Sikh Women Launch Bay Area Cultural Center

October 22, 2003

Source: silicon india

On October 22, 2003 silicon india reported that "the first Sikh cultural and community center in the U.S. will soon take shape -- and what makes it unique is that the plan is being pitched by several women. A group of Sikhs in the Bay Area of California is drumming up financial support for the purpose. According to the Sikh Mediawatch and Resource Task Force here, the project will be the only center of its kind in the U.S.... Women and young adults are being targeted as the future center's leaders. Although Sikhism -- a 500-year-old monotheistic religion -- stresses men and women are equal, only men sit in leadership positions at the temples in San Jose and Fremont. Some avid temple leaders are cautiously optimistic about such a plan. 'It's a fine idea,' said Nirmal Singh, who used to be a temple president in Fremont but resigned when different factions began fighting over control of leadership. 'But it all depends on the people running it.' The Sikh center will look similar to a Jewish community centre, where sports, art and cultural life are enjoyed by the community. Religion will be a part of the center, but not a focal point. It will offer forums on topics such as what it's like to wear a turban at school and adapting Sikhism to American culture."