The Sikh Diaspora in Vancouver: Three Generations Amid Tradition, Modernity, and Multiculturalism


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Canadian Sikhs have seen great changes in the lives of their communities, which are primarily concentrated in larger urban centres, especially Vancouver and the British Columbia lower mainland. In The Sikh Diaspora in Vancouver, Kamala Elizabeth Nayar illustrates the complex and multifaceted transition of Sikh social culture as it moves from small Punjab villages to a Canadian metropolis.

The result of an exhaustive analysis of the beliefs and attitudes among three generations of the Sikh community - and having conducted over 100 interviews - Nayar highlights differences and tensions with regards to the role of familial relations, child rearing, and religion. In exploring these tensions, she focuses particularly on the younger generation, and underlines the role of Sikh youth as a catalyst for change within the community.

Nayar also examines the Sikh community as it functions and interacts with mainstream Canadian society in the light of modernity and multiculturalism, exploring the change, or lack thereof, in attitudes about the functioning of the community, the role of multicultural organizations and the media, continuity in traditional customs, modifications in behaviour patterns, and changes in values within the larger Canadian social environment of diversity.

Published: 2004
Format: Paperback
Pages: 276
ISBN: 978-0802086310
Publisher:  University of Toronto Press