US Sikh kids learn own culture at Camp Khanda

Kamp Khanda

Sikh American children now have the chance to know more about their , religious principles and disciplines at “Camp Khanda” (a religious symbol of ).
The American Sikh Council (ASC) sponsored one such, week-long, gathering at Camp Woodland, in Constantia, . The campers had to be up at 5.30 every morning. “The morning session started with nitnem (daily prayers), learning how to take the ‘vaak’, with detailed explanation of the Anand Sahib and kirtan,” ASC secretary-general Inderpreet Singh Mann said.
“Campers as young as 7 to 17 participated in active discussions and questions and answers during the camp,” he said. Dr Rahuldeep Singh, one of the youngest tenured professors of religion, ran classes which were interactive and which engaged the campers by enthusing them with Sikh spirit.

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Four periods with classes in history, religion, kirtan and language for an hour each were held.Campers were divided into four age groups and age-appropriate lessons were taught, including public-speaking skills.

Camp Khanda Kirtan
During , sessions were held to facilitate open discussions on social issues such as bullying and matters concerning teenagers.

“Every evening, a special fun event such as a talent show, a pillow fight, bowling night, fireworks with music, etc was organised.Some of the campers showed phenomenal artistic and poetic skills, especially the younger ones,” Mann said, adding that Rehras Sahib was held every evening with explanation and discussions while Kirtan Sohila Sahib was performed at lights out.
Manjot Kaur, a teacher, said every Sikh child came away from the camp having learnt somet h i n g n e w, i n c l u d i n g n e w “shabads”. Mann said, during the camp, children built solid friendships and supported one another, creating an environment of “chardi kala”, the mental state of optimism and joy.