Sikhs Celebrate History and Worry About the Future

October 10, 2006


Source: The Globe and Mail

It was a celebration of the past, but for more than 3,000 people who gathered in Vancouver over the weekend to honour the 100th anniversary of the oldest and largest Sikh society in North America, there were also fears for the future.

The three-day centennial celebrations this weekend were held at the Ross Street Temple run by the Khalsa Diwan Society. Part of the festivities involved Indo-Canadians paying tribute to pioneers, including Jack Uppal, who came to Vancouver as an infant in 1926.

Mr. Uppal, an 81-year-old lumber mill owner, says the Sikh community must learn from its sacrifices to rise above its religious differences -- and to tackle youth violence in the Indo-Canadian community.

Since the mid-1980s, more than 90 Indo-Canadian men have lost their lives in gang warfare in B.C., an issue that is widely debated in the Sikh community.