Sikhs net a view of the past

Evening Mail (England), Jan. 18, 2003
http://icbirmingham.icnetwork.co.uk/
By Poppy Brady, Evening Mail

The first cyber museum of its kind is about to be launched on the Internet to reveal the history of the Sikh people.

The website, which has been created in Birmingham, reveals 150 years of the Sikh culture from the days of the British Raj to when when the first Sikh people came to the city half a century ago.

It has taken nearly two years of painstaking research from project coordinator Taranjit Singh after the scheme was awarded almost £100,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Council of Sikh Gurdwaras in Birmingham.

More than 600 images explain the Sikhs’ long involvement with the British, with a timeline going back to when they first left their Punjab homeland.

“We decided to put this together because little is known of Sikh culture in this country,” said Taranjit, 24, from Handsworth, who is a web designer.

“After the atrocities of September 11 in America, many Sikhs started to be harassed simply because we wear turbans similar to the Taliban.”

He added: “We wanted to stop this prejudice by explaining our history. It is good to think that something created in Birmingham will now go out all over the world.

” We’ve been flooded with help from Sikh families in the city who have unearthed some fascinating photographs.”

The cyber museum may also be put on to CD roms and given out free since the scheme is a non-commercial project. The museum will be officially launched at Birmingham Council House on Saturday February 1. The web-site, which will be available from that date, is www.sikhcybermuseum.org

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