American Turban

Sikh women: what does your love story look like?

Circa 1800-1900 Painting of Bibi Nanaki meeting her brother, Guru Nanak. (source: Sikh Foundation)

(source: Sikh Foundation)

At its core, Sikh scripture – the Guru Granth Sahib – is a testimony to the love and longing of the Divine. Many shabads (hymns) contained within the Guru Granth Sahib use the metaphor of a bride’s devotion to her beloved to express the relationship of human being to the Divine. Consider this shabad written by Guru Amar Das, the third Guru of the Sikhs:

The Gurmukh is the happy and pure soul-bride forever. She keeps her Husband Lord enshrined within her heart.

Her speech is sweet, and her way of life is humble. She enjoys the Bed of her Husband Lord.

The happy and pure soul-bride is noble; she has infinite love for the Guru.

A woman’s love and devotion is a powerful and recurrent metaphor in Sikh philosophy.

Today, a new project seeks to explore further the love expressed by Sikh women in its many forms, as told in their own voice. An anthology of short stories written by Sikh women about their experiences in love is being collected:

Announcing a groundbreaking collection of love stories written by Sikh women about Sikh women living in the United States and Canada.  We believe at the heart of each Sikh American woman, there are multiple love stories that inhabit the mind, body, and soul.  The geography, politics, and social climate of the United States and Canada have shaped these love stories into unique and fascinating narratives.

What does your love story look like?   We want to hear your story.  This collection of stories will allow Sikh women to tell their stories within our communities and within the broader American context in our own humorous, dramatic, and engaging voices.   We hope to humanize the complexities and nuanced experiences of the Sikh women who manifest love.

We request that only North American (United States and Canada) women who have a love story to share. We also request that the writing, although non-fiction, be written in a story format, written creatively and not so much an academic or historical essay.

SUBMISSION RULES:  Work submitted must be non-fiction and autobiographical.  Author must self-identify as a Sikh and American or Canadian woman.

WORD COUNT: Word count for submissions must be between 1500 – 4000 words, double-spaced.

DEADLINE:  Final story draft due by December 15th, 2012.

DETAILS: Please send your commitment to submit in the body of your email to sikh.lovestories@gmail.com by September 27th, 2012.  Please remember to include:

·       Name  (full name)

·       Age

·       Location

·       Contact information (e-mail address/phone number)

·       The themes that will shape your narrative  (one to two sentences)

·       Please indicate if you want editorial support for this writing process.  The editorial support is optional.

Final submissions do not guarantee publication, but our project is committed to honoring every woman’s story. 

CONTACT:  Please email sikh.lovestories@gmail.com for questions.

NOTE TO INTERNATIONAL WRITERS:  For more information and guidelines about The Love Stories submissions from the UK, UAE, India, Australia, and Singapore, please email sikh.lovestoriesglobal@gmail.com

This is an exciting project that will bring forward the voice of Sikh women. If you are interesting in contributing your story, please contact sikh.lovestories@gmail.com.  More information is available from the full Call for Submissions, which you can download here.

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2 comments

  1. Puneet

    Ooh, so interesting! Thanks for sharing. I’m eager to participate although I might not qualify because I’m not Sikh American. Must check it out though.

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