Feminist Text, Patriarchal Context:
Feminine Principle in the Sikh Vision

by Nikky-Guninder K. Singh

[April 23, 2010]


For her talk, Nikky Singh will address the disjunct between the feminist Sikh sacred text and its patriarchal social context. The scripture is the core of Sikh religion: it is the basis of their philosophy, centre of their rituals and ceremonies, and the grounding of their personal life. And this scripture has great significance for women -- both from a theological and psychological perspective. However, in the everyday sphere, arranged marriages, dowry, female feticides, honor codes, and other oppressive customs prevail. Globalism is creating a whole new set of patriarchal burdens for the community.

Dr. Singh's paper will explore some of the feminist symbols and images in the sacred text. Why have these textual ideas not percolated into daily life? How can the process of hermeneutics and translation retrieve their literary force? What are some of the ways in which contemporary Sikh women artists are raising societal consciousness? We will sample a bit of poetry, painting, and even Gurinder Chadha’s film, Bend it Like Beckham.




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