Sidak

Sidak 2020

July 26 — August 8

Sidak is a distinctive leadership development program for young adults seeking to increase their commitment towards the Sikh faith. This two-week intensive immersion into the Sikh culture and community is held annually in the summer.

Apply Now
Early Bird Discount
$450 USD
General Registration
$900 USD

Experience — strengthen your connection to the Sikh faith while developing your leadership skills in life.

Connection
The goal of Sidak is to develop emerging leaders who will play a critical role in creating real, sustainable solutions to pressing panthak and world problems. Sidak accelerates personal development through a Gurmat framework based in Bani (wisdom), Tavarikh (history), and Rahit (lifestyle). As an experiential learning opportunity, participants learn to address social issues through critical thinking and reflective questions anchored in the Sikh ethos.

Transformation
The experience of Sidak is purposefully intense. Our program of rigorous learning and challenging skills development is deliberately nestled within the natural beauty of a mountainside retreat centre in Miracle Valley, British Columbia — to maximize your opportunity for meaningful transformation through this program.

Sidak explores personal and panthak development through a Gurmat framework based in Bani (wisdom), Tavarikh (history), and Rahit (lifestyle). It is an experiential learning opportunity in which participants learn to pose reflective questions anchored in Sikh ethos to themselves and others to address social issues. The goal of Sidak is to ultimately develop Sikh thought leaders who will play critical role in creating real, sustainable solutions to pressing panthak and world problems.

There are three tracks and sessions on leadership development and community building, which serve as key foundations for Sidak. These tracks and sessions are facilitated by SikhRI team members, from both the staff and the board. Each facilitator brings his or her own experiences, education and passions to the classroom sessions. The bonds that Sidakers form with each other and their instructors will inspire them towards education and leadership long after the program ends. This unique learning opportunity will help young adults discover their inner-self, build stronger relationships, and infuse the Sikh spirit in future goals and successes. Sidak is available for adults 18-40 years old (17-year-olds that have completed high school are considered).

This two-week intensive immersion into Sikh culture, language, values, and community is held annually in the summer at the Khalsa Centre in British Columbia. Overlooking Miracle Valley, the 160-acre border of the Khalsa Centre is enveloped in majestic trees on multiple lakes amidst breathtaking beauty in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. To learn more about the campsite visit the Khalsa Centre website.

Learning Tracks

There are three tracks which serve as the foundations for Sidak. Sessions are facilitated by SikhRI instructors and facilitators who bring their own experiences, education and passions to the classroom. Sidak Alumni form bonds with each other and their instructors inspire them towards education and leadership long after the program ends.

This unique learning opportunity will help young adults better connect to their inner-self, build stronger relationships, and infuse the Sikh spirit in their future goals and endeavours. Sidak is available for adults 18-40 years old (17-year-olds that have completed high school are considered).

Sikhi 101:

Introduction to Sikh History & Theology

Students will be introduced to Sikh history (from the formation of Sikhi to contemporary time) and the fundamentals of Sikh theology, with particular emphasis on the Sikh lived experience. Guru Nanak Sahib’s revelation Asa ki Var (from the Sikh canon, Guru Granth Sahib) embodies the political, spiritual and social message of the Guru’s revolutionary thought and thus serves as a centering point for the course. Students will engage in bani interpretation, vocabulary and pronunciation sessions in a mixture of lecture as well as group and individual work.

By the end of this course, students will be expected to:

  • Formulate an understanding of the unique characteristics and fundamental differences of Sikh theology from other faith systems
  • Interpret Asa ki Var in ways that reflect the originality of Sikh theology
  • Identify major historical Sikh events and analyze their impact on today’s Sikh diaspora
  • Distinguish and interpret words with multiple meanings
  • Use sentence and word context to find the meanings of unknown words
  • Read Gurmukhi aloud fluently and accurately with appropriate intonation and expression

Sikhi 201:

Religion & Revolution

Sikhi 201 is an intensive, seminar-based course that surveys Sikh writings outlining Sikh history, theology, political theory, economic issues, and social implications. The course uses lectures, activities, and discussions to convey the Sikh theses of sovereignty and faith.

By the end of this course, students will be expected to:

  • Critically examine Sikh thought and practices in the context of popular understanding
  • Formulate a Sikh stance on contemporary issues using an analytic framework based on Bani (wisdom), Tavarikh (history), and Rahit (lifestyle)
  • Articulate the raison d’être (reason for existence) for the Sikhs
  • Engage in and critique academic, traditional, and contemporary Sikh writings
  • Describe and analyze major movements in post-Guru Sikh history for contemporary application

Gurbani 101:

Introduction to Sikh History & Theology

Gurbani 101 is a survey course that familiarizes students with the structure, languages and themes of  the Guru Granth Sahib. The course format encompasses lectures, discussions and activities. Gurbani 101 provides students with tools and exposure to the nomenclature for developing an approach to understanding Guru Granth Sahib.

By the end of this course, students will be expected to:

  • Recognize the structure, format, and layout of Guru Granth Sahib
  • Identify different languages of Gurbani
  • Learn basic character of Gurmukhi script and its pronunciation
  • Understand basic grammar of Gurbani
  • Identify major symbolism, cultural and folk elements
  • Familiarize with key themes, terms, and phrases
  • Contextualize the language in its cultural milieu

Hear from Sidak Alumni

"The first time I attended Sidak, I finally was able to get that deep immersion into learning about Sikhi that I felt that I had been missing in my life. This time around, I was able to evaluate my Sikh journey in the past year and see what I could do in the next phase of my life to be more proactive. Sidak has given me the tools to explore my Sikhi further on my own. Sidak was the light in a really dark time of my life, and I want to go on and spread that light further."

- Diveesh Singh

"I had a lot of growth I needed to do. I still need to grow, but this was the push I needed to go in the right direction. I needed a positive environment full of love  and support that would help me with Sikhi. I could not have asked for anything better."

- Amanpreet Kaur Panesar

"Sidak has really changed the way in which I approach Gurbani. Prior to attending Sidak, I almost always relied on translations in order to understand Gurbani, but I now know which resources to rely upon in order to create my own interpretations. In addition to this, Sidak has allowed me to open up more, both with other people and with myself, which I think is a fundamental part of progressing on your Sikhi path and figuring out who you are."

- Mohnaam Kaur Shergill

"The first time I attended Sidak, I finally was able to get that deep immersion into learning about Sikhi that I felt that I had been missing in my life. This time around, I was able to evaluate my Sikh journey in the past year and see what I could do in the next phase of my life to be more proactive. Sidak has given me the tools to explore my Sikhi further on my own. Sidak was the light in a really dark time of my life, and I want to go on and spread that light further."

- Diveesh Singh

"Sidak has really changed the way in which I approach Gurbani. Prior to attending Sidak, I almost always relied on translations in order to understand Gurbani, but I now know which resources to rely upon in order to create my own interpretations. In addition to this, Sidak has allowed me to open up more, both with other people and with myself, which I think is a fundamental part of progressing on your Sikhi path and figuring out who you are."

- Amanpreet Kaur Panesar

“Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Morbi in nisi suscipit sapien fermentum imperdiet. Integer ut vestibulum est. Integer porttitor non purus vel vestibulum. Phasellus fermentum, magna nec sodales placerat, arcu urna euismod nulla, sed accumsan lacus justo eget felis. Proin sed iaculis neque. Nulla vitae rutrum ipsum, vitae condimentum nulla. Praesent nec risus dui. Vestibulum at pretium urna, nec consectetur sem. Proin blandit ultrices sapien sit amet sollicitudin. Fusce dapibus tellus ut justo lacinia tristique. Aliquam erat volutpat.”

- Mohnaam Kaur Shergill

Instructors at Sidak

Kulvir Singh Gill is a Senior Principal with Clareo Partners, a growth strategy consultancy based in Chicago. Kulvir has been actively involved in the Sikh-Canadian community. He has served in leadership roles with the Sikh Centennial Foundation, Spinning Wheel Film Festival, and Toronto Sikh Youth Retreats. He is a co-founder of Mississauga’s Seva Food Bank and Sikhs Serving Canada.

Jujhaar Singh is a software engineer for Airbnb and a recent graduate from Stanford University (June 2014). While at Stanford, Jujhaar held leadership positions as a board member on the Vice Provost’s Office, a Resident Assistant for 100 freshmen, a Teaching Assistant in Computer Science and Design, and captain of the Bhangra team. Jujhaar benefited greatly from Sikh camps growing up.

Arpinder Kaur is the first female Amritdhari commercial pilot in North America. She flies Embraer jets for a regional division of American Airlines and lives in Dallas with her family. When not flying, she volunteers at her kids' schools, Austin Elementary & Gurdwara Singh Sabha Khalsa school. Arpinder has been an active SikhRi volunteer for over 10 years.

Harinder Singh is a widely respected educator and thinker who is deeply in love with 1Force, the Oneness that radiates in all. Love and Justice symbiotic paradigm propels him to leverage public awareness for social change. He currently serves as the Senior Fellow, Research & Policy, at the Sikh Research Institute. Mr. Singh co-founded the Sikh Research Institute and the Panjab Digital Library, organized the Free Akal Takht movement, and envisioned Kaur and Singh Academy.

Dr. Pritpal Singh is a Physician Executive with Cigna where he serves as a Mentor to Health Management teams by providing Clinical insight, Educational support, and HealthCare solutions & strategies. Himself a product of Sikh camps and retreats, he facilitates workshops and projects which aim to fight both religious and political oppression through reflection, self-introspection, and activism.

Surender Pal Singh holds Master’s degrees in English and Religious Studies. He also is the India Coordinator for SikhRI and lead facilitator for Gurmukhi 101 at Sidak. He provides input for Sojhi, Liv, Saneha and Mahima program presentations and feels this work helps him explore his roots and identity deeper, giving him a stronger sense of purpose. He is particularly fascinated by Sikh theology, which daily provides new perspectives and experiences to observe the world through.

Inderpreet Singh is a technology professional focusing on networking, security and solution architecture. He is currently a Principal Solutions Architect working for a technology firm focusing on the modernization of DMV systems and applications. His passion is Sikhi and Sikh community-related community projects and he is heavily involved with Sikh youth camps, retreats and conferences, where he conducts seminars, lectures and interactive workshops on Gurmat-related topics.

Anupreet Kaur Bal is a high school math teacher in Surrey, British Columbia. She has a passion for helping children and youth become life long learners. Whether it's in a math or Sikhi classroom, Anu strives to create an environment that encourages curiosity and love for everything that children are surrounded by in their worlds. Anu holds a Masters Degree in Mathematics Education from Simon Fraser University.

Dr. Jaspreet Kaur Bal is a Professor in the Child and Youth Care program at Humber College in Toronto. She completed her PhD in Cultural Studies from Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario, where she focused on children’s rights, education, and returned for fieldwork to her village in Punjab. Dr. Bal serves on the Board of Directors of the Sikh Feminist Research Institute and Kaurs United International.

Jasleen Kaur is a double UVA grad in Religious Studies, focusing on South Asian Religions through the lens of literature and poetry. She is currently working as a Researcher with SikhRI. She is passionate about projects that create comfortable spaces for community members of all ages and backgrounds to engage in dialogue and learn from one another. She also loves singing in her free time, whether on stage with her friends or alone in her kitchen. She hopes to eventually go back to school in pursuit of a PhD in either religious ethnography or history, and fulfill her dream of teaching and learning from others.

Kulvir Singh Gill is a Senior Principal with Clareo Partners, a growth strategy consultancy based in Chicago. Kulvir has been actively involved in the Sikh-Canadian community. He has served in leadership roles with the Sikh Centennial Foundation, Spinning Wheel Film Festival, and Toronto Sikh Youth Retreats. He is a co-founder of Mississauga’s Seva Food Bank and Sikhs Serving Canada.

Jujhaar Singh is a software engineer for Airbnb and a recent graduate from Stanford University (June 2014). While at Stanford, Jujhaar held leadership positions as a board member on the Vice Provost’s Office, a Resident Assistant for 100 freshmen, a Teaching Assistant in Computer Science and Design, and captain of the Bhangra team. Jujhaar benefited greatly from Sikh camps growing up.

Arpinder Kaur is the first female Amritdhari commercial pilot in North America. She flies Embraer jets for a regional division of American Airlines and lives in Dallas with her family. When not flying, she volunteers at her kids' schools, Austin Elementary & Gurdwara Singh Sabha Khalsa school. Arpinder has been an active SikhRi volunteer for over 10 years.

Jasleen Kaur is a double UVA grad in Religious Studies, focusing on South Asian Religions through the lens of literature and poetry. She is currently working as a Researcher with SikhRI. She is passionate about projects that create comfortable spaces for community members of all ages and backgrounds to engage in dialogue and learn from one another. She also loves singing in her free time, whether on stage with her friends or alone in her kitchen. She hopes to eventually go back to school in pursuit of a PhD in either religious ethnography or history, and fulfill her dream of teaching and learning from others.

Anupreet Kaur Bal is a high school math teacher in Surrey, British Columbia. She has a passion for helping children and youth become life long learners. Whether it's in a math or Sikhi classroom, Anu strives to create an environment that encourages curiosity and love for everything that children are surrounded by in their worlds. Anu holds a Masters Degree in Mathematics Education from Simon Fraser University.

Inderpreet Singh is a technology professional focusing on networking, security and solution architecture. He is currently a Principal Solutions Architect working for a technology firm focusing on the modernization of DMV systems and applications. His passion is Sikhi and Sikh community-related community projects and he is heavily involved with Sikh youth camps, retreats and conferences, where he conducts seminars, lectures and interactive workshops on Gurmat-related topics.

Surender Pal Singh holds Master’s degrees in English and Religious Studies. He also is the India Coordinator for SikhRI and lead facilitator for Gurmukhi 101 at Sidak. He provides input for Sojhi, Liv, Saneha and Mahima program presentations and feels this work helps him explore his roots and identity deeper, giving him a stronger sense of purpose. He is particularly fascinated by Sikh theology, which daily provides new perspectives and experiences to observe the world through.

Harinder Singh is a widely respected educator and thinker who is deeply in love with 1Force, the Oneness that radiates in all. Love and Justice symbiotic paradigm propels him to leverage public awareness for social change. He currently serves as the Senior Fellow, Research & Policy, at the Sikh Research Institute. Mr. Singh co-founded the Sikh Research Institute and the Panjab Digital Library, organized the Free Akal Takht movement, and envisioned Kaur and Singh Academy.

Dr. Pritpal Singh is a Physician Executive with Cigna where he serves as a Mentor to Health Management teams by providing Clinical insight, Educational support, and HealthCare solutions & strategies. Himself a product of Sikh camps and retreats, he facilitates workshops and projects which aim to fight both religious and political oppression through reflection, self-introspection, and activism.

Dr. Jaspreet Kaur Bal is a Professor in the Child and Youth Care program at Humber College in Toronto. She completed her PhD in Cultural Studies from Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario, where she focused on children’s rights, education, and returned for fieldwork to her village in Punjab. Dr. Bal serves on the Board of Directors of the Sikh Feminist Research Institute and Kaurs United International.

Sidak Scholarships

Financial Assistance

SikhRI believes in the importance of education and aims to make Sikh education as accessible as possible to everyone. To request financial assistance, be sure to select the correct registration type and provide relevant details when submitting your application.

Financial assistance is made possible by the organizations and individuals who fund this program.

A Typical Day at Sidak

Morning

You start your day in the early morning, getting ready and heading to the Gurduara where we carry out our morning Divan session. The morning sessions include reciting Nitnem and Asa Ki Var, singing and discussing Sabads, doing Ardas, receiving and exploring the Hukamnama, distributing Degh, as well as engaging in discussions and Q&A. You will have a chance to try all of the above whether it's something completely new or something familiar.

After this, we spend some time with each other over breakfast before breaking off into our tracks and starting our classroom sessions. Each track has 3 classes in the morning — it's an intense start to the day!

Afternoon

After the 3rd class of the day, we break for lunch.

Once you've refueled at lunch, we have our Sikh Ambassador Leadership Training sessions. These sessions build on your leadership, teamwork, and analytical skills.

After the Leadership sessions, you have free time to either participate in recreational activities:
* such as archery, rock climbing, hiking, etc.
* hang out with fellow students, work on your assignments or readings
...or maybe just take a short nap — you might need it.

After your free time, we attend the evening Divan session, where we recite Rehras Sahib. We will again sing together and discuss Sabad. After Ardas, we revisit the Hukamnama from the morning Divan session and reflect upon our day. Bring your thoughts and feelings: open discussion with Q&A are fielded again.

Evening

After evening Divan, we have dinner and then have personal and study time for the remainder of the evening.

Facilitators and TA's are available to help with any assignments or readings or to answer any questions you may have.

After this block, we have quiet hours where we get ready for the next day!

About the Khalsa Centre

This two-week intensive immersion into Sikh culture, language, values, and community is held annually in the summer at the Khalsa Centre in British Columbia. Overlooking Miracle Valley, the 160-acre border of the Khalsa Centre is enveloped in majestic trees on multiple lakes amidst breathtaking beauty in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. To learn more about the campsite visit the Khalsa Centre website.

How to Apply

Sidak Step One

Take a look through the requirements and guidelines.

Sidak Step Two

Figure out which track is best suited for you.

Sidak Step Three

Read through the FAQ for any clarification on the program.

FAQ

What is the cost to attend Sidak?

Registration cost is typically around $900 USD, with some special pricing for early bird registrants which can be up to 50% off the regular registration price.

This will cover your accommodations, meals, activities (including rock wall climbing, archery, high ropes course, etc.) and certain course materials.

Can't afford the full program fee?

SikhRI believes in the importance of education and aims to make Sikh education as accessible as possible.
To request financial assistance, simply fill out the criteria on the application form.
This assistance is made possible by various organizations and individuals who fund and support this program.
Please contact sidak@sikhri.org for more information.

Who can participate?

All those interested aged 18 to 40 (17-year-olds that have completed high school are considered) are welcome to apply. There is a mix of students and young professionals hailing from diverse backgrounds.

What qualifications or criteria are you looking for and how can I apply?

The Institute is looking for participants who have the desire and enthusiasm to learn more about Sikhi and are serious in developing their understanding of the faith. We look for participants who are looking to strengthen their leadership skills and also those looking to make an impact in their communities.
Participants choose 1 of 3 offered courses to enroll in.

How many students are in the program?

Registration is limited to 15 students per track, for a maximum of 45 students.

If I live outside Canada, what procedures do I need to go through to attend and participate?

If you are a resident or citizen of a country other than Canada, you may require a visitor visa.
Please check here for whether you need a visa.
Please click here for more details.Processing times are reported here

* Also, note that the Sikh Research Institute is not responsible for filing any travel documents on behalf of a participant.

What should I bring with me?

Please make sure to bring bedding (twin-sheets/blanket/pillow), appropriate clothing for outdoor, indoor and recreational use, indoor and outdoor footwear, towel(s), toiletries and swimming gear if interested. The Khalsa Centre offers a variety of activities and amenities at the campsite. Mornings and evenings are often cooler and afternoons can warm up significantly. Laundry facilities are available on site. A more detailed list is provided to applicants upon receiving their welcome package.
Please also see the Khalsa Centre's recommended checklist here.

Please contact us at sidak@sikhri.org if you have any further questions.

Upcoming Events

Saturday
,
31
October
2020

Genocide

How do we remember? How do we advocate? How do we survive? Please join us for a webinar with three leading voices in the November 1984 Anti-Sikh pogroms study. Dr. Ishmeet Kaur, a professor at the University of Gujarat, will help us explore the literary and artistic response to the Pogroms. Dr. Shruti Devgan, a professor at Bowdoin College, has researched in the diasporic, 1st, and 2nd generation response to the events of 1984 and how the events have been commemorated digitally. Finally, Mr. Ryan Singh Kohli, a leading public law practitioner in the UK, will share his work with Sardar HS Phoolka in the struggle for legal justice for the victims of November 1984.

Learn more ⟶
Saturday
,
14
November
2020

Stories That Transform Children

How can we use the enchantment of children’s books to build bridges between worlds? How do we diversify the stories we tell, hear, and read? How can parents, educators, and childcare workers engage and share diverse stories? Join us in conversation with social entrepreneur and children’s book author, Deanna Singh, writer, scholar, and activist, Simran Jeet Singh, and author, poet, and artist, Inni Kaur. Together, let’s re-imagine storytelling for a new generation and tell stories that deserve to be told.

Learn more ⟶
Saturday
,
31
October
2020

Genocide

How do we remember? How do we advocate? How do we survive? Please join us for a webinar with three leading voices in the November 1984 Anti-Sikh pogroms study. Dr. Ishmeet Kaur, a professor at the University of Gujarat, will help us explore the literary and artistic response to the Pogroms. Dr. Shruti Devgan, a professor at Bowdoin College, has researched in the diasporic, 1st, and 2nd generation response to the events of 1984 and how the events have been commemorated digitally. Finally, Mr. Ryan Singh Kohli, a leading public law practitioner in the UK, will share his work with Sardar HS Phoolka in the struggle for legal justice for the victims of November 1984.

Learn more ⟶
Saturday
,
31
October
2020

Genocide

How do we remember? How do we advocate? How do we survive? Please join us for a webinar with three leading voices in the November 1984 Anti-Sikh pogroms study. Dr. Ishmeet Kaur, a professor at the University of Gujarat, will help us explore the literary and artistic response to the Pogroms. Dr. Shruti Devgan, a professor at Bowdoin College, has researched in the diasporic, 1st, and 2nd generation response to the events of 1984 and how the events have been commemorated digitally. Finally, Mr. Ryan Singh Kohli, a leading public law practitioner in the UK, will share his work with Sardar HS Phoolka in the struggle for legal justice for the victims of November 1984.

Learn more ⟶
Saturday
,
14
November
2020

Stories That Transform Children

How can we use the enchantment of children’s books to build bridges between worlds? How do we diversify the stories we tell, hear, and read? How can parents, educators, and childcare workers engage and share diverse stories? Join us in conversation with social entrepreneur and children’s book author, Deanna Singh, writer, scholar, and activist, Simran Jeet Singh, and author, poet, and artist, Inni Kaur. Together, let’s re-imagine storytelling for a new generation and tell stories that deserve to be told.

Learn more ⟶
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