Global Diasporas Class Visits Sikh Temple in Ventura
Last Sunday, February 7, 2016, the day of the Super Bowl, over 50 students from the Global Diasporas course taught at UC Santa Barbara visited the Sikh Gurdwara (Temple) in Ventura. They went there to observe and be part of the sangat (Sikh community) to gain a better understanding of one of the minority, but influential, Indian diaspora communities in the USA -- the Sikhs -- and learn about their religious beliefs and values. The Sikh community was founded by Baba Nanak and is less than 550 years old, but over the past century they have attained a global presence with the Sikh diaspora now estimated at 2 million, with at least half a million here in the US.
The visit involved sitting among the congregation/community members, listening to kirtan, Sikh devotional music based on shabads (words or text) contained in the Guru Granth (Sikh sacred scripture), which the Sikhs also regard as their living and eternal Guru.