Natomas Unified School District is proud to recognize November as Sikh American Awareness and Appreciation Month. As one of the most diverse communities in our region, Natomas has become a special place where people have chosen to live, feel safe, and be embraced.
Jaya Sandhu and Arjan Gill lead the Sikhs Honors and Service Society at Inderkum High School where they are both seniors and extremely active in a variety of clubs, programs, and activities on campus. In honor of Sikh American Awareness and Appreciation Month, they shared their perspectives on diversity and experiences they have had as Sikhs in Natomas.
“For me, being Sikh used to be very hard because no one really knew what it was during my elementary years. I chose to educate them on my culture and beliefs so they could have a better understanding of my identity. But recently, our community has become much more aware and accepting of the Sikh population in Natomas! I would say that I do feel embraced because of how so many of my fellow community citizens are eager to learn about my culture and become more socially aware.”
“Natomas, in general, is an extremely diverse community and has large numbers of Sikhs. So, I never necessarily have felt out of place because I feel as though I have been surrounded by so many different backgrounds since middle school. Because Sikhism is a religion, I never have felt not embraced nor specifically included solely because I was Sikh. Within the Sikh Honor and Service Society, we also have a pretty diverse group of members. Last year, only 3 of our club leaders were Sikh while the others were not. Our club is very inclusive, and our goal is to better our community. Core principles of Sikhism surround the idea of giving back to the community and being selfless.”
Through Sikhs Honors and Service Society, Jaya, Gill and club members have demonstrated that very Core principle by making and distributing food to the homeless, organizing food drives, and making cards for children’s hospitals. Their goal is to bring awareness to social justice issues in the community and to create a society with equal representation through the service that they do.