Lessons from the Project

Hey all!

I’m writing to you having visited Texas and New Mexico after my last post! Took a quick break over Thanksgiving and am back on the road in California.

As I am reaching the end of the interview phase of the project – I only have Portland, OR and a couple cities in CA left to go – I have a few observations I’d like to share with you all.

1. Community support. I am floored by the amount of community support I have received for the project. It started with Sikh Spirit Foundation granting us $5,000 to start off. During #DasvandhWeek, hosting by the Dasvandh Network, we raised another $5,000! We’re well on our way to making stage performances of the Sikh Monologues a reality.

But it’s not just about the money. Whenever I talked with people about my project – at the SALDEF gala in October or at an Akhand Paath in Ohio, or at the Sikhlens Festival in California two weeks ago – they were so interested and encouraging of the concept. To share the Sikh American story on stage – a medium scarcely used in the Sikh community – is something people are definitely interested in! And it’s a relief to know that.

2. Cha. Accepting offers to have cha (tea) at whoever’s house I am at is a given. I must always accept. Punjabi hospitality would not have it any other way. To not accept would be very rude. I decided I like my cha made made in a pot (not the kettle), with a lot of milk, and half a teaspoon of sugar.

3. The road ahead is not simple. Yes, I may be done with the arduous task of trekking around the United States and getting to visit states I would never have reason to discover otherwise (I am being completely sarcastic) – but now begins the hard stuff: writing. Writer’s block is real. I have experienced it before. And with a goal of writing 10 monologues by April, there’s a lot to be done. But I guess I just have to look back to point #1 to get me through it. I’m doing this for the community and I have the support of the community – or at least the 150 people I’ve interviewed already! So that definitely means something and is keeping me motivated =)

And here are a couple pictures I selected from the past couple weeks to entertain your eyeballs:

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Gurdwara in Espanola, New Mexico
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Nagar Kirtan in Dallas, Texas
Japanese Garden in Houston, Texas
Japanese Garden in Houston, Texas

Peace to you,

Jasleen

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