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Sikh Studies Conference to Draw Global Scholars- The keynote speech will be delivered by Dr. Gurmohan Singh Walia

May 8-10 event will include leaders of the international Sikh community
MAY 01, 2015:  By Mojgan Sherkat on May 1, 2015

The keynote speech will be delivered by Dr. Gurmohan Singh Walia

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( – Scholars and global leaders of the Sikh community from all over the world will congregate at UC Riverside for a three-day conference on Sikh studies beginning on May 8.

The annual conference is sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies, and the Dr. Jasbir Singh Saini Endowed Chair in Sikh and Punjabi studies. It will be held in the CHASS Interdisciplinary Building Symposium Room (1113 INTS) from May 8-10. The keynote speech will be delivered by Dr. Gurmohan Singh Walia, the vice chancellor of Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University, Fatehgarh Sahib in Punjab, India.

Thirty scholars representing academic institutions in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, India, and many other countries will present papers at the conference.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Living and Making Sikhi in the Diaspora: The Millennial Generation Comes of Age.” The term Millennials, or Generation Y, has been applied to the generation reaching young adulthood in the early 2000s. This is the generation that has grown up during the current era of globalization characterized by increased global interconnections and consciousness thereof, explained Pashaura Singh, UCR professor of Sikh Studies and chair of the Department of Religious Studies. Politically, their lives have been shadowed by a “global war on terror.” Economically, they have experienced a global economic recession. Culturally, they came of age as “digital natives” for whom the Internet and other forms of information technology connect them to others near and far, Singh said.

“Among Sikhs in the diaspora, Millennials are frequently a generation or more removed from ancestral roots in Punjab. These are young Sikhs who have been born and raised in North America, the U.K., Australia, and throughout Europe, whose grandparents or parents emigrated between the 1950s and 1980s,” Singh explained. .

“Their worldviews and life experiences thus reflect the societies in which they have been born and raised, and their experience of Punjab is often limited or second-hand. As a result, questions of distinguishing Sikhi (Sikh practices) from Punjabiyat (Punjabi culture) and of representing Sikhism and Sikh interests to others in the multicultural and religiously pluralist cultures in which they live are often at the forefront of their concerns,” he said.

In line with the town and gown theme and aspirations of previous Sikh Studies conferences at UC Riverside, the conference will bring together Sikh Studies scholars, diaspora Sikh youth activists, and community members to explore the ways in which Millennial Sikhs of the diaspora are making and living Sikhism in various settings around the globe.

The conference panels are open to the public. Information about the conference can be viewed at:

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