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. "