Why is it important for the Sikh American community to read stories by and about Sikh American women? We believe in the faith-given right of Sikh women as equal stakeholders in all areas of life including paanthic conversations and decision-making. Sikh women’s perspectives matter. Their visions matter. And how they value themselves and are valued by the greater community deeply matters. We believe that Sikh women’s stories inform our Sikh men’s stories, children’s stories and the collective narrative we are living as Sikh Americans. We will flourish as we continue to invite these stories and the conversations they lead to into our lives.
The Sikh Love Stories Project has re-claimed the traditional “love story” that has to better reflect the diversity and complexity of the Sikh American narrative when it comes to love. Through the lens of the Sikh faith and in an exploration of what it means “to love and be loved,” Sikh American woman share their personal and intimate lives in contemporary American culture. Around the world, “love” has become a billion dollar industry – from the way we should look to be deserving of “love”, to music, and lifestyle for the “rich and loved”, within this context, it is important to claim Sikh love stories as distinct, driven by a specific set of motivations, and having purpose in the world.
As the Gurus intended, love plays a critical role in our lives as Sikhs. The Sikh view of love is much more expansive than the traditional love story trope allows for. As a result, it was imperative to break through these cultural and social limitations and express how love permeates all aspects of our lives and drives our actions and responses to the world.
Coming in April, 2014, we hope the story collection, Her Name Is Kaur: Sikh American Women Write About Love, Courage, and Faith (published by She Writes Press), starts a critical and expansive dialogue on love for Sikhs as a state of mind, the way we live, our life purpose, and what the Guru’s intended. The time is now for Sikh Americans and Her Name Is Kaur is one way to start these critical conversations.