Sikh Research Institute Celebrates #Nanakshahi550 Phenomenon At SFU
Sikh Research Institute Holds Conference At SFU Celebrating #Nanakshahi550 Sikh Research Institute produced an eye-opening conference on the life and legacy of Guru Nanak this past weekend at SFU’s newly opened School of Sustainable Energy Engineering. The conference brought in a few hundred guests to downtown Surrey to listen to a wide array of presenters from around the globe in celebration of #Nanakshahi550.
Harinder Singh, New Jersey, USA: Harinder Singh is the co-founder of the Sikh Research Institute and currently serves as its Senior Fellow, Research & Policy. His current focus is on developing critical thinking for Sikh institutions via State of the Panth report series and developing open-source decoding of Guru Granth Sahib in contemporary language for a global audience.
Inni Kaur, Connecticut, USA: Inni Kaur is a passionate author, poet, storyteller, and painter. She is the author of the children’s book series, Journey with the Gurus that is inspired by the life and teachings of Guru Nanak Sahib. Her other children’s books are Sakhi-Time with Nani Ji, Thank You Vahiguru, and Daddy’s Turban. She currently serves as the Creative Director at the Sikh Research Institute. Asha Marie Kaur is a Research Assistant with SikhRI. She has a BA in Political Science and International Studies from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she was born and raised. Her work at SikhRI is tied to her love of the Persian language and the ways it connects Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. She is working on writing sabad in Perso-Arabic script to reassert Gurbani’s place in the Persian literary world. A self-identifying mixed-up Sikh, she is also working on creating resources for Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike that offer ways to connect the word of the Guru to concepts of justice in today’s world. One day she hopes to get a Ph.D. in Iranian politics, and for now can be found between Newark, New Jersey, and Chicago, Illinois with her traveling cat Mac.
Dr. Jaswant Singh, Haryana, India: Jaswant Singh is a scholar of Sikh Studies. His immense love for Sabad (Divine Word) propels him to read, reflect, research, and share the Infinite-Wisdom in Guru Granth Sahib with the wider community. He currently serves as the Director of Gurbani Research at the Sikh Research Institute. A passionate speaker, Dr. Singh has over 20 years of experience teaching Sikhi. Jaswant Singh is a scholar of Sikh Studies. His immense love for Gurbani propels him to read, reflect, research, and share Gurbani’s wisdom and understanding with the wider community. He currently serves as the Director, Gurbani Research at the Sikh Research Institute. He worked at the Sikh Centre (Singapore) conducting various courses on Guru Granth Sahib, Sikh religion and history. To date, he has delivered discourses on Gurbani and Sikhi and facilitated seminars and camps in the Eastern Hemisphere. He has over 20 years of experience teaching Sikhi. Dr. Singh is a passionate speaker and published author. He co-founded AWAT (A Word A Thought) served as its Director and Editor. He holds a Master’s degree in Religious Studies and a Doctorate in the linguistics of Guru Nanak Bani. He currently lives in Faridabad (Haryana, India) with his family.
Jasleen Kaur, Maryland, USA: Jasleen Kaur is a lover of poetry and the power of words, of everything outside (especially birds), of music, and the study of religion. She is interested in the ways that diversity in religious practice constructs small overlapping worlds within religious communities and shows us that lived religion is much messier and more complex than what we might otherwise expect.
Asha Marie Kaur, New Jersey, USA: Asha Marie Kaur is a traveler, wordsmith, and polyglot. She is currently a Research Assistant with Sikh Research Institute and holds a BA in Political Science and International Studies from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she was born and raised. She is working on re-introducing Sabad (Divine Word) in Guru Granth Sahib to the Persian world.
Dr. Manjit Singh, Washington, USA: Dr. Manjit Singh is a researcher, educator, practitioner, and lover of Kirtan (singing of divine praise in Guru Granth Sahib). He is Director of Sikh Musicology at Sikh Research Institute and the founder of the Sabad Kirtan-Musical Heritage program. He is keen to bring forth the original flavor of the fine musical details within Guru Granth Sahib.
Rena Kaur, British Columbia, Canada: Rena Kaur Heer is a seasoned storyteller and a former broadcast journalist. She spent over a decade with CTV News — reporting, producing and anchoring live broadcasts seen on CTV News Channel, CTV Toronto, CP24 and CTV Vancouver. Rena has interviewed Prime Minister Stephen Harper, then-Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, Premiers and Mayors in Ontario.
Kiranjot Kaur, British Columbia, Canada: Kiranjot Kaur is a Vancouver based artist who enjoys painting vibrant, exploratory pieces and drawing high-contrast and bold ink designs. Kiranjot is a self-taught artist who explores a multitude of techniques in order to serve inspiration and provide truthful, artful renderings to her ideas. Kiranjot’s work has been featured in several local art shows.
The conference ended with almost an hour of Q&A between the panel of presenters and attendees. For those of you who were unable to attend, head over to SikhRI’s Facebook page to watch the full Livestream.