Home and the World

Gurveen Kaur Khurana

in Sikhism in Global Context

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780198075547
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199082056 | DOI:
Home and the World

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This chapter explores a variety of ways in which the nagar kirtan—the public procession of devotional singing—can be read. The site of this study is Yuba City in northern California where nagar kirtan is celebrated every year on the first Sunday of November. The nagar kirtan looks back to recreate the familiarity of a world the Sikh diaspora has left behind. It reminds the Sikhs of their past, of their history of constant wars, and of their persecution at the hands of the state and empires. It also acts as a platform for Sikhs to air their grievances and feelings about their religion, the treatment meted out to them, and the ways in which they wish to organize their religion in the future. Additionally, it develops the separate space and time the Sikhs so desire in the host country and acts as a public reminder to non-Sikhs of their presence amongst them.

Keywords: nagar kirtan; Yuba City; northern California; Sikh diaspora; Sikh devotional singing; Sikh space; host country; Sikh grievances

Chapter.  8725 words. 

Subjects: Sikhism

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