The Camera Never Lies: The Sikh Canadian Experience

This year marks the 100th anniversary of an important milestone in Canada’s history. In 1913, the number of immigrants to Canada peaked at 400,000. It was a high-water mark until the onset on fighting in Europe brought an end to the biggest boom in Canadian immigration, before or since. For thousands of Sikhs, this is the era that started their family experience in Canada.

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The Way of the Warrior: Son of a Warrior

This week marks the birth anniversary of Baba Ajit Singh (11 February 1687 – 7 December 1705), the eldest of the four sons of Guru Gobind Singh. The title ‘Baba’ was, in Sikh tradition, reserved for the sons of the Gurus.

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Your Shout: Tales of 1947

This week’s Your Shout comes from Amrit Kaur Lohia who has co-produced a new play on Partition. Here she outlines how and why she and her fellow students at SOAS chose to represent this harrowing topic:

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iWitness: To the beat of the gong 1903

How did they keep time at the Golden Temple in the past? Well, this section of a painting by an Australian artist provides a vital clue.


Home Abroad: Early Sikhs in Central Asia?

Did early Sikh merchants and travellers settle on the shore of the Caspian Sea? That’s the question raised by this intriguing inscription, which contains the opening verses of Guru Nanak’s most famous composition.

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The Camera Never Lies: Mounted Trooper 1858

This is Man Singh Vuraich on horseback photographed by Felice Beato in 1858 at Lucknow during the sepoy uprising (1857-58).

 

Thought for the Day: Profile builder or figure of fun?

This is Baba Jagir Singh, an oft-photographed Nihang from Amritsar who sports a 300m turban adorned with countless metal accoutrements including quoits, rosaries, daggers, crescents, and even an Ik Onkar symbol!

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iWitness: The Ever Changing Scene 1854

Between 1850-57, professional artist William Carpenter (1818-1899) travelled through India. He often dressed in Indian style in order to paint watercolours of scenery, daily life and local rulers.

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Better Half: Amrita Sher-gil (1913-41)

This week’s Better Half column celebrates the brief life and work of a twentieth century modern artist and icon Amrita Shergill (1913-1941).

Her paintings, it has been remarked, echo the beauty and brilliance that she possessed as an individual and which is best encapsulated in her own words: “I will enjoy my beauty because it is given for a short-time and joy is a short-lived thing”.

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Home Abroad: Crossroads to Asia

As Afghan President Hamid Karzai arrives in the UK to discuss peace in the region, this week’s HomeAbroad goes to the war-torn country in the footsteps of a young Sikh who had a mission to document its dwindling community of Sikhs.

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