India Tag

Today, we mourn the sudden loss of Pandit Chitresh Das Ji, legendary dancer and luminary teacher of Kathak, the classical North Indian dance. He died unexpectedly on Sunday morning. It’s difficult to express this sense of tremendous loss and profound gratitude. He gave countless people the gift of dance, including me – When I wandered into his class at Stanford 12 years ago, I knew nothing about Kathak. Here was a man with wild hair and fire in his eyes, declaring the integration of mathematics and dance, storytelling and life! In

Published by Huffington Post. The following remarks were delivered at the Pentagon's first-ever event to commemorate the Sikh faith on April 25, 2014. Hosted by the Pentagon Chaplain, the program was organized by Major Kalsi, Captain Rattan, Corporal Lamba, and the Sikh Coalition, an organization leading the campaign for turbaned Sikhs and other people of faith to be allowed to serve in the U.S. military. Waheguru Ji Ka Kalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh. Thank you to the Pentagon Chaplain and Chaplain corps for gathering us here to celebrate Vaisakhi, the

Today, families are gathering together around great bonfires in Northern India and around the world to celebrate Lohri, the harvest festival of Punjab. As a girl, I would blink at the growing flames, listen to the pounding of the dhol (drum), and hold my breath as family members stepped forward to announce good news of the last year: The birth of a daughter! A son's first day at school! A new job! A wedding! We would then jump up and dance around the fire, singing folk songs, throwing popcorn into the flames,

Here it is -- the "Top 50 Coolest Desis" of 2013! Congrats to the dizzying array of artists, entrepreneurs and activists who made the list. Surprised and grateful to make the top 10 with brother Prabhjot Singh! When else do we get to be in the company of stars like Neena Davaluri, Mindy Kaling, Aasif Mandvi, Aziz Ansari, and Russell Peters? Check out the top 10 picks below, or follow the link to see the full list: http://www.desiclub.com/community/culture/culture_article.cfm?id=1210 Excited to see so many trailblazers who inspire me, including Saru Jayaraman

Published on The Huffington Post. By Valarie Kaur and Simran Jeet Singh Why do we wear turbans?" Nearly every Sikh American who grows up in the U.S. asks their families this question and as two Sikh Americans who maintain our faith, we were no different when we were little. This week, as Americans join in vigils for the six murdered Sikhs in another violent act of hate, many are now asking us this same question. "Our ancestors were beheaded so that we could practice our faith without fear," our grandparents told

Published on The Washington Post. By Vineet Chander, Valarie Kaur and Najeeba Syed-Miller One week after the Sikh shootings in Oak Creek, Americans have learned more about the Sikh community, many for the first time. A brief introduction to Sikhism has caused people to wonder about the relationship between Sikhism, Hinduism and Islam. Each religion is a distinct tradition with unique sets of beliefs, practices and values, and at the same time, all three have coexisted for many hundreds of years in the South Asian region of the world. India

Sikhs are half a million strong in the U.S. and belong to the fifth largest organized religion in the world. Our faith was established in 1469 in present-day Northern India and Pakistan. Our first teacher, Guru Nanak, called for devotion to One God, equality between all people, and a commitment to service – all ideals compatible with the American ethic. We pray in houses of worship called gurdwaras, where we gather together to recite and sing our sacred scriptures, poetry in praise of God. Like other religious

I've just received an invitation from President Obama to the White House on Wednesday for a briefing and reception in honor of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage.  The shock is not wearing off. I've asked Sharat to come with me, and both of us are brainstorming about how to make this visit useful.  There's so much on our minds --preparing for the 9/11 anniversary, supporting multifaith movement building, mobilizing Millennials, standing up for Sikh and Muslim Americans, pushing for immigration reform and LGBT equality and closing Guantanamo

I wanted to go to the Parliament of the World's Religions ever since I first heard about it as a high school student studying religion. I would close my eyes and imagine the very first Parliament in Chicago in 1893, when Swami Vivekananda rose to address an American audience for the first time. The crowd wondered if this man from India even spoke English. When he greeted them – “Sisters and Brothers of America!” – the crowd rose to their feet in applause. “Sectarianism, bigotry, and its horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful earth,” he said in his famous address. “They have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilization and sent whole nations to despair."

In less than 24 hours, I will be on a plane to India. When I began the journey to make Divided We Fall, I promised myself that I would travel to India once it was done and give myself time to explore and think and write. Nearly five years later, the film is almost complete, and I am about to cross east for my first real break in years. For a moment, I stop my frenzied packing, sit down between books, medicines, and clothes thrown across my bed,