Exciting Adventures of Sikhi – The Art of Story Telling

Every month we have a little get together for the children in the evening, and Guru Meher Kaur tells stories about the Gurus. The kids love it and learn so much about Sikhi in a fun way. This is a picture from last night of the kids listening to the stories. Narayan has been listening to some really old stories by Gurliv Singh from the mid 1970s, which I used to listen to when I went to sleep as a kid. Every night Narayan says that he want to listen to the "Guru Stories" which he does and falls asleep to. Arjan was getting tired of hearing them a thousand times so wondered if someone else would make some new stories. The seed was planted. Lately I have been thinking about it and it is a great idea to create a series of audio stories for children. In the old days before TV there used to be all kinds of radio theater that people would listen to. Nowadays it’s all just over-stimulating TV where the kids just go into a "trance" like state and are glued to the TV. Listening to stories allows children’s imaginations to run and I think is a much more healthy means for entertainment/learning. Most of the Sikh story books I have seen have terrible dialog and are not very interesting for young kids. Audio is so much more engaging and is a good balance between the two (TV/Books). Some of you might have seen the Sikh cartoons which came out on DVD this past year (Sunny and Sahibzadas). These are great…but are very expensive to produce for just a single video (in the $50,000-$100,000 range) and only a small number of people see them because of the cost. For a small fraction of the cost we could produce a high quality series of exciting adventures in Sikhi in the audio format. You can have the same type of excitement (dialog/actors, sound track, sound effects, etc) but leaving the visual part to the child’s imagination. Plus we could make them free and available as MP3 audio tracks for anyone to download and listen to. This would have a bigger impact since more kids would be able to listen freely. Everyone has a CD burner these days and could make Audio CDs from the files if they wanted to.So here is my initial plan to get started. Guru Meher Kaur (our local "Grand mother"/Story teller) is going to pick out some stories and write a script. I’ll then try to recruit some locals from our sangat to do the voices. I think someone in our Sangat has recording equipment in their house so I’ll see if we can record there. I’ll probably need help with the editing and sound effects. Do any of you know other Sikhs that are audio engineers and might want to help out on this project in some way? Ultimately the quality of the project will depend on getting skilled people involved for the recording/editing part. If someone is interesting in sponsoring this project we could do a more professional job and hire experienced help. In the mean time we’ll do budget project ($0). I’ll just go ahead and start figuring things out and do my best (I’m no expert in this area). I have a feeling Guruji will provide what is needed (as always). Just today I was talking to another Sikh woman from New York, who wants to do some educational stuff for kids too, so we’ll see where this all leads. Let me know what you think and if you have ideas to share about this. Any help would be appreciated. Watch Out Hollywood, here we Come!! Hahaha…. Ps. Listen to some of the old stories by Gurliv Singh to get an inkling of this project. Keep in mind these were done in the 70′s and are pretty good considering that.

16 Responses to “Exciting Adventures of Sikhi – The Art of Story Telling”

  1. Manjit says:

    Waheguru ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh. I think this is a great idea and it won’t be happening before time. I work in Education and am always stuck for child friendly resources so i look forward to your production, I do not have any of the skills you are looking for so I will not be able to help in that depart ment but I do wish to help financilly. How do I send money to yourselves in support of the ggod work you do. I do enjoy a lot of your videos and have been meaning to email you for sometime now. I also wanted to know if it possible for me to use some of your videos as a resource either personally or to put in our library. Please do get back to me. Thank you. regards Manjit Kaur

  2. Manjit Kaur, I’m glad that you like the idea. You are most welcome to use the videos for personal/non-commercial uses. Feel free to download the videos to your computer. With some software you could burn to a DVD or video CD for watching on a DVD player.

    Eventually I might compile some of the videos into an actual DVD…but that is another project. The video are there to serve and educate so hope you can make good use of them.

    In regards to supporting the “Story Project” I suppose it is best for you to make a donation to SikhNet with a note that it is for the “Story Project”.

    I’ll keep you all updated as things progress. Keep in mind that this is my “hobby”/afterhours project for my “free time” so I’m not sure how quickly I can get things together. The funding will help though since it will take more of the burden off me and possibly be able to hire professional help.

  3. Guruka Singh says:

    Did you forget that I worked as an audio engineer for 12 years and as a video engineer for another 5 years? (chuckle) I believe Gurushabd Singh still has his digital Yamaha board here, if so, all we’ll need is mics and sound effects. I’m happy doing the mixing.

    …..G

  4. Wow… Hahaha… I didn’t know that Guruka. It’s so “hot of the press” that I didn’t have a chance to talk to you about the latest idea.

    Glad you are able to help. Let’s talk about it next time we meet up.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I LOVE YOUR IDEA!!! I just have one suggestion. Please make sure that whoever does the audio narration, speaks SLOWLY, AND USES VERY, VERY SIMPLE ENGLISH. Sometimes we must think like a kid when talking to them. We cannot assume that they may already know something, but instead we must explain everything to them, especially words which they are not familiar with. Sometimes if a child does not understand one word, they may interpret the whole story differently. Or they may get lost if they don’t understand something. Also, maybe as the stories are going on, the narrator can sometimes do like a ‘one sentence review’ of something that was already stated, because sometimes kids tend to forget details which were told earlier in the story.

    Good luck on the project guys!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I think it’s great that you’re taking on an ambitious project like this, it’s something that Sikh kids everywhere will find useful. I am now a young adult, but I know that when I was younger I wished that people would explain things to me like why Sikhs don’t cut their hair, or eat meat and other religion specific issues. Maybe using stories that explain why these issues and practices are a part of Sikhism, perhaps aiming to show the historical background behind them, would be useful and interesting. After all, these are issues that children deal with on a regular basis.

  7. xSHANTIx says:

    excellent idea looking forward to the future of SIKHNET PRODUCTIONS…is there a bollywood moive on the cards..coz ive always wanted to run through a forest in 10 different costume changes :D speak to my agent LOL :P

  8. Hey Gurumustuk, Dharam and I would be happy to help out with voices or whatever on the weekend or after work. Good luck working it all out.

  9. I could also use help with story script writing…so if one of you are good at writing and can write up a story script for young kids 4years+ old…that would be really helpfull.

    Email me if you are interesting.

    Thanks..

  10. SikhsRus says:

    Gurumustuk Ji,
    Please ignore negative comments and let us just move on with your idea. Having kids of my own, I tell you it is reallt great. I bought a tape of Sikh stories from Healing ways, and it is really great. My kids love the stories of Gurus. DVDs for low cost would be really awesome!

    Last night I was watching “Braveheart” and I wished sikhs had movies about Sikh history after Gurus. I would not like Sikh Gurus in a movie, but story of Banda Singh, Baba Deep Singh and countless others would be great. Good luck on the project!

  11. Anonymous says:

    There was khalsa movie made called”Raj Karega Khalsa” in early seventies by Dara Singh. It faced stiff resistance from some Nihang factions, because some of the actors who posed a Khalsa worriars, were smokers in real life. Go figure! i assume that’s why Bollywood rather make fun of sikhs than amke movie about them.

  12. Anonymous says:

    hello virji…

    i’m a memember of da local sangat of Malaysia.. we will be having our annual samelan next week.. there have been some stories that u will be attending this samelan.. can u comfrim ur attandence?? if ur comin, pls bring Gurukha Singh along… he would be a SUPERB lecturer in da samelan!!

  13. Anon: I was hoping to go to Malasia for the camp…but things didn’t work out..so won’t be able to come.

  14. Gurpreet says:

    Great Idea – How about we get recording in both English & Punjabi? I prefer telling sakhi’s in Punjabi and kids want to listen one every night. I can speak to some fellow sikhs re sponsoring the project – please email me and we can discuss further. Regards

  15. Rajinder Singh says:

    Great idea vir ji,
    i just want you to suggest a way of doing this in one more interesting way , by making narrated presentations and uploading tehm on net , here is one of my presentation uploaded on authorstream and then converted to video automatically by authorstream and then uploaded to youtube from authorstream.In this is i used images and a audio album  .
    http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/RajS-73837-visakhi-transition-sound-vaisakhi-entertainment-ppt-powerpoint/
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQN7JkUu5vQ

  16. Ranjit Singh says:

    Dear Sir,
    We would like to educate punjabi to our kids n they are all below the age of 4.
    DVD,s in cartoon will be great for them.DVD,s in education n religion. Please tell us
    that where can we buy them. Please forgive us if are writing this email to the wrong department.Your help in this matter will be appreciated.
    Thank you