Friday, October 20, 2006

Spaña Palooza 2006 - gatka performance

Towards the end of the event, we did a gatka performance. The performance was really well received they cheered so much and afterwards children and teenagers came up to us asking to learn something about gatka and to look at our swords.
Hari Bhajan Kaur and Guruatma Kaur sparring.

Gurujot Singh doing an approach to his shasters.
Deva Singh held the shasters as Gurujot Singh did his approach.
Demonstrating gatka.
Gurujot Singh and Prabhu Singh doing gatka.

Gurujot Singh and Prabhu Singh sparring.

Gurukirin Kaur demonstrating the chakar.

Gurujot Singh sparring with Gurukirin Kaur.

Also during the gatka performance Guruatma displayed her skills with fire sticks.

Siri Chand Singh demonstrating gatka.
Gurujot Singh and Siri Chand Singh sparring.

Several people demonstrating gatka at once.

Siri Chand Singh demonstrating the chakar.


Blogger Sifar said...

Great demonstration. I wonder how well are Sikhs known in the whole of NM. I know that the Governor's office do, but what about the locals of NM (not just Espanola). Do Sikhs also get mistaken for Arabs, Muslims etc. by locals in NM as well?

11/20/2006 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger Prabhu Singh said...

In Northern New Mexico, Española, Santa Fe, Los Alamos, Taos, and even Albuquerque, to an extent, people are pretty familiar with seeing Sikhs. Probably the majority of people don't know the difference between a Sikh, a Muslim, an Arab, a Persian, an Indian, a Pakistani, or anybody who's not Spanish, Native American, Mexican, or White.
Part of our mission is to let people know who we are. At this event we handed out flyers with a picture of local Sikhs, and a few sentences describing who are Sikhs and what are a few of our core beliefs. The flyer was in English on one side and in Spanish on the other.

11/20/2006 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger Sifar said...

So I believe it is the same as the rest of the US where Sikhs get racial remarks telling them to go back where they came from, and Osama, and Arabs etc... Good distributing the (bilingual) flyers. If possible upload the flyer on this and your blog so that others can also make use of it.

11/20/2006 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger Prabhu Singh said...

The people may not always be clear on what specifically our identity is (i.e. that we're Sikhs), but they know we're from Española, so we almost never get remarks telling us to go back where we're from. Sometimes White people in general get those kinds of remarks here from the local Spanish who have 400 years of history in this valley. Usually they mean for White people to go back to whatever city or state (in the US) they came from. We'll look into putting the flyer up on our website. Thanks for the suggestion.

11/20/2006 04:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like an amazing event. The gatka looked very inspirational as well. I was a bit hurt or offended by the young woman wearing a tank top while performing Gatka, I am a young, baptised Sikh woman myself and I feel that Gatka (or Shaster Vidya, as we properly call it) is the Guru's martial art. It is an art that was actually used by Sikhs in the olden days during battle, and should be taken completely seriously.

I just feel very uneasy if people are doing seva of whatever sort (e.g. performing Gatka at an event, doing kirtan, etc.) and representing Gursikhs or the Sikh faith if they are not really representatives of who Sikhs are. It doesn't really disturb me whether the dear sister is baptised or not, but it's just her clothing... When performing Gatka, I think our clothing should be respectful to the greatest degree, and women especially (in my opinion), based on the society we are living in, should learn to respect our bodies by wearing appropriate clothing.

I was just a bit thrown off by the spaghetti straps during Gatka, it seems a little inappropriate and just not...right. Just a comment anyways. Blessings always.

3/17/2007 05:46:00 AM  

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