Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Singh and Kaur Ban in Canada (Immigration)


CALGARY (CBC) - A Calgary woman waiting for her husband to arrive in Canada is upset by a long-standing immigration policy that forces people with the surname Singh or Kaur to change their last names.

Tarvinder Kaur, who is pregnant, said her husband Jaspal Singh's application to become a permanent resident has been delayed for well over a month because of his last name.

He has no choice but to legally change his name in India so he can get to Calgary before she gives birth next month, she said.

CBC News has obtained a copy of a letter sent from the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi to Singh's family stating that "the names Kaur and Singh do not qualify for the purpose of immigration to Canada."

"Why are we needing to make a different last name?" said Kaur. "You choose what your last name is going to be and if it's always been a certain way, then why should you have to change it?"

Traditional Sikh names

Singh and Kaur are common names in the Sikh community. In a tradition that began more than 300 years ago, the name Singh is given to every baptized male and Kaur to every baptized female Sikh.

The names are used differently by different people. Some use Singh or Kaur as middle names, while others use them as their last names.

Karen Shadd-Evelyn, a spokeswoman with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, said the policy preventing people from immigrating to Canada with those last names has been in place for the last 10 years.

"I believe the thinking behind it in this case is because it is so common. [With] the sheer numbers of applicants that have those as their surnames, it's just a matter for numbers and for processing in that visa office."

Citizenship and Immigration Canada says there is no such policy against other common last names.

Kaur, who was born in Canada, says that's unacceptable.

"If it's going to be a standard policy it should be standard with all common last names. Why is it that it's only Singh or Kaur that's being attacked by this?"

Friday, July 13, 2007

Commercialization and Exploitation of Sikhi

An Akhand Paath is being held inside a hospital in Brampton.


An akhand paath is for spiritual fulfillment, to concentrate on bani, to take lahaa from bani.

To me it seems that this Akhand Paath is just so some people in the community can make links with others and show that they have the communities support by bringing out people to an Akhand Paath. It seems like a show. They have made an Akhand Paath into an event.

It makes no sense to bring Guru Sahib to a hospital. Parading around Guru Sahibs saroop to different functions like this for political reasons makes no sense. Where is the Satkar for Guru Sahib?

Hopefully this is not the start of a trend.


Akhand Paath this weekend at new Brampton Civic Hospital
The Brampton Guardian
Wednesday July 11 2007
Staff Report

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BRAMPTON - William Osler Health Centre Foundation's Canadian Sikh Committee, in association with William Osler Health Centre (WOHC) and the Sikh community will be holding an Akhand Paath Friday, July 13 through to Sunday, July 15 in the atrium of the new Brampton Civic Hospital (BCH).

Doors open for the duration beginning at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, and will remain open until the end of Bhog (concluding ceremonies) on Sunday at 11:00 a.m.

Akhand Paath is the name given to the practice by Sikhs of the continuous recitation without any break of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the Sikh scripture, from beginning to end of its 1,430 pages.

It is anticipated that between 5,000 and 10,000 local residents may attend the ceremony over the three days.

Those attending the Akhand Paath at any point over the three days are required to enter the hospital site from Sunny Meadow Boulevard, east of Bramalea Road, and park in the assigned area in the parking garage.

Said WOHC President and CEO Robert A. Richards. "We invite our entire community to come and experience this truly magnificent event."