This semester, I taught a course at MacEwan University called “The Brampton Renaissance”—a term I came up with to describe the flowering of Sikh artistic and cultural activity coming out of Brampton over the past 15 years.
The premise of the class was relatively simple: Brampton continues to gain recognition as a global center for Sikh cultural production—particularly in the music industry. What are the factors that have led to Brampton achieving this central place in Sikh cultural life?
In “Common Thread,” Noyz exposes the Canadian discourse of multiculturalism and pluralism for what it is: a veneer for White supremacy. At the same time, Noyz’s highlighting of these flaws in Canadian multiculturalism also stands alongside his tribute to the incredible and brutal journey of immigrants coming from Punjab to Canada. By combining these two themes, the song directs listeners to consider the misconception that “over there” is desperate, dangerous, and “bad,” while here in Canada, it is safe, wholesome, and “good.”
Amrit Singh, otherwise known as Noyz, is an MC, spoken word artist, community organizer, mental health advocate, and most recently, the author of Keep Moving On: The Migration of a Punjabi-Sikh Family—an immigration memoir that intimately explores the intersections of mental health, gender, and race through an intergenerational lens. While Keep Moving On serves as an authentic portrayal of Amrit’s experience growing up in Brampton, Ontario as a second-generation Sikh-Canadian, it ultimately functions as an ode to Amrit’s father, Satnam Singh, a Punjabi Sikh migrant who journeyed unfamiliar waters that took him from Punjab to Toronto, buoyed by the desire to provide a better life for his family.
Author: Kassandra Ogilvie Student at MacEwan University Part of the Student Series on the “Brampton Renaissance” The film Uproar – directed by Amrit Thind & Steeven Toor – tackles the main issues and concerns surrounding Quebec’s controversial Bill 21. Bill 21, the secularity bill in Quebec, prohibits Quebecois citizens from wearing any prominent religious symbols…
The Sangrur Lok Sabha election, ending with the victory of Simranjit Singh Mann, is just one example of the ripples effect on the electorate following the killing of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moose Wala—a further consolidation of the revival of the “Sikh political right.”
The victory of Simranjit Singh Mann of Shiromani Akali Dal-Amritsar [SAD(A)] in the Sangrur Parliamentary by-election shows that nothing lasts long in the quicksands of electoral democracies if it does not serve the interests of the concerned electorate.
The gruesome murder of Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu, aka Sidhu Moosewala, a globally popular rapper, lyricist and actor, on May 29, 2022, numbed millions of fans across the world.. He was shot dead in his Mahindra Thar SUV on the periphery of Jawaharke village which adjoined his native village – Moosa of Mansa district of Malwa Punjab. He decided to live in his native place, even after having experienced the widely touted glamour, along with the underplayed loneliness in the much sought-after localities of North America, laced with alluring ‘big money’ and ‘safe environs.’
The above picture was published in The Print on 28th November 2020 when farmers had reached the borders of Delhi by breaking barricades in Haryana to protest against the three farming Bills. It shows Indian Prime Minister Narinder Modi and the Home Minister Amit Shah on the left side, and farmers on the right. What made me curious about the picture is that the confrontation is shown essentially between Sikhs and the Central Government. My article is an attempt to understand this confrontation through the role of Sikh memory in the protest.
Author: Dr. Amardeep Kaur Lecturer, Canadian Studies Program, University of Toronto The Sikh street practice of nagar kirtan – consisting of musical processions, political assemblies, and langar distribution – have grown phenomenally during April’s Vaisakhi season. With that have come challenges as celebrators, often male elites, carve out a place and spotlight for their own…
Author: Kumool Abbi (firstname.lastname@example.org) Professor at Punjab University, Chandigarh The participation of women in the farmers’ agitation had added a unique dimension to the movement. The statistics have shown that women have been actively participating in the agitation and have become the symbolic face of the protest. The agitation brought out the invisibility of the…