We may not have the much needed air conditioner that we all need a few summer weeks every year in the UK but we have a insightful talk about an interesting person we all know a bit about and also of an empire formed under his leadership.
We are humbled to have fantastic allies such as Aman Madra OBE who is recognised for services to Sikh and Punjabi heritage and culture. Sarbat members have attended several events and exhibitions organised by UKPHA and we look forward to visiting many more still in the future. I also welcome many of you from across the world – some of you may or may not be familiar with either Sarbat or UKPHA
So I would like to introduce Sarbat a bit – Sarbat is a volunteer led group addressing LGBT+ issues from a Sikh perspective. We empower our members to encourage discussions, tackle homophobia/biphobia/transphobia and build bridges within and beyond their communities. I would encourage you all to visit our website to find out more about our purpose and core ethics. Better still get involved.
The success of #SarbatSocial is a combined effort of all our volunteers who wanted to continue providing our fellow LGBT Sikhs and allies a platform to meet and come together. This was immediately following lockdown in the UK. We have always recognised that some of our brothers and sisters are at particularly high risk of lonliness and isolations and lacking spaces. We try our best to address this gap as part our regular series. We are also making inroads in reaching people beyond the UK.
Now lets move on to history – History has been in the news recently – Stories that we uncover tend to refute broadly accepted versions of the past or our values. They are increasingly dissonant with the narrative template that characterizes our memory of the past , or they contradict current values like tolerance and equality. The study of history may challenge our preconceptions about who we are and where we come from, it may embarass us or fill us with pride.
It doesn’t mean however we should shy away from hard truths.
Before I handover to Aman, a quick plug… there are two SarbatSocials taking place in early July on how to be effective allies – the first one asks you all on how you could be allies to LGBT+ Sikhs on the 4th of July – and second one on the 11th is about being allies to Black lives. We’d like you to join in. Please join our newsletter on www.sarbat.net and follow us on social media to find out more about our work. Some housekeeping, since this is a seminar based zoom call and there are many people attending, Aman would be taking questions on the text box here.