Located in Stockton, California, the oldest Gurdwara (Sikh house of worship) in the United States is celebrating its centenary this year. Events to commemorate the century-long establishment of Sikhs in this country begin next week with a conference in Stockton. From The Langar Hall:
Beginning next weekend (Sept 22, 2012) on the campus of University of the Pacific (UOP), there will be a conference entitled “100 Years of Sikhs in the USA (A Western Perspective).” Dr. Bruce La Brack, a pioneer on Sikh-American studies, will lead a number of scholars in an opportunity to reflect on this history. Other scholars include, Dr. Hugh Johnston, author of The Four Quarters of the Night: the Life Story of an Emigrant Sikh (1995), Dr. Harold Gould, author of Sikhs, Swamis, Students and Spies: The India Lobby in the United States, 1900-1946 (2006), and many more distinguished speakers. See the list of scholars and conference agenda here.
The conference looks to be an intriguing encapsulation of the early Sikh diaspora in North America. In addition to the conference on September 22, other events are scheduled to follow, including:
- Opening of Sikh History Museum – September 23, 2012
- Eastern Sikh Scholars Centennial Conference – September 30, 2012
- Grand Finale Celebration – October 13-14, 2012
This year has seen Sikh Americans experience lows and highs, and so the celebrations in Stockton is an opportunity to reflect on where we are 100 years after formally establishing our presence in the United States.