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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Rabbi Shergill - The Man!

Rabbi Shergill - He is the man!

For those of you who are not familar with Rabbi, check out a quick bio of him on Wikipedia. Furthemore, check out the music video Bulla Ki Jaana Main Kaun.

I'm a fan of his. He's one cool dude that I'd like to meet.

I'm out.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Happy Birthday, and Thanks!

Silent contributions are the best way to help your community. That’s my personal philosophy.

Happy Birthday Bama!

My dear Friends, 2006 was the inaugural year of Dashmesh Pictures and the RestoringThePride.com effort. This March 2007 brings us to our one year anniversary towards both of these efforts.

Thanks to everyone, both Sikh and Non-Sikh, who have supported this initiative by spreading the word on Sikh on the Street, by taking the bold step to have their artwork promoted here, by ordering and distributing freely the DVD, by supporting the film festivals, as well as writing the vast amount of supportive emails in regards to this website.

Not much was expected when starting this project up one year ago. After encouragement from various individuals to post all created video projects online, the website was launched with one specific goal in mind: to promote the awareness and acceptance of those who are members of the Sikh religion among their community and society.

The post 9/11 world has changed many individual’s perspectives to define what truly makes up a person’s nationality and cultural heritage – two items that were challenged and are continued to do so today. With this challenge some may feel to loose pride in whom they are and feel to it might be easier to assimilate to the mainstream and forget the rich traditional infrastructure provided by their ancestral roots.

When one overcomes this challenge, and recaptures their pride, they are gifted with the vision to live in a world that captures the best of both of worlds – where one can walk anywhere in this world and remain culturally strong in their ethnic roots.

The intent of both Dashmesh Pictures and RestoringThePride.com is to reinvigorate that pride of any Sikh who may feel challenged in today’s world. Examples of some of these successes can be seen by Gatka 1, Sikh on the Street, Akaal Media, Sikh Service in World Wars, and the recently added artwork of Harpreet Singh. And who knows, maybe even works like these can encourage Non-Sikhs to reinvigorate themselves to also explore and learn their own personally cultural heritage.

Hopefully in 2007 this endeavor continues to grow and grow strong. One of many items the team here has been working slowly and quietly been working on a sequel to the Gatka 1 film. With the short several years in the making, I only hope that this sequel will be as successful as the original short.

So thanks for hearing my thoughts. Let’s all get back to what we were doing, and continue to strengthen ourselves in whatever it is we stand for. Our stance here is to quietly educate individuals, one at a time, to who the Sikhs are and the valor of their heritage.

One of the greatest items I enjoy walking around is when people look at me and do a double take and say “Hey, you’re that guy who did those interviews right?” or “Have you seen RestoringThePride.com?” when they have no knowledge to who I am.

Silent contributions.

In short, thank you.


Sartaj Singh Dhami

Over 17k hits on YouTube.
Over 17k hits on YouTube. I really hope that equates to 17k more individuals who have learned about Sikhism. Download the video here.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Shout out to my Artistic Aunt, Sonia Dhami

News Source: Sikh Chic
Publication Date: 03/08/07

History Carved in Stone


A special tribute to three centuries of the Khalsa at Anandpur Sahib proudly narrates volumes on the humanistic and universal appeal of Sikhism to one and all who enter its portals. The history of the community has been captured intensely at this landscaped site which now flanks the gate to the historic city - a place dear to the hearts of Sikhs everywhere. The project, commissioned by Markfed and Punsup, was completed to coincide with the celebrations of the tercentenary of the Khalsa in 1999.

The project was given to a city-based landscaping expert, Sonia Dhami, who is the brain behind the entire structure as it stands today - a perfect supplement to the architectural beauty of the existing gates. The project has not only shaped into a technical marvel, but it also offers a wonderful insight into what Sikhi is all about. And the interesting part is that it enlightens and informs via visually appealing artwork, comprising life-size statutes, relief panels, stone wall carvings and engraved rocks and boulders. The work seems to have been planned to the last detail, as is reflected in the meaningful portrayal of every piece of concrete that has been used.

The central feature is the castle wall, and around it are smaller focal points in the form of panels, engravings, rocks and boulder compositions. The landscape has free-flowing curves which have been linked with the different points of interest, creating an eye-catching visual sequence.

In description, the site may be a maze of concrete, but in concept, it is a virtual 10-minute journey through the three centuries of the Khalsa. The layout depicts almost all aspects of history relevant to the fraternity of the Saint-Soldiers. It reflects the Khalsa's travails and tribulations; its victories and accomplishments. The project is a live screen which flashes not only the martial fervour of the Khalsa, who valiantly fought the enemy in the battlefield, but also shows their softer, humane side.

Bhai Kanhaiya is depicted offering water to enemy soldiers. The story goes that when he was confronted by some Sikhs and asked to explain his behaviour, his explanation to Guru Gobind Singh was: "Master, since I have come in touch with you, I see God everywhere and His entire creation as His children. Amongst the wounded, how can I distinguish between friend and foe?"

Yet another scene explains the dynamics of langar, the Sikh tradition which underlines the principle of universal brotherhood.

There are also a series of depictions portraying the Sikh tenets which revolve around the three pillars of daily life - kirat karo, naam japo, wand chhako (work, worship, charity). Other panels give a detailed account of Guru Nanak and his nine successors. A description of how the Khalsa came into being is also engraved on a series of rocks.

As one walks through the garden, one finds that even the vegetation has been chosen to serve a useful purpose. The plants grown symbolize the scenarios projected - the battlefield scene is depicted by the thorny cacti, while the piety of the Khalsa is portrayed by a lotus pond.

The uniqueness of Sikhi stands magnified through every little work that has been executed. Each section of the landscape - right from the relief panels, depicting the amrit baptism of the Panj Piaras (Bhai Daya Singh, Bhai Dharam Singh, Bhai Himmat Singh, Bhai Mohkam Singh and Bhai Sahib Singh) and the martial zeal of Hola Mohalla, to the rocks engraved with various achievements of Guru Gobind Singh - furthers one common objective of enlightening the visitor on the historical events related to Anandpur Sahib. The engravings speak of the significance as well as the location of various gurdwaras of this blessed city.

The sequence starts with the detail on Guru Teg Bahadur, the Ninth Guru, who founded the settlement of Anandpur Sahib by buying the land of Makhowal village on the banks of the Sutlej. Set against the picturesque Naina Devi range, this was the place where Guru Gobind Singh later created the Khalsa.

Then there are engravings on Gurdwara Guru Ke Mahal, the shrine which marks the residence of Guru Teg Bahadur. There is information on the three gurdwaras - Gurdwara Bhora Sahib, Gurdwara Manji Sahib and Gurdwara Damdama Sahib. It was at this place that Guru Teg Bahadur received the Kashmiri Pandits and heard their account of the forcible conversions they were being subjected to by Aurangzeb.

Following this is information on Guru Teg Bahadur's martyrdom and Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib. The engravings relate the events of the day when Guru Teg Bahadur's severed head was brought to Anandpur Sahib by Bhai Jaita. Last but not least, is the historic Akal Bunga from where Guru Gobind Singh called upon his followers to fight injustice and tyranny.

The engraved rocks also talk about the gurdwaras at Qila (Fort) Anandgarh Sahib, Qila Fatehgarh Sahib, Qila Lohgarh Sahib and Qila Holgarh Sahib - all of which mark the sites where forts were built by Guru Gobind Singh for the defence of the town. In 1701, the Guru commenced the Hola Mohalla celebrations at Holgarh, where martial games and horse riding events were organized - and the tradition has continued since then.

The entire place exudes warmth, and rightly so, for it is a labour of love, a dream come true for Sonia Dhami and her team of workers, including architect Sukumar Jeirath. The art work has been executed by Amarjit Singh Virdi and Manjit Singh in consultation with renowned Punjabi painter, Jarnail Singh. The engravings, which are concise and well drafted, have been composed in consultation with Prof Manjit Singh, Jathedar of Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib.

The efforts of 80 labourers, six masons and 15 gardeners have produced a landscape that is a visual treat and imparts rhythm and harmony to the surroundings. As one walks out of the place, its imprint remains in the mind and so does Guru Gobind's message:

"O Lord, grant me this boon,

May I never refrain from righteous deeds;

Fearless and determined, I step into life's battle

With Thy wisdom as my guide;

Singing Thy glory, when I'm finally summoned,

May I die in the thick of the good fight."

Courtesy: The Tribune

Website to see: http://www.terrierservices.com

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Please welcome Amritsar's Harpreet Singh...

RestoringThePride.com has gained a new entry to its artistic team, Mr. Harpreet Singh from Amritsar. Harpreet is a graphics designer and has made some really neat computer desktop wallpapers showing his talents. Click on the image below to see some of Harpreet Singh's works:

Harpreet Singh's Guru Maneyo Granth

Welcome aboard Harpreet! Hey, anybody else out there that wants to show off their talents? Click here to find out how to get your work posted.


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