible, save the glasses or containers that you drank from.”

Call police as soon as possible as well. It may help not only the situation you may find yourself in, but tie into other ongoing investigations as well.

Punjabi sing-along

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

This is a cool punjabi sing-along.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Blood Donation Camp

Waheguru Ji kI Fateh
Here are a couple of pictures taken at the blood donation camps over the past couple of years, which is organized by Sikh Nation in honor of the 1984 massacres. Thank you to all the people who came out and donated. Sorry I don't have all of your pictures.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Humble Beginnings

Solange School, Quebec
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

It's hard to imagine where one will end up in course of one's life. But one thing is for certain

University of Alberta Hospital

I started my kindergarten year in a one-room schoolhouse in rural Quebec. There were were probably about 15 students from kindergarten to grade 7. Although I knew I would do great things, I would never have imagined the journey I would travel. 
   With Waheguru's kirpa, I got a full scholarship to the University of Northern BC, where I finished my degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. With Waheguru's kirpa, I was able to volunteer and serve the people of Prince George while doing my studies. In 2010, I was accepted into one of the top five medical schools in Canada, the University of Alberta.
I used to dream big, but honestly the journey from a small school in rural Quebec to one of the most prestigious universities in the world was orchestrated by Waheguru or God. I just kept taking the opportunities that he gave me and my family and here I am! It just goes to show you, dream big and Waheguru will give you a way to fulfill the destiny that you were put on this Earth to do.
University of Alberta

Doing research

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

We are really fortunate in northern BC to have the opportunity to do research in the various labs at UNBC. Since we have such a small university, there are more opportunities to volunteer in a research lab, or even become a paid research assistant. The NSERC USRA award is granted every March to capable and enthusiastic students to undertake summer research projects. The deadline for this award is Feb 1. Furthermore, in smaller university undergraduate students are given more challenging projects with more responsibility. Therefore, you really get to be involved in life-changing research by doing interesting projects.
I completed two summer research projects in a cancer research lab here at UNBC, which was funded by NSERC USRA. The experience was very useful. I got to apply the theory and the scientific method I learned in the classroom to real life problems encountered in my projects. I learned a variety of biochemistry techniques. I also learned how to use critical thinking skills when assessing evidence and scientific literature. The coolest things of course was knowing that my research could be used in helping find treatments for cancer. 

I also attended various research conferences where I could present my research findings to other scientists. This was a good learning experience and helped me improve my public speaking skills.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Canadian Cancer Society

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh 

Here are some pictures from the Canadian Cancer Society 24 hour relay. Click on the read more tab to see more pictures

Diabetes Event 2011

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

On March 26, 2011 PGSYS with the Canadian Diabetes Association organized an event called, “The Big Picture of Diabetes”. This free event was held in English and Punjabi and was held at the Civic Centre. Its main purpose was to increase the awareness of diabetes among the Prince George and Northern BC South Asian populations.

Speakers included:
1.   Tarlok Sablok: MC
2.   Manorma Bhat: Dietician
3.   Dr. Parmjit Sohal: Gave General Info on Diabetes
4.   Manpreet K Sidhu: greeter

     At the door, people had the opportunity to have their blood pressure and blood glucose checked. They also received information on diet and nutrition, and general information on diabetes in Punjabi. MLA Shirley Bond and Mayor Dan Rogers also came and said their greetings. Tarlok Sablok was the MC and introduced the speakers. Dr. Sahol then did a presentation about diabetes in Punjabi, and Manorma the dietician finished off with information on nutrition and health.  
     We would like to thank all the volunteers that made this event possible. They helped with a variety of tasks including setting up, greeting guests, taking surveys, registering guests etc. 
     We would also like to thank our sponsors who made this event possible!

·      Canadian Diabetes Association: Boyanne Young
·      SD57: Arvinder Singh Billing
·      Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh Temple
·      Guru Gobind Sikh Temple
·      Grewal Group
·      Pharmasave

   The event was very successful and a lot of people felt it was very useful. Gaining knowledge on diabetes is the key to prevention.

Click on the Read More tab to see pictures!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

More about PG Sikh Youth Society

Serving to bring peace and prosperity to everyone

Who We Are

The Prince George Sikh Youth Society is an independent, nonprofit organization that is registered with the Government of British Columbia. It was created in May 2008. 

Our Mission is to share the spirit of Sikhism and its values such as honesty, compassion, truthfulness, and equality with others.

We believe that Sikhs should strive to uplift and serve humanity, to promote equality among all humans, to understand that one God pervades through all of creation, to act and live truthfully and compassionately, to remember and meditate on God always, to make an honest living, and to share your earnings to help the people in need.

Our goals include:
  • Creating awareness of Sikhism and its values among Sikh youth and the general public
  • Increasing youth volunteerism with organizations that serve the greater public good, so youth realize the importance of serving and  uplifting people in need
  • Providing workshops/seminars to increase the well being of youth and others alike
Search our blog: to see pictures of all of the events we have done so far, as well as to get notifications of future events!

About Sikhs in Prince George

I know there is not a lot of information on the internet about Sikhs or Punjabi people in Prince George, British Columbia, Canada so here are a few facts.

  • Prince George is the home of 76,000 people and is the largest city in northern BC. 
  • Prince George is the home of University of Northern BC, one of the leading research universities in Canada

It has two Sikh gurudwaras or temples
1. Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh Temple
4298 Davis Road

2. Guru Gobind Singh Temple
443 Kelly St S

  • Approximately 250 people attend gurudwara regularly
  • There is an annual Nagar Keertan and Ranswayee keertan organized by the Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh Temple
  • Prince George Sikh Youth Society is an independent society that not only caters to the needs of the Sikh Youth, but also to the general Sikh Public
  • The Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society (IMSS) also provides services to immigrants in PG
  • Around 910 people speak Punjabi at home, making Punjabi- speaking people the largest minority group in PG (Canadian Census Stats 2006)
  • 9.6% of the total population were immigrants in  2006 (Canadian Census Stats 2006)

And the Volunteer Award goes to...

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Manpreet Kaur Sidhu, a member of the PGSYS, was honored with the "Volunteer of the year" award by the Canadian Diabetes Association at a banquet held on May 28, 2011. She has been an active volunteer at the CDA for a number of years now, and she was an integral part of organizing both South Asian diabetes events here in Prince George. Congratulations Manpreet!
"Manpreet Kaur Sidhu has shown extreme dedication in assisting the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) towards its missions and goals. She has contributed vast amounts of time and effort to increase the awareness of diabetes. Being a part of the South Asian community, Manpreet knew that South Asians are at a higher risk for diabetes. She has worked tirelessly to increase the knowledge of diabetes among South Asians, so that diabetes can be prevented or properly managed. Manpreet has been volunteering at the CDA office in Prince George since 2008. She has assisted the CDA at numerous events, including the 2008 BC Senior games, UNBC events, Healthier You Expo, TELUS Walk for Diabetes, and other CDA events. She also participated in a regional focus group, and helped provide ideas to improve the CDA. She also helped to hand out DVDs about healthy cooking in Punjabi at the Sikh parade. Manpreet created the South Asian Advisory Committee in 2009  to plan ways to reach out to the South Asian public and to educate them on diabetes. She has been trained in delivering presentations on diabetes, and delivered a presentation with Dr. Satish Mann in English and Punjabi in June 2009. Recently, Manpreet worked with Boyanne Young of the CDA to organize an event called, “The Big Picture of Diabetes” in March 2011. This event was held in English and Punjabi, and its main purpose was to increase the awareness of diabetes among the Prince George and Northern BC South Asian populations. Manpreet took on huge responsibilities to ensure the success of this large-scale event.
Despite being a second-year undergraduate student studying Biochemistry and having various other volunteer responsibilities, no one else I know shows such extreme dedication and commitment to uphold the mission and values of the CDA and to help educate people in Prince George about diabetes, as Manpreet does. "

Thursday, June 30, 2011

More Stuffed Animals Donation

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

A few times last year the PGSYS donates stuffed animals to the pediatrics ward or the emergency ward at the Prince George hospital. The stuffed animals are given to children who come into the ward, and provide them with comfort while they stay at the hospital. Here are some pictures.

Prince George City Awards

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

This year two people involved with the PGSYS were honored with Prince George City Awards on April 28, 2011. One of the them was Harjas Singh Grewal who received the Prince George Youth of the Year Honorable Mention award. Harjas has been an active volunteer in the community and with the PGSYS. He is also an avid hockey player. Harjas also recieved the UNBC Raven Scholarship, worth $6500. Congratulations Harjas!

Another award went to Navpreet Kaur Sidhu, who was honored with the PG Community Service Award for the volunteer work she did in Prince George. Congratulations Navpreet!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Camp Raj Yog

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru JI Ki Fateh

Camp Raj Yog occurs every summer, located on the Sunshine coast. My sister and I had the pleasure of attending the women's camp in 2009, which was a blast. A few of the camp leaders also came to Prince  George in 2009 and we had the pleasure of listening to their keertan. Here are some pictures. 


Nagar Keertan 2011!!

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Here are some pictures taken at Nagar Keertan 2011, which was organized by the Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh Temple. The Nagar Keertan made its way from the Gurudwara to the CN centre, where there was free langar, and also speeches from guest speakers and gatka performed by the youth. There were a few floats, one of them being the palki sahib that graced the sangat with keertan, one with the dhaddi jatha, and one with the local PG youth that did keertan. We would like to thank the sangat, gatka teams and guest speakers from across BC and Canada, including Surrey, Williams Lake, Quesnal, New Westminster, Vancouver that made the trip to come to the PG Nagar Keertan. Here are some pictures. Enjoy!

For more pictures, click the read more link at the bottom

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Nagar Keertan 2010

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Here are some pictures from the Nagar Keertan in 2010. This Nagar Keertan was organized by the Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh Temple. Enjoy!

We would like to thank all of the organizers and volunteers that made the nagar keertan possible. Also, we would like to thank the sangat that came from various places around the world, including India, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Williams Lake, New Westminster, Quesnal etc. for making the trip to PG to join us in this nagar keertan.

Click on the Read More link at the bottom to see more pictures!

Volunteering in the langar

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Here are some pictures of the ladies doing seva in the kitchen in Guru Nanak Darbar. I believe they are making various types of food for the langar for the Nagar Keertan 2010. 

Click on the read more link at the bottom for more pictures. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Random Pics over the years

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa 
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Here are some pictures taken over the years in the Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh Temple. Enjoy!
Click on the Read More Link to see more pics

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Nagar Keertan #1 and #2

Here are some pictures from the first Nagar Keertans that occurred in 2006 and 2007. Enjoy!


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Nagar Keertan 2010

Here is a youtube video uploaded by Prince George Citizen of the Nagar Keertan in 2010.

Watch it at:


Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Just wanted to let you know that the society blog will be updated in the next week to include some of the major events that have occurred in the past year. Stay tuned!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Nagar Keertan tomorrow!

It is once that time of year again. Prince George sangat will be enjoying the annual Nagar Keertan in celebration of Khalsa da Sajna Divas!

When: Saturday May 21, 2011 (tomorrow!)

Time: starts at 10:00 am at the Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh Temple

Arrive at the CN Centre at 12:00pm where we can enjoy free food and learn more about Khalsa da Sajna Divas/Vaisakhi
Head back to the Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh Temple at 2:00pm, and arrive at 4:00pm
There will be other programs before 10:00am and after 4:00pm at the Gurudwara.

Rain or shine, I hope everyone comes out and not only enjoys the free food and festivities, but also gets to join the sangat in celebrating the historic event that made Sikhism what it is today.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

South Asian Diabetes Event: March 26

There is a FREE diabetes event hosted by the Canadian Diabetes Association called the Big Picture on Diabetes, coming up on SATURDAY MARCH 26 from 12:30 to 4:30 at the PRINCE GEORGE CIVIC CENTER in PUNJABI and ENGLISH. Our guest speakers include Dr. Parmjit Sohal, M.D., PH.D., and Manorma Bhate, registered dietician, as well as Tarlok Sablok, emcee. Manorma will be doing a skit with visual props, showing the nutritional content of your favorite sweets such as gulab jaman, ladoo, and barfee. These speakers are all coming from Vancouver/Surrey, so please come out to show your support. There will be FREE BLOOD SUGAR and BLOOD PRESSURE TESTING from 12:30 to 1:30, with presentations beginning at 1:30. Diabetes is a very serious issue for people of all ages, and South Asians are at high risk for diabetes.
For more information please contact Boyanne Young at the Canadian Diabetes Association Office 250-561-9284, or Manpreet K. Sidhu at 250-964-2590.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sikhnet Audio Story Script Writing Competition


SikhNet is looking for creative writers (You!) to create new original Sikh-themed stories and story series for children. The winning story, as well as a selection of other story submissions, may be used to produce new audio/video stories on SikhNet. If your script wins, it will be featured in future SikhNet Audio Stories online, CDs, books, AS WELL as possibly being animated and shown on SikhNet and on TV!

Deadline: Feb. 20th, 2011

Are you excited?! Put your creativity turban/chuni on and get those creative ideas going!

What We are Looking for:

  1. An original story with Sikh characters that is inspirational or teaches something and speaks, in an entertaining and engaging way, to modern children.
  2. Stories that are geared towards Sikh girls and female characters that serve as role models and address the needs of Sikh girls. Stories can have both boy and girl characters together as long as there is a strong female character in addition to the boy character. (See 4 below.)
  3. Stories that can be made into a series (i.e., multiple unique stories using the main characters in different plots and settings.) We want characters kids can 'connect with' and get familiar with through lots of different "Adventures."
  4. Stories with Sikh Boy & Girl characters that appeal to both genders and tackle topics that relate to both. It could also have other main characters, parents, teachers, adults, animals/imaginary characters/sidekicks, etc.
  5. We are primarily looking for original work. This means that if history is used, it should be used in a new and original way. Historical stories are more limited, and for that reason we want new ideas and situations that apply to young people today. Historical fiction can serve this purpose provided it is original and "modern." Modern fiction and future fiction will also be exciting. I'm sure you have some good ideas that are itching to come out.
If this sounds interesting to you, then get started right away since we need your scripts really soon! Once you've started your creative process, you may want to read the suggestions below on how YOU can win the excellent prizes and help create more inspiring stories for kids on SikhNet.

In order for your story to be produced as an actual SikhNet Audio or Video Story you will want to keep in mind the following guidelines (of course don't let anything hinder your creativity!)