Irish Sikh Council - Services

By: Irish Sikh Council  05/12/2011
Keywords: Promoting Cultural, Hate Crime, Promoting Cultural Diversity,

Irish Sikh Council provides a range of services including:

We provide school visits to the Sikh place of worship. Also speakers from Irish Sikh Council visit schools to deliver lecture on Sikh way of life. Irish Sikh Council has launched an initiative, “A Visit to Gurdwara” a tour pack for schools which includes:

  • Guided tour of the Sikh Gurdwara

  • Refreshments to all visitors during the tour

  • Presentation on Sikh Faith and Culture

  • Questions & Answers Session

  • Display of Sikh Martial Arts, Gatka

  • Information Leaflets

The tours are provided free of cost.

Since its foundation Irish Sikh Council has been involved in various activities to create awareness about Sikh community in Ireland. Due to tragic event of 9/11 and 7/7, members of Sikh community have faced a lot of racial attacks due to mistaken identity. Irish Sikh Council has engaged the Media apart from distributing information leaflets to create more awareness about Irish Sikh community.

Irish Sikh Council has also collaborated with FOMACS (Forum on Migration and Communications), Dublin Institute of Technology initiative, to launch a photographic and life history project called “A Sikh Face in Ireland”. This multimedia exhibition is produced and supported by FOMACS (Forum on Migration and Communications) in collaboration with photographer/oral historian, Dr Glenn Jordan, and researcher, Satwinder Singh.

A Sikh Face in Ireland is the first systematic exploration of the Sikh presence on the island of Ireland - providing both a profile of the present and a social and cultural history of Sikh immigrants and their descendants. The key themes of the exhibition include issues of culture, experience and identity. The exhibition illustrates that 'being a Sikh' is not a homogeneous experience; that people from similar backgrounds may live their identities in different ways. The exhibition portrays men who do and do not wear turbans, further depicting generational and gender differences. More generally, it explores the lived experiences and narratives of people often perceived as 'Other' by members of the general public - especially since 9/11.

A series of parallel events designed in collaboration with the Chester Beatty Library’s Intercultural Education Programme builds on different objects in the exhibition: photographic portraits accompanied by life stories; a short film, 'How to Tie a Turban'; a photographic and sound installation featuring contemporary Sikh musicians; an exhibition catalogue comprising essays, photographs, and extensive life stories in English and Punjabi; an interactive website designed for use in diverse educational settings, in addition to public workshops.

Since its foundation Irish Sikh Council is involved in promoting cultural diversity in Ireland. For the first time in history of Ireland, Sikh community participated in St Patrick’s Festival Parade in 2007. The pageant named “Portraits of Courage” was organized by Irish Sikh Council and consisted of over 90 performers with performances in Folk dances & Sikh martial arts. Over the years our participation at Festival of World Cultures and a number of other cultural events across the country have been very well recieved by the audience. We believe we have developed strong capabilities with in the organisation to provide professional Sikh cultural acts in music, dance & martial arts. We welcome enquiries from the event organisers.

Irish Sikh Council has been involved in creating support structure to tackle needs of Sikh community in Ireland since 2004. We provide a number of support services for the members of Sikh community including:

  • Civil & Human Rights Advocacy:Irish Sikh Council has been involved in a number of cases involving apparent discrimination or harassment. Our team provided assistance to workers at various Dominos franchises in Ireland concerning dismissal threats if they did not remove the steel bracelet, a Sikh article of faith. In a separate case, Irish Sikh Council has been involved in consultation with An Garda Siochana for over 2 years on inclusion of Ethnic minorities in the force. Irish Sikh Council has been actively involved in advocating for the rights not only for Sikhs but for members of other faith and migrant communities as well on the principle of basic human rights that allow freedom of conscience, religion and belief.

    We have recently also been in discussions with Football Association of Ireland (FAI) and Sports Against Racism Ireland (SARI) to resolve the issue relating a minor Sikh boy who was asked by the referee to take of his Patka (smaller turban) during a soccer match. The issue was amicably resolved and FAI has now issued guidelines to all referees informing about the importance of Sikh turban.

  • Hate Crime - Victim Support: Irish Sikh Council has been providing support to victims of hate crimes in Ireland. If you or a person known to you is a victim of Hate crime we strongly recommend you to report the incidence to the Gardai. Member of Irish Sikh Council will be happy to assist you should you require any assistance in reporting the crime.

  • Language & IT Skills: Our volunteers also provide assistance with English/Punjabi/Hindi language & IT skill requirements.

Irish Sikh Council has been working in close collaboration with Sports Against Racism (SARI) from a number of years, promoting intercultural sporting events. Our soccer team has been participating regularly at the Annual SoccerFest organised by SARI.

Keywords: Hate Crime, Promoting Cultural, Promoting Cultural Diversity,