A team of dedicated Northern California Khalsa School teachers and youth created the Gurmat Studies series to familiarize children with core Sikh principles exemplied by our Guru Sahiban and Gursikhs. The project started as a way to teach students about Sakhis and Gurmat. Inadvertently, it also doubled as a source of inspiration to youth facing the challenge of living a Gursikh life in contemporary society. Young people often become distanced from Sikhi because of insecurities developed from systematic racism and societal discrimination - both obvious and subtle - in the media, school, and workplace. The curriculum helps to dispel insecurities because it aims to instill youth with a core Sikh spirit of Charhdi Kala. This blissful state of mind allows for one to bear hardships without succumbing to social pressures or negative emotions such as fear or anger. Young Sikhs can understand the Charhdi Kala spirit as well as other Sikh concepts by engaging with the series, which consists of eight books targeted for different age groups.
Books 1 and 2 briey introduce the basics of Sikhi for pre-school to elementary level students. Gur Mantar, Mool Mantar, basic Gurdwara etiquettes are described in simple language alongside appealing artwork and coloring activities. Concise Sakhis of each Guru Sahib are paired with interactive lessons of foundational principles and practices, such as Kirt Karni, Naam Japna, and Vand Ke Chakna. Book 2 includes ll-in-the-blank questions, quizzes, and word searches to help students retain the details of the Sakhis and key facts.
Books 3 to 6 are suitable for pre-teen to adolescent readers. Captivating, detailed accounts from Sikh history assist readers in imagining how to live a meaningful life through Seva, Simran, and Miri-Piri. Each Sakhi concludes with key Gurmat message that explicitly states the purpose of the lesson and correlates it to the present day world. The scope of the books encompasses the lives of prominent Sikhs like Baba Buddha Ji, Mata Khievi Ji, Mata Bhag Kaur Ji, and the young Sahibzadey. The signicance of Chaur Sahib, Parkarma, and Nishan Sahib, and other features of a Diwan are described. The manner of events that take place at the Gurdwara Sahib is depicted to convey the state of mind embodied by the congregation.
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