My Cousin Jennie’s Bat Mitzvah and Religion

Well, my father has a laptop and the hotel has internet access, so naturally I am here again to tell you about me day.

Today was a great day celebrating with family for my cousin Jennie’s Bat Mitzvah. This is a Jewish ceremony that young men and women do when they come of age (around 13 years old). My mother’s side of the family is Jewish but I haven’t participated or been a part of many Jewish religious ceremonies.

It was really cool to be there with much of my family who I have not seen in many years and to learn more about other religions. I find that the more I am exposed to other cultures, religions, people, etc, the more open and accepting I can be. It allows me to see the common thread in us all as Humans seeking a connection with God. It is too easy to get caught up in seeing everyone as some different group..and being separate (This religion, this type of Sikh, this community). Ultimately we should be looking at everyone as part of you (God), and you part of them. I think of a quote by Siri Singh Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa – “If you cannot see God in all, You cannot see God at all“. To me this sums it up and help remind me to see God in everyone, no matter what. It allows me to be compassionate and more forgiving.

As Sikhs we have to really make an effort to learn about other religious walks of life and to reach out to our neighbors who are not Sikhs. It is too easy to be introverted as a community. This is so important these days, especially with all the attention in the middle-east. People don’t know what to make of a person who has a turban. The more we reach out (Yeah you! You don’t have to be a Sikhi Expert), the more people will know really who the Sikhs are.

anyways… We can learn from each other. Overall Sikhs are the Sikhers of truth and the Sikh faith has always been very open, but it seems that in this modern age many Sikh communities (A big of a generalization, I know) tend to just focus inwards. We all have the tendency to just think about what is in our “circle” (Ourselves, family, friends, Sikh community, etc). While this is totally fine, but the cost is people not knowing who we are as Sikhs and many mis-understandings. So…this is just encouragement for those that don’t already do so, to think more about the other people who live near you or that you interact with. It definitely takes making an effort, but it really helps us a Sikhs.

All it takes are kinds words, a smile on your face, and an openness to others that you are around.

Well…I ordered Chinese food to be delivered to my hotel room and it just came! So, time to fill my hungry tummy. :)