In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a bit of an NPR junkie. One of the series I regularly listen to is called This I Believe. As the website describes, This I Believe is “based on a 1950’s radio program of the same name, where Americans from all walks of life share the personal philosophies and core values that guide their daily lives.”
Last week, I heard an essay that I particularly liked called “America’s Beauty Is In It Diversity.” It’s the story of Alaa El-Saad, a 15 years-old from Austin, TX who shares her experience of wearing her Hijaab.
It’s a simple story, but vividly reminded me of my experience wearing a Dastaar for the first time to school.
What’s also special about this project is anyone can contribute an essay to share their beliefs. Many of these essays are selected for broadcast, posted on their website, and included in their collection of essays they reguarly publish.
Another program I listen to is StoryCorps. StoryCorps is an oral history project where Americans share life stories with family and friends in designated StoryBooths throughout the country. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to take home and share, and is archived for generations to come at the Library of Congress.
As Sikhs living in the United States, we have amazing stories to tell. From our experiences wearing our Kakaars, the memorable conversations we’ve had with friends, co-workers, and even passer-bys inquiring about us, and also the difficult stories of discrimination and racism. Whatever it might be, our story needs to be told.
I encourage anyone reading this to submit your This I Believe essay or book your StoryCorp reservation today! This is an excellent opportunity to make the Sikh-American story part of the American story.
I would also love to hear comments on Alaa El-Saad’s essay…take a listen