You also want an ePaper? Increase the reach of your titles

YUMPU automatically turns print PDFs into web optimized ePapers that Google loves.

www.ysas.org<br />

AUGUST 2007 MITA (P) NO : 016/02/2007<br />

Engaging Minister George Yeo<br />

stated that, “In the coming years, like countries, cities<br />

and companies, some ethnic and religious communities<br />

will do better than others in a new age of globalisation.<br />

The Punjabis will do well because they are used to living<br />

among others all over the world. The ease with which<br />

they network globally will give them an advantage.”<br />

The session was also an ideal opportunity for the<br />

participants to share their views and concerns. During the<br />

lively and interesting session, the participants touched<br />

on such issues as religion and politics; fundamentalism<br />

and terrorism; communal bonding and race issues;<br />

economic inequality and catering to the needy in our<br />

midst; meeting the demands of globalisation; and dealing<br />

with discrimination, stereotypes and prejudices. It was a<br />

frank, open and candid discussion session.<br />

More than 200 people turned up for the Second YSA<br />

“Ministerial Dialogue” with Mr George Yeo, Minister for<br />

Foreign Affairs, on “Bringing Everyone On Board; Taking<br />

Singapore Forward”. The event was held at Meritus<br />

Mandarin Singapore on 30 June 2007.<br />

During the session, Mr Yeo spoke “about the challenges<br />

faced by a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society. While<br />

we place great store by national efforts to promote<br />

harmony, in reality, there are always tensions in daily<br />

life. With globalisation, human beings are travelling as<br />

never before. In Singapore, new Chinese and new Indians<br />

lack some of the instincts for racial harmony which localborns<br />

have but have other strengths. To a greater or lesser<br />

degree, all cities are confronting similar new challenges.”<br />

He added that, “Cities which find ways to manage the<br />

new diversity will attract more talent and become more<br />

international. They will be better able to seize new<br />

opportunities. In a sense, Singapore’s multi-ethnic and<br />

multi-religious character gives us an advantage because<br />

we learn from young to live with diversity. We are able<br />

to switch channels depending on whom we are dealing<br />

with, often sub-consciously.” On the future, Mr Yeo<br />

YSA launched the “Ministerial Dialogue” in November<br />

2004 to enable young Singaporeans in particular and<br />

Singaporeans at large to gain a further understanding of<br />

local, regional and global issues and developments.<br />

The first dialogue session was with Dr Vivian Balakrishnan,<br />

Minister for Community<br />

Development, Youth<br />

and Sports, and Second<br />

Minister for Information,<br />

Communications and the<br />

Arts, on “Creating Our Future:<br />

Changing Perspectives,<br />

Changing Mindsets”.<br />

.... continue on page 2

2 khwaish<br />

.... continued from page 1<br />

Engaging<br />

Minister George Yeo<br />

Some Views ...<br />

“ It was a really interesting session.<br />

It provided an opportunity for me<br />

to understand the concerns of<br />

Singaporeans. All of us have concerns<br />

and we were able to share them here<br />

today.”<br />

Prema<br />

“ Wow! What an interesting session!<br />

I really enjoyed the question and<br />

answer session. Minister was very<br />

sincere in his response and I think<br />

everyone appreciated it.”<br />

Sharanjeet<br />

“ I missed the first dialogue session.<br />

I am glad I attended this one. It is a<br />

real eye-opener for me. It was very<br />

educational for a young Singaporean<br />

like me.”<br />

Kiran<br />

“ It is good to see people from<br />

different background and ethnicity<br />

come together to discuss issues<br />

of mutual concerns. We not only<br />

become aware of the issues faced<br />

by other races but we also build a<br />

bond as we share the same issues<br />

and concerns.”<br />

Mohammad Syaiful<br />

Four Years On…<br />

It is virtually impossible not to hear the<br />

thunderous sound of the dhol at the Sikh Centre<br />

every Saturday afternoon. Well, it is a combined<br />

effort of YSA and the Sikh Centre to nurture<br />

aspiring young talents.<br />

Now into their fourth year, the dhol lessons<br />

have seen the enthusiasts developing their skills to eventually perform for<br />

professional local bands and with Bhangra troupes. Some graduates have<br />

even progressed to recording studios.<br />

Dhol instructor, Kuldip Singh who picked up the art of dhol playing from<br />

Mr Gurcharan Singh Mall from the United Kingdom, states that, “I have<br />

refined the syllabi such that it makes it easy for individuals of any gender,<br />

age or race to learn the dhol. Students are able to play at least two basic<br />

beats within a month”. He added that it took him almost two months to<br />

master the first basic beat.<br />

Currently, there are nine students in the class and they are thoroughly<br />

enjoying the sessions. Harkrishan Singh says, “Kuldip Virji is a very<br />

professional dhol player and teacher. He knows exactly how to teach us so<br />

that we will have the beats at the back of our heads and at the tip of our<br />

fingers.” Harvenjit Singh, a newcomer to the dhol states, “Before the dhol<br />

lessons, I had never touched a dhol. I was shaky with it at first but with<br />

Kuldip’s guidance, I have learnt to be more comfortable in using the dhol as<br />

well as progressing further than I expected.” Jagraj Singh echoed the same<br />

views, “The dhol class has been a very new and interesting experience<br />

for me. I have played many musical instruments such as the harmonium,<br />

tabla, piano and the violin but the dhol has always interested me and it is<br />

a new and fun challenge for me.”<br />

If you are keen to pick up the finer points of dhol playing, just call Kuldip<br />

at 93836314.<br />

“ I think it is great that our<br />

ministers take the time and effort<br />

to have dialogues with the people<br />

on the street. It is very important<br />

for us to understand how we fit into<br />

the scheme of things as Singapore<br />

pushes forward.”<br />

Kulvinder Singh


Our Tradition, Our Culture, Our Roots -<br />

The Singaporean Perspective<br />

By Kuldip Singh<br />

khwaish<br />

3<br />

All of us are always engrossed into our daily chores. It<br />

is perhaps, sometimes, essential to take a step back to<br />

reflect on how diverse our lifestyle is when compared to<br />

that of our forefathers. Certainly, times have changed.<br />

But in this new-age and world, one thing that must<br />

remain constant is our culture. It is been eight years since<br />

I got back from the culturally-diverse United Kingdom.<br />

As many of you might know, there is a huge Punjabi<br />

population residing mostly in north-west London and<br />

around the Midlands. I was hugely surprised that many of<br />

Punjabis in the United Kingdom had groups playing the<br />

dhol, producing traditional Punjabi music and regularly<br />

having tournaments such as kabadi and street displays<br />

of ghatka.<br />

I took the opportunity to learn the art of dhol playing<br />

from Mr Gurcharan Singh Mall and Sukhshinder Singh<br />

Shinda in the United Kingdom, with the hope that I<br />

would be able to pass this hobby or art on to my fellow<br />

Singaporeans. In this way, we too could be rooted, in a<br />

way to, our culture and tradition in Singapore.<br />

Soon after I returned home, I found it very disheartening<br />

to learn that not many Sikh institutions were keen on dhol<br />

lessons. I thought that the apathy could be due to the<br />

fact that the Sikh community here is small in comparison<br />

to that in the United Kingdom. The opportunity arose<br />

when YSA was launched with a vision to nurture the<br />

aspirations of young Sikhs. I found an immediate avenue<br />

to promote culture. With one of YSA’s mandate being to<br />

encourage the Sikhs to keep their tradition and culture,<br />

I started dhol lessons with YSA. When word got around,<br />

the response was very encouraging.<br />

I did not stop at dhol. YSA also gave me the opportunity to<br />

chair YSA’s maiden Punjabi play called ‘Khoj’ in 2005. It was<br />

a ‘sold-out’ event with over 900 people. Many individuals<br />

came together to help, in one way or another, providing<br />

tremendous support for the play. It only goes to show that<br />

we Singaporean Sikhs do want to and are always finding<br />

opportunities to keep our traditions and culture alive.<br />

Well, YSA has done much to promote our culture. What<br />

else can YSA do in this regards? I am sure it is going to be<br />

much, much more. I know because I have been part of that<br />

experience and I have taken the opportunity to repay in<br />

my own way. So ladies and gentlemen, if you would like<br />

YSA to help you keep the tradition and culture alive, just<br />

share your ideas with them. That’s exactly what I did!<br />

YSA Annual Report - Another “A”<br />

The year 2006 was a rewarding and successful one for YSA.<br />

YSA grew its membership significantly while continuing with the expansion of its programmes and activities. It launched<br />

several new initiatives as well as intensified its current slate of programmes and events.<br />

YSA organised nine events whilst participating in several others organised by Sikh<br />

institutions and other communities. The key initiatives included organising the first<br />

inaugural Singapore Sikh Symposium in August 2006, showcasing the Sikh heritage<br />

through the exhibition on “Nectarpool – Portraits of Love and Longing in Amritsar” and<br />

spearheading the visit to the newly-set up Harmony Centre.<br />

The credit for YSA success has been due to the dedication and commitment of the<br />

Executive Committee as well as strong support from its Advisors, volunteers and wellwishers.<br />

YSA will continue to build on the success of the last two years so that it continues to<br />

fulfill the aspirations of young Sikhs and young Singaporeans. And, of course, to score<br />

another “A” in its annual report card at the end of the year.

4 khwaish<br />

Keen To Advertise In <strong>Khwaish</strong>!<br />

Get more mileage for your products and services!<br />

We reach out to thousands through our newsletter (hard copy and on YSA’s website). We offer highly competitive<br />

advertising rates:-<br />

Per Issue<br />

Quarter page S$200<br />

Half page S$400<br />

Per Year (Three Issues)<br />

Quarter page S$550<br />

Half page S$1,100<br />

For advertisement and enquiries, please contact:<br />

Mr Harbhajn Singh at Tel: 9155 7558 or<br />

Email: huggy@pacific.net.sg<br />

what’s Happening?<br />

Rock Climbing Day for Children<br />

Have a safe, fun and exciting day of rock climbing.<br />

Test your skills and endurance on the rocks!<br />

Limited to 40 participants (6–11 years old and <strong>12</strong>–16<br />

years old categories) on a first-come-first-served basis.<br />

Project <strong>Khwaish</strong> VII,<br />

Punjab, India<br />

To be held in December 2007, the project is opened to<br />

Singaporeans, Sikhs and non-Sikhs, male and female,<br />

between the ages of 17 – 35 years.<br />

Event includes ice-breakers and interesting discussions<br />

about rock climbing, yoga for climbers and climbing<br />

treasure hunt.<br />

Date : Sunday, 23 September 2007<br />

Venue<br />

Time<br />

: ClimbAsia Climbing Centre<br />

Civil Service Club<br />

Tessensohn Road<br />

: 10.00am – 2.00pm<br />

Participation : Free-of-charge<br />

For details and registration, please contact:<br />

Mr Kulwant Singh<br />

(Tel: 9026 5910 / Email: kul@uelines.com)<br />

Mr Vasu Dave<br />

(Tel: 9616 5960 / Email: vasuisnow@gmail.com)<br />

Registration closes 8 September 2007.<br />

The participants will be involved in<br />

refurbishing a school, painting the<br />

classrooms, developing a library<br />

and interacting with the children<br />

and the local community.<br />

They will also visit places of cultural<br />

interest in Punjab, including the<br />

Golden Temple in Amritsar.<br />

For further enquiries, please contact:<br />

Mr Satwant Singh<br />

(Tel: 9777 7024 / email: satwant@smtplaw.com)<br />

or<br />

Ms Sheetal Kaur (Tel: 9336 2904 /<br />

email: mannkaurmaude@yahoo.com.sg)<br />

Do contact them soonest as there are only 18 places<br />

in the project.<br />

5th “Racial Harmony” Football Tournament<br />

Come participate in YSA’s 5th “Racial Harmony” 4-A-Side Football Tournament<br />

on Sunday, 13 January 2008.<br />

For further enquiries, please contact:<br />

Kulwant at 9026 5910<br />

or<br />

Harbhajn at 9155 7558<br />

The Executive Committee<br />

of YSA wishes all it’s members a<br />

Happy<br />

National Day<br />


<strong>Khwaish</strong> is a newsletter of Young Sikh Association (Singapore). Please feel<br />

free to forward your comments and feedback to:<br />

Mr Harbhajn Singh<br />

Editor, <strong>Khwaish</strong><br />

Young Sikh Association (Singapore)<br />

8 Jalan Bukit Merah, Singapore 169543<br />

Tel: 9155 7558<br />

Fax: 6327 2009<br />

Email: huggy@pacific.net.sg<br />

Website: www.ysas.org<br />

No part of this newsletter should be published without the consent of the Editor, <strong>Khwaish</strong>.

Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!