Humans have been born with the gift of thought and language. Talking is organic. However, the setting of an interview – with metal and plastic recorders or video cameras all pointed at one person – makes talking feel a little contrived. Thus, interviewing requires patience, insight, awareness, and genuine interest. It also demands a level a confidence to create an environment of trust and comfort. Words, body language, eye contact – everything affects the space of the interview. I am in the process of learning to balance all of these factors and I can only hope that with each interview, I get a little better.
I am grateful that so far, my fellow sangat members have been patient with me as I figure out my own technological devices while trying to maintain a setting of comfort. My voice recorder has flashed that it’s full in the middle of a fantastic interview. My video camera likes to shut off before the projected 12 minutes of recording it can do at one time. My memory card has reached capacity faster than I thought it would, preventing me from taking pictures. I’ve even left my recorder at gurdwara overnight. [But then I got a great interview with the gurdwara's Bhai Sahib the next day when I went to pick it up!]
But it’s still Week 1.
Despite all the mishap, I have had the opportunity to hear stories of violence: stories of both the struggle and opportunity that immigration incites. Individuals have shared feelings of resentment against the Sikh community, but others have also described elements of Sikhi that strike at the very core of their beings. I feel blessed to be able to hear these stories, to see people’s emotion cross their eyes and brows.
The journey continues with just a few days left in the DC-Maryland-Virginia area. And then off to Minnesota!
Peace to you,