Sikh Symposium

Participants at the annual International Sikh Youth Symposium which was held in Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio, recently. (photo provided)

The three-day annual International Sikh Youth Symposium, under the aegis of the Sikh Youth Alliance of North America, was jointly held at two Ohio cities recently: Dayton and Cincinnati.

The programs, held at the Sikh Society of Dayton and the Sikh Center of Dayton Gurdwara, were attended by 56 youths from the U.S. and Canada.

The annual public speaking and debate competition for the Sikh youths has been run by SYANA since 2000, a press release quoted Kuldeep Singh, national convener of the symposium and SYANA, as saying. The objective, added the press release, is to provide an environment where these youths can develop public speaking and oral and written communication skills along with learning about the Sikh history and philosophy.

The public speaking competition is open to participants between the ages of six and 22 and has three levels: local, regional and international.

On day one, participants delivered speeches on Sakka Chamkaur, brave Sikh women, Dastar and on the message of Gurbani in front of the sangat and judges.

The next day also saw youths participate in debates. The same evening, a banquet and a special program was held at the Holiday Inn in Cincinnati, Ohio, to honor the 56 finalists. Highlights of the program also included a keynote speech by Navkiran Kaur Khalra, daughter of late human rights activist S. Jaswant Singh Khalra, Gian Singh Sandhu, founding president of the World Sikh Organization of Canada, and closing remarks by convener Kuldip Singh.

Results were announced after the Kirtan Darbar at Gurdwara Sahib on the last day of the symposium. Pahul Kaur from Texas, Muskaan Kaur from Chicago, Aneil Kaur from Ontario, Jasjeev Singh from Ohio and Sehaj Singh from Texas were awarded the first place in each group. Medals and certificates were given to all the participants.

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