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A perfect time to get to know your neighbour
Did you get to know your neighbour on Wednesday, Nov. 28?
That was the intent of local lawyer Bill Sundhu, who spearheaded the effort that saw Nov. 28, 2012, declared Know Your Neighbour Day by the City of Kamloops.
Sundhu said the idea for Know Your Neighbour Day came about after discussions within the local Sikh community aimed at “building bridges” between cultures and religions.
He said the discussions ramped up after a U.S. military veteran went on an armed rampage at a Wisconsin Sikh temple in August, killing six and wounding four others.
“Sikhs have been the leading target of hate crimes in the U.S. in the post-9/11 environment,” Sundhu said.
“Racial and religious minorities such as Sikhs are sometimes the subject of stereotypes and negative attitudes.
“Sikhs have been in Canada for more than a century and, yet, even in Canada, beyond the rhetoric of diversity and inclusion, surveys have shown false assumptions and negative attitudes toward certain minorities such as Sikhs.
“We are proud members of the Canadian family and we also recognize there is always room for improvement and strengthening understanding and mutual respect.”
And, Sundhu said, that goes a lot further than the Sikh community alone.
“We would like the non-Sikh community to get to know us better, as we should know others better,” he said.
“In essence, we’d like to get to know our neighbours better — we are also neighbours to others.”
Nov. 28 was chosen, Sundhu said, because it is the birthday of Guru Nanak Dev, who founded the Sikh faith.