Local Sikhs schedule educational weekend

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Sikh communities in Vancouver, Portland and Salem have joined together to host a weekend of educational seminars on their religion, history and contemporary life.

All the events are free and open to the public but registration is requested because space is limited. The speaker at all these events will be educator and activist Harinder Singh, founder of the Sikh Research Institute.

The events run Friday through Sunday.

First is "Strangers Among Us," which is an introduction to the Sikh religion, identity and journey in America over the past century. It is set for 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday at Portland's Namaste Indian Cuisine, at 8303 N.E. Sandy Blvd. Lunch will be served at the end of the seminar, which is expected to draw local officials and curious citizens as well as the interfaith community. Call Pawneet Singh at 503-970-3286 or email pawneet@gmail.com to register.

"Teenagers in America" is a safe, welcoming workshop for Sikh teens that acknowledges the pressures they face. It is set for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Vancouver's Guru Ramdass Gurdwara, 3600 O Street.

"Inspiring Gurmat in Your Lives," which runs from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, is about the values and practice of Sikhism and is especially relevant for young families. Call 360-696-5568.

The final event is a lecture that will take place in Salem, Ore. It is "Contextualizing June & November 1984," focusing on persecution of Sikhs by the Indian government. The lecture is set for 1 to 2:15 p.m. Sunday at the Damesh Darbar Gurdwara at 860 Oak Ave. S.E., Salem. Call 503-391-7031.