Whenever I do a keynote speech or a workshop, I always make a point of sharing a bit about myself, including the fact that I am a Sikh. I ensure that I use the correct pronunciation of Sikh, and so inevitably after my presentation someone will approach me to say something to the effect of, “OMG, I had no idea that I’ve been saying Sikh incorrectly all these years! How do you say it again?!”
In one of my previous videos, I talked about the frustration that those of us who have names that seem harder to pronounce — or put another way, aren’t “white sounding” — experience when white people in particular try to give us nicknames or change the pronunciation of our names to be easier for them (a manifestation of white supremacy, by the way).
But as BIPOC, our names aren’t the only words that get mispronounced. It also happens to the names of our cities, holidays, cultural practices, and even our faiths — hence the reason why “Sikh” and “Sikhism” continue to be mispronounced.
In this video, I share the correct pronunciation of my religion and why it’s so important that we, as Sikhs, reclaim the correct pronunciation in order to interrupt this racist micro-inequity.
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