An initiative to amplify the voices of Sikh women is coming to the Surrey area this weekend, in two events highlighting the stories of Kaur women.
The Kaur Project provides a space in which Sikh women can share experiences and build community. On Saturday, March 9, Kaur women are invited to connect over dinner, and on Sunday, Kaur stories will be shared at the Museum of Surrey in a free, public event.
According to the project, “Kaur” is an identity that unifies and honours the sisterhood that Sikh women share, and Sikh women may take Kaur as a middle or last name as a way of challenging the “classism/casteism inherent in traditional South Asian last names.”
“We started [the Kaur Project] to empower Kaurs to use their voices and to share their stories. As a result, we have created a safe space for voices to be heard. As Kaurs, we must tell and edit our own stories,” said co-founder Jessie Kaur Lehail in a press release.
“It was time that we create and host live spaces like our dinner/talk and storytelling nights and [we] are so excited that the Museum of Surrey is partnering with us. We want Kaurs to continue sharing stories, but now we can create opportunities for conversation,” she said.
The Kaur Project began in 2015 as a storytelling project. The purpose was to create an “exhaustive catalogue of Kaurs – whose voices were and are traditionally muted, erased, silenced,” according to organizers.
Today, the project has global reach. An online platform has become a safe space where Sikh women of all ages can talk about any subject. “Real women, telling their real stories, with their bravery and determination,” reads a press release. “The project inspires Kaurs to see the brilliance in their own narratives and invites readers to understand the diversity within Sikhism.”
Two events will be held this weekend, in Delta and Surrey.
A Saturday evening event at Tandoori Flame (11970 88 Ave) in Delta invites Kaur women to sit down and have a conversation over dinner. The organizers say, “Our guests will have the opportunity to exchange stories, engage in dialogue, and begin to build empathy and understanding for one another – all while sharing a delicious meal and having some fun.” The March 9 event will take place from 8:15 to 11:15 p.m. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased here.
A second event will take place at the Museum of Surrey (17710 56A Ave) on Sunday, March 10. This evening of stories is free, and open for everyone to attend (although those interested in going are asked to pre-register here).
Attendees will be able to listen to Kaur stories, told live, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and will be able to participate, ask questions and engage in conversation.