Sidak 2022

24 July - 6 August

Miracle Valley, British Columbia

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

Sidak seeks to provide young Sikh adults with a gift of Gurmat-centered leadership learning experience to secure—and transform—the Sikh future.

Learning TracksInstructorsA Day At SidakFAQApply Now

About Sidak


Sidak Leadership Program is a unique experiential and educational experience that brings Sikhs from diverse backgrounds together to learn with and from one another. Sidak promotes the concepts and skills needed to be a life-long learner, not just in leadership but in your whole life. This Program will be a “game-changer” in your life. It will expand your ability to be an effective leader.

Sidak is pleased to announce that in 2022, the program will run fee-free in celebration of its 20th anniversary. Sidak aspires to offer this educational experience to all young Sikh adult seekers. Due to funding and scaling, it may take SikhRI a few years to honor this commitment. Therefore, there is a selection process in place. All Sikhs from 18-39 are welcome to apply; however, the new fee-free structure means positions will be limited and competitive.

Sidak combines Surat (awareness) and Ruh (spirit). These two are equally important and balanced in the program, as participants journey towards becoming Guru-centered. Facilitators seek to model both elements and inspire attendees to do the same.

Sidak is designed as an adult learning experience. This means that there are many activities you will be asked to participate in, including organizing a cohort group, presenting group thought and ideas, leading a discussion on a given topic, listening to content delivery, and expressing new solutions to old problems. This style requires that you participate but, more importantly, that you are growing as a leader. Your facilitators will be there to monitor and present skills and knowledge needed at every level of learning. They will facilitate and help you learn, but the real learning is up to you.

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.

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 Guru Granth Sahib

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

Admissions Criteria

As we approach our 20th anniversary, we are excited to offer Sidak fee-free for 60 applicants starting in 2022. Applications will be reviewed by a three-person committee that includes Sidak graduates and instructors.

The application process strives to create a cohort that celebrates the individual journey in service of collective Panthic goals. There is no “standard Sikh” we look for. Instead, we want to hear about how Sikhi is part of your personal experience. We will look for the following characteristics:

Leadership

We are looking for the current and future Sikh leaders who will help shape our world. How have you impacted the communities you are part of in formal and informal ways? Leadership can take many forms - in communities, families, schools, and work. Tell us where you have taken the lead, and most importantly, what it taught you.

Growth

To make the most of Sidak, we seek to find applicants ready to self-reflect, be curious, and grow. Help us understand how you have evolved in the past and how you hope to grow in the future. How will Sidak help you make the most of your life?

Analytical Aptitude

Sidak is a fast-paced, action-packed leadership retreat where you will balance assignments, reading, and delving deep into course material. We look for individuals who are excited by the prospect of learning, discussing, and debating through the lenses of Gurbani, Tvarikh (history), and Rahit (lifestyle). We will look at your academic and work accomplishments to understand and assess your thirst for knowledge and analysis ability.

Sidak Instructors

Staff
BOARD
Presenter
BOARD
Sidak
BOARD

Harinder Singh

Senior Fellow, Research & Policy

Harinder Singh is the Senior Fellow at the Sikh Research Institute. He holds a BS in Aerospace Engineering from Wichita State University, an MS in Engineering Management from the University of Kansas, and an MPhil from Punjab University in the linguistics of the Guru Granth Sahib. 

View Profile →
Current Board
BOARD
Presenter
BOARD
Sidak
BOARD

Inderpreet Singh

Principal Solutions Architect

Inderpreet Singh is a technology professional focusing on cloud, networking, security, and solution architecture.

View Profile →
Staff
BOARD
Presenter
BOARD
Sojhi
BOARD
Sidak
BOARD

Inni Kaur

Creative Director

Inni Kaur is Creative Director at the Sikh Research Institute (SikhRI). She has served SikhRI in several capacities since 2010, including Chair of the Board, and most recently as CEO. 

View Profile →
Staff
BOARD
Sojhi
BOARD
Presenter
BOARD
Sidak
BOARD

Jasleen Kaur

Researcher

Jasleen Kaur is a Research Associate at the Sikh Research Institute. She has received a Religious Studies B.A./M.A. from the University of Virginia, focusing on South Asian Religions through the lens of literature and poetry.

View Profile →
Advisory Council
BOARD
Sidak
BOARD

Jaspreet Kaur

Professor, Child and Youth Care Program, Humber College

Dr. Jaspreet Kaur 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. 

View Profile →
Current Board
BOARD
Sidak
BOARD

Jujhaar Singh

Software Engineer, Airbnb

Jujhaar Singh is a software engineer who works at Airbnb in San Francisco. 

View Profile →
Current Board
BOARD
Presenter
BOARD
Sidak
BOARD

Kulvir Singh Gill

Management Consultant

Kulvir Singh Gill has almost 20 years of experience working at the intersection of innovation, sustainability and business strategy. 

View Profile →
Current Board
BOARD
Presenter
BOARD
Sidak
BOARD

Pritpal Singh

Physician Executive, Cigna

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. 

View Profile →
Contributor
BOARD
Sidak
BOARD

Santbir Singh

Project Associate

Santbir Singh is a Project Associate with the Sikh Research Institute. An avid student of Sikhi, he has spoken at retreats, conferences, and youth camps for over two decades. 

View Profile →
Staff
BOARD
Sidak
BOARD

Surender Pal Singh

Researcher

Surender Pal Singh is a Senior Research Associate at the Sikh Research Institute. He holds an M.A in Religious Studies from Punjabi University, M.A. in English from Panjab University, and a B.Sc. in Botany and Zoology from Panjab University.

View Profile →

Apply Now

Sidak Step One

Figure out which learning track is best for you.

Sidak Step Two

Read through the FAQ for any clarification on the 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 learning 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!

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
Meet Sidak Alum

"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

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.

FAQ

What is the cost associated with Sidak?

Sidak is pleased to announce that in 2022, the program will run fee-free in celebration of its 20th anniversary.

You will have to pay for your transportation, depending on where you are arriving from. Sidak organizers will provide transportation from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) to the campsite on the designated day.

Who can participate?

All those interested aged 18 to 39 (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?

We look for participants who have the desire and enthusiasm to learn more about Sikhi and are serious about developing their understanding of the faith. We consider participants looking to strengthen their leadership skills and those looking to make an impact in their communities.

Participants choose 1 of 3 offered learning tracks to enroll in.

How many participants are in the program?

Registration is limited to 20 participants per track, for a maximum of 60 participants.

What procedures do I need to attend and participate in if I live outside Canada?

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

* Please 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 bring bedding (twin sheets/blanket/pillow), appropriate clothing for outdoor, indoor, and recreational use, indoor and outdoor footwear, towel(s), toiletries, and swimming gear. The Khalsa Centre offers a variety of activities and amenities.

Mornings and evenings are often cooler, and the afternoons can warm up significantly. Laundry facilities are available on site. A detailed list will be 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.