Good Morning Sunday 11th April 2010

Here is the transcript and the audio of my apperance on BBC Radio2’s Good Morning Sunday with Aled Jones. It was really nice to meet Aled again. He’s geniunely a warm person with an open attitude and passionate about inspirational words and music.

The BBC link is as follows:

Transcript from the show:

ALED: What you’ve been up to since he last saw you?

Well I’m still plugging away with the Sikhwithin Podcast. Recently, I had a chance to interview the Director and Producer Dr Sarab Singh Neelam’s of the award winning Hollywood film: Ocean of Pearls – The first film featuring a Sikh who plays a Transplant Surgeon, emigrating from Toronto to Detroit. The story outlines an intelligent meditation on the importance of maintaining your beliefs at the very times when it matters most.

ALED: Perhaps you could give me some details of the trip to the trenches and the publication for the charity?

Actually, hot off the press. Onkar Singh and Jasdeep Singh have written a book called, Spiritual Poetry, a disciple’s journey. Its contains over 100 inspirational poems. I got together with them last Friday and produced their audio book, with all proceeds going to a Children’s charity in Zambia when it is released over the coming month. We also feature the amazing music of Indi Kaur.

On the 29th May I hope to go on the Anglo Sikh Heritage Trail tour to visit the preserved trenches at Bayernwald and learn how Sikh forces arrived in Europe. We’ll also be visiting the battlefields around Neuve Chapelle where Sikh Regiments were involved in heavy fighting

ALED: Then asking about the Sikh festival this weekend?

The official date for Vaisakhi is 13 April, but the 2010 Vaisakhi festival in Trafalgar Square will be held on 2 May.

Interestingly, Vaisakhi is an ancient harvest festival in the Punjab region, which also marks beginning of a new solar year, and new harvest season.

In Sikhism, it is one of the most significant holidays in the Sikh calendar, commemorating the establishment of the Khalsa at Anandpur Sahib in 1699, by the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh.
Guru Gobind Singh founded the Khalsa in front of thousands at Anandpur Sahib. He established the 5 K’s of the Sikhs to unify us in terms of both uniform and spiritual symbols.

ALED: And touching on the nurse who refused to take off her cross and chain – the wearing of religious signs etc – mandatory or optional?

I say, each to their own. Whatever can help you believe or channel your love for God.
In terms of Sikhs, our Turbans are mandatory, symbolic and scientific. They keep our heads clean and contain our energy and it’s a crown. When you wear a turban you have a commitment to be both spiritual and serve others. People see the trust you must keep.

ALED: In your view how does music can uplift the spirits and even heal.  What are your thoughts/suggestions?

I remember Candle in Wind – the adapted song originally meant for Marilyn Monroe but later played by Elton John at the funeral of Lady Diana. It moved so many people.

I recently heard that songs like Desiree’s ‘You gotta be strong’ is used in many rehab centres to inspire people to recover.
Even in my own show The Smooth Groovers Podcast, we will be issuing a new weekly Chill out session for late night relaxation music – Something to help you de-stress the day. So, yes – music can heal and help you look deep within yourself and search for answers or direction – Gospel and Spiritual music can also take you there, even music for mediation.

ALED: We’d touch on the death of Malcolm McLaren, pioneer of punk and how important it is for young people to attach themselves to music – helps them work out their problems? or lead them astray?

You know I’m a big music fan so I relate era of Punk back to when I was growing-up. Yes, it was an influence to me as I really enjoyed the Stranglers & Ramones – Malcolm helped to brand the need for greater variation. In terms of recent times, is Gangster Rap fun, dangerous or simply another form of art?

The important thing is to have variety and not take it too seriously. I love a bit of Linkin Park – Where music fuses or mashes-up. It can an outlet or expression for frustration – as long as it doesn’t motivate to kill anyone!

Moment of Reflection: Original Draft

The official date for Vaisakhi is the 13 April, but the 2010 Vaisakhi festival in Trafalgar Square will be held on the 2nd May – I suggest you get down there for some free music and food.

It is also the day we celebrate the time when Sikhs received their 5 K’s or spiritual symbols. Unlike most of other faiths where only the clergy are in uniform, all Sikhs are enjoined to always wear their uniform of faith at all times and to adhere to the ideals of the Saint-Soldier; to practice their belief always (rather than on just a particular day or time i.e: just Sunday or Friday), to maintain and protect the cosmic balance in the world; to guard against tyranny, discrimination, evil and injustice. These five articles of faith distinguish a Sikh and are essential for preserving the life of the community founded on nothing but truthful living

Locally, you will find Sikh Temples are decorated and visited.

The festival is marked with a nagar kirtan. Nagar means town and Kirtan is a term meaning the singing of hymns from the Guru Granth Sahib.  This is more than a scripture for the Sikhs as the Sikhs treat it as a living Guru.
The procession through the streets forms an important part of Sikh religious celebrations. All communities are distributed with free food on-route.

One of the largest Sikh Temples in Europe is in West London. Incidentally, it was also opened by Prince Charles. It’s a beautiful building with a contemporary design. I asked a visiting Sikh Musician from the US about what he thought of the building. The fact that it had cost lots of money. He replied, doesn’t it show to you very simply, the love that people have for God.

Today over 100,000 people are expected to join in with the celebrations in West London – Again, doesn’t that show you the love that people have for God.

Moment of Reflection: The one that went out in the end (Amended):

At this time of the Vaisakhi festival, we think of the joy and happiness that this festival brings to Sikhs, but also how our extended communities can experience the spirit of celebration.  People of all religions and none are welcome to join in, to enjoy the processions, the music and the food but also soak up  the atmosphere and the extended hands of friendship.  Let us hope that the communities will also join together with each other to guard against discrimination, evil and injustice.

One of the largest Sikh Temples in Europe, which was opened by Prince Charles, is in West London.  It’s a beautiful building with a contemporary design. I asked a visiting Sikh Musician from the US what he thought of the building and how it had cost so much money. He replied, “Doesn’t it show to you very simply, the love that people have for God”.

Categories: 2010, BBC, Featured Articles, Media Appearances


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