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What Gurdwaras Can Do To Better Support The Youth - Discussion On Sikh Channel Today At 8Pm


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We have been asked to take part in a show on sikh channel tonight sunday 29th September

On how gurdwaras should be supporting the youth

Some ideas we will be discussing

- classes held in gurdwaras

- youth clubs

- social workers available in gurdwara

- english translations

- martial arts classes

- english speaking gyanis

- financial support for youth projects

Would very much like to ask if anyone has any particular issues they would like us to raise

And would also appreciate any feedback after the show.

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Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Bhaji, It would help if the Youth (and women) had more of a voice in committee decisions/ running of Gurdwaras so they can push for the good things you have listed.

Its widely accepted that the Gurdwara committee system does not work.

We need to replace Masands (which tend to be older individuals) that are more interested in fighting each other for control of gurdwaras, making a name for themselves and like to make meaningless gestures (awarding saropas like peanuts and murmuring half hearted jakaire).

The future of Sikhi is with todays youth and we need active programmes to build a strong community with strong leaders.

We have a ready and willing youth who would take to our amazing heritage but we need to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and understanding. Punjabi village ways of learning do not work in the west.

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Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Bhaji, the programme and your contribution was fantastic. You came across well prepared, very professional and you made several points from different angles.

All in all a great discussion.

The show seems to have caught peoples attention, so would it be possible for Sikh Channel to have a regular slot where teenagers and young adults are invited in (from varying backgrounds) to participate in regular debates? Just mentioning things like.. 'committees need to improve' will hopefully yield small steps in the right direction. You would be a good presenter...

Also, I would estimate (or guess) that a large majority of Sikh youth are so westernised they no little about Sikhism. There are youths or families that do not visit Gurdwaras, or if they do they only know how to bow and have no other knowledge (never mind actively engaging with Sikhism). This is not a criticism and there is no blame attached.

However, this made me think that we have no equivalent of the 'Alpha course' used by Christians.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_course

http://www.alpha.org/

Basics of Sikhi is similar (and extremely good) but not quite the same as the Alpha course. If possible, we should try something similar.

If you have any idea's or material we would be happy to create webpages or a section on our site.

www.discoversikhism.com

Please bear in mind we do not collect money or advertise, and are not associated with any individuals, groups or organisations (except Akal Purakh)

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Thanks guys

I tried to get the points across and we had some great feedback, hopefully we can continue this conversation

I think everyone is pretty much agreed on the fact that gurdwara comittees are failing to engage the youth and are failing in a big way so they need to change

I think the biggest thing we can do as sangat is to withhold their money and only support projects they think will help the community, rather then backing ridiculous building extensions they should find projects that are engaging young people and supporting the community in a positive way or use your money to setup these initiatives yourself.

The sangat should be vocal and make sure that the committees are aware of what the sangat wants and needs are.

Its time for change but change only comes if, rather then have defeatist attitude, we campaign and strive for it - rally people who are like-minded

make sure all the sangat are agreed and wants to see this change and the comittees will have no choice but to bow to the demands of the sangat.

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It turns out the topic is of great concern to many people so we will be discussing the same thing again next Sunday 6th October at 8pm on Sikh Channel

I would like to ask if anyone has anything they would like to share or get across on the issue

please post here and I will try my best to share your views on air.

the Gurdwaras are unfortunately the last port of call for young people or members of the Sikh Community who need help - how can we change this?

how can we change attitudes towards the Gurdwara and its role in society?

eg- it is not the Gurdwaras job to make money, it is the Gurdwaras job to make SIKHI and Gursikhs !

Taran

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Veer Taran Singh jee, you and bhai kam singh jee are doing a good job with sikh youth show by discussing relevant topics that affect the youth.

One great point that was raised in the show was to get rid of the committee system. This is a great idea and I am sure many of the youth will support but this but not the elders.

Instead of committee we should select Panj Piare to run the Gurdwara. Also if I am not mistaken, the Granthi of Gurdwara was know as the "Wazir" - minister. Basically we need to put power back into the hand of the Granthi and Panj Piare. They should be role models and have good Gursikhi jeevans - Rehit, Amrit Vela, Naam Abhiyaas, Knowledge of Sikh History and Gurbani. Also they should be parcharaks and be able to inspire the youth towards Gurmat.

The problem is how can we implement the system above?

We will not be able to introduce this system in any established Gurdwara in my opinion. The committee will not welcome it, they are too set in their ways.

The only option in my opinion is for young Gurskihs to set up 2 Gurdwaras maybe in Birmingham and London. These 2 Gurdwaras should implement the Panj Piare system. These 2 gurdwaras could set an example for the rest and demonstrate that you do not require a committee to run a Gurdwara. Also we can implement many other things that are missing from mainstream Gurdwaras such as Laridaar Saroop of Guru Granth Sahib jee along with Laridaar santhiya classes, simple langar, sikh youth classes............... e.t.c.

Also we need to become more strict when it comes to Akhand Paaths, now they have just become a ritual and a means for income. If a family wants to do an Akhand Paath then they must listen to the paath and not spen 3 days in langar hall. Instead the sewadaars of the Gurdwara should take care of the langar arrangements and this way the parwar will have no choice but to listen to the Gurbani.

Ideally the Gurdwara should be a small building, we do not require multi million pound buildings to do parchaar of Gurmat. The Gurdwara is place for bhagti and knowledge. The Gurdwara should be a place for abhiyaas of Gurbani and knowledge/vichaar of Gurbani. Further to this we need to do more parchaar on Rehit.

Bhul chuk maaf jee.

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Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Bhaji osingh, some great thoughts.

Bhaji taran0, you have all the right idea's. We need a plan and then need to try and implement with Gurdwaras as osingh suggested. That's the hard part. If we can encourage Sikh youth to the point where they want to go to Gurdwara themselves or they start asking their parents then we will be moving in the right direction.

Maybe Gurdwara's could introduce activities, speeches, presentations or tasks that young people enjoy. If Gurdwara's could start with 2-3 sessions a month it would be a start.

Could someone draw up a list of recommendations and circulate to gurdwara's? Activities need not cost money.

For example, I know some people that would love to do seva but are too embarrassed. Why not draw up a simple list of how young people can help around a Gurdwara. When youngsters see other youngsters they too will want to join in.

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Maybe Gurdwara's could introduce activities, speeches, presentations or tasks that young people enjoy. If Gurdwara's could start with 2-3 sessions a month it would be a start.

Could someone draw up a list of recommendations and circulate to gurdwara's? Activities need not cost money.

For example, I know some people that would love to do seva but are too embarrassed. Why not draw up a simple list of how young people can help around a Gurdwara. When youngsters see other youngsters they too will want to join in.

I think that's a great idea as some Gurdwara's want to do something but don't have an idea of what to do. If we could give them a plan of how they can move forward.

We will not be able to introduce this system in any established Gurdwara in my opinion. The committee will not welcome it, they are too set in their ways.

The only option in my opinion is for young Gurskihs to set up 2 Gurdwaras maybe in Birmingham and London. These 2 Gurdwaras should implement the Panj Piare system. These 2 gurdwaras could set an example for the rest and demonstrate that you do not require a committee to run a Gurdwara. Also we can implement many other things that are missing from mainstream Gurdwaras such as Laridaar Saroop of Guru Granth Sahib jee along with Laridaar santhiya classes, simple langar, sikh youth classes............... e.t.c.

Also we need to become more strict when it comes to Akhand Paaths, now they have just become a ritual and a means for income. If a family wants to do an Akhand Paath then they must listen to the paath and not spen 3 days in langar hall. Instead the sewadaars of the Gurdwara should take care of the langar arrangements and this way the parwar will have no choice but to listen to the Gurbani.

Ideally the Gurdwara should be a small building, we do not require multi million pound buildings to do parchaar of Gurmat. The Gurdwara is place for bhagti and knowledge. The Gurdwara should be a place for abhiyaas of Gurbani and knowledge/vichaar of Gurbani. Further to this we need to do more parchaar on Rehit.

Bhul chuk maaf jee.

I agree and some families would maybe prefer something that would better suit them like a sukhmani sahib performed with English translation on the projector and katha in English that their children could understand.

I like the idea of a small place for youngsters to meet and worship together in a non judgemental and open minded atmosphere.

I just hope that the next generation of youngsters can stay away from the same pitfalls as the last generation such as infighting, jealousy, ego, jathebandees, inability to compromise, and un-sikh practices such as alcohol and money making schemes, etc

Will be on the show again tonight so will try to raise some of these issues.

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When the committees of Gurdwaras give up their lalach they will achieve a lot more. But they are struggling to do so. Next gurdwara in town has done this, we need to do something better.

I really dont think they can change, unless the new generation comes in, but personally i have serious concerns about them as well.

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