Wednesday, August 23, 2006

'Reet Khalse Di' - A Revolutionary Step in the World of Theatre

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Some of the youth of Guruduara Sahib Fremont have been working diligently for the past three months to piece together a play under the watchful eye and skilled hand of Ish Amitoj Kaur Ji. err.. rather than go on and make this post redundant, why don't you all have a look at their press release?

Fremont, CA - A group of 14 kids are busy with a theatre workshop that will materialize into a play. Theatre is the most powerful medium that finishes an unfinished form live in front of the audiences and these kids are making the most of this art. It is time that Sikhs start telling the world who they are and what could be a better way?

Media can be instrumental in monitoring the future of the Sikhs. It serves a multidimensional purpose. On one hand it informs the world about Sikhs and Sikh history, their traditions and lifestyle, and on the other hand it boosts up the psychology of the Sikh youth when they see themselves portrayed in the right context. Theatre is the least costly form of media, and to begin with, all you need is a concept, a performer and an audience. If taken in the right direction, it could have revolutionary effects.

The process of getting the kids to the level of professional performance is a tough one. But theatre games inspired from the works of Bertolt Brecht, Constantin Stanislavasky, Grotowski and Peter Brook, coupled with various psychological and physical exercises done over a period of time, could have a miraculous results.

The workshop began with brainstorming sessions about being a Sikh, how it is to be born a Sikh, given a chance what would be an option to being a Sikh, what were the difficulties/pleasures that one faced being brought up as a Sikh child, and the most important being the future of Sikhs. Surprisingly, the major response of the Gursikh kids was that they perceive there is a possibility that there would be no Sikhs 100 years from now. That is when the real process - the journey to understand Sikhs of the present and future – began, which resulted in a collage of various episodes intertwined into a play called ‘Reet Khalse Di’ (Tradition of Khalsa).

The play is being directed by Ish Amitoj Kaur, the director of the film ‘Kambdi Kalaai’. Ish is doing a talent hunt for her new film and sees quite a few promising Gursikh actors in the present cast. One can see an obvious change in the personalities of these kids who have undergone strenuous training sessions in the past four weeks. These kids have the best of Sikh Values imbued in them .For Ish, these kids are very different from the kids she has worked with in the past - their values are deep-rooted and their love for their religion and community is real and not just superficial. They are the real future of Sikhi. It was touching to see the wealth of Sikh values in the kids when one day they were playing a game and were discussing what topics to take up and Punit Kaur came up with the idea of ‘Shastar’ and Gurmehar Singh said ‘Kirtaniye’ instead of pondering over a bunch of Bollywood flicks. The tireless efforts of the kids, their parents, and the Gurudwara, which provided the venue for the rehearsal, coupled with the professional direction has made this play a real success.

When it came to selecting the location for the performance of the play, Theresa McEwen, Principal of Tennyson High School, Hayward, was contacted. She had visited the summer camp at Fremont Gurdwara thrice this summer. It was then that we came to know that Theresa had agreed to have a Punjabi language course in the curriculum of her school, but they did not have enough kids signed up to implement the classes yet . Language is a very important aspect of every community. Lately we can see that kids, and even parents don’t converse in Punjabi anymore. Punjabi is a Sikh’s mother tongue and if that is what the Sikh is not in touch with, what will connect him/her to the ‘Shabad Guru’?

September 2nd is a good opportunity for the Sikh community to come together and watch the play ‘Reet Khalse Di’ at 7 p.m. at Tennyson High School, Hayward and support the cause of Sikhi and the Punjabi language. We have seen packed houses of ‘Bollywood Films’ and ‘pop-singer’s night’. Here is a chance to join hands with our own community to walk shoulder to shoulder with our inspired youth which is moving towards a brighter future. The tickets of the show are available at San Jose and Fremont Gurudwaras for $5 each (it’s priced at $5 just to make sure you value what you watch).

Come out and support these young Khalsas-in-training! They need the encouragement. I started out in the workshop, so I know what kind of hard work they put in, and how big a deal this is for each of them. Speaking as a kid and a Sikh, I know what it feels like to watch the adults around us do things that they tell us not to. I know how it feels to not have a voice. I know how it is to feel like a failure, to have disappointment seep through every bone of my body, to lose faith in people {and sadly enough, the Panth}. I know how it is to feel useless and unhelpful.

Please don't let them feel the same way.

The press release is also posted here, here, and here.

mm.. I've said too much =). bhullchukmaaf Jeeo

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

7 Responses to “'Reet Khalse Di' - A Revolutionary Step in the World of Theatre”

Trilochan Kaur said...

Great post!
I would like to see them performing... but anyway i just can wait for see in pictures...

waheguru ji ki khalsa waheguru ji ki fateh!

TeraRoop said...

I was about to say, if you live nearby, you should come check it out. Then I saw your profile and realized that could get costly =p

I'll see what I can do about getting a video of the play - as well as permission to put it up online. That way people who missed out can still get to see the hard work and its results =)

take care - thanks for dropping by =)

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fatehh

ss said...

Very cool.

I wonder if I could alter my schedule - nah that would just be pushing it :-)

Hope all goes well - look forward to the write ups.

ss said...

Just in case it help ....

TeraRoop said...

Thank you so much Jeeo =)

I just found out today that I won't be able to make a video =(

well, that's how it goes.

ss said...

I would sugegst sneaky tactics (I can supply many hitns and advise on this :-)) but seeing as the subject matter and everything - I wont :-)

TeraRoop said...

Yeah, I figured that I could totally sneak in the camera, but that's messed up..

Although.. the money made from selling the DVD's would probably just fund her next endeavour.. and not be donated or anything.


I'll buy it and upload it - compromise ; ]

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