Exhibition on Sikh diaspora now on display at Museum of Surrey


Our Bureau


A new exhibition on the Sikh diaspora is now showing at the Museum of Surrey till May 19.  Called, “Lahore to London: A Journey of Chardi Kala,” the exhibit offers museum-goers insights into both the heritage and identity of those in the Sikh diaspora in Canada and around the world. This is a “Community-led” exhibition, as described the museum.

“The aim of this exhibit is preserving, learning, and sharing in Chardi kala with fellow Canadians,” said Raj Singh Bhandall, curator of Wanjara Nomad Collections. Chardi Kala is a Punjabi term meaning “ascending energy” which is a belief in Sikhism that an adherent should aspire to maintain a mental state of eternal resilience, optimism, and joy.

“We are excited to have selections from this collection on display for Surrey residents,” said Lynn Saffery, museum manager. “It is an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the communities here in Surrey.”

The community-led exhibit features artifacts from the Wanjara Nomad collection. The collection has more than 1,230 rare books, “meticulously curated to illuminate the multifaceted history of the Sikh diaspora, the East India Company, and the British Empire,” among other items. The Wanjara Nomad Collections is an online repository of Sikh heritage artifacts with an office located in South Surrey. The organization has a goal of opening a bricks and mortar museum one day.

Some of the featured books on display include historical works like the “Annexation of the Punjab and the Maharajah Duleep Singh” (1882), “Punjab-Court and Camp of Runjeet Singh” (1840) which is a valuable historical account about Maharaja Runjeet Singh’s court and military camp during the Sikh empire, and the “Personal scrapbook of Princess Sophia Duleep Singh.”

This is an endeavor by the Museum of Surrey to let the residents “engage with this exhibit, gain insight into the intricate threads of Sikh history, and reflect on the diverse tapestry of Surrey’s community.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

scroll to top