"From Punjab to the Club"
by Glenn Dixon
The Punjab, birthplace of the Sikh faith, is a divided land, split between India and Pakistan by the 1947 partition.
But Sikh Heritage Weekend is a time for Sikhs and admirers of their culture to come together. And is the calendar ever packed.
Paul Michael Taylor, director of the National Museum of Natural History's Sikh Heritae Project, gives a talk titled "Sikhs: Legacy of the Punjab" in the Baird Auditorium as part of the museum's "Friday at Noon" lecture series.
On Saturday, the museum opens an exhibition of the same name that covers three centuries of Sikh Culture. Among the 100-plus items on display are textiles, musical instruments, miniature paintings and a scale model of the Golden Temple of Amritsar, the holiest Sikh pilgrammage site.
From 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, the museum's Sikh Heritage Lectures will address contemporary Sikh culture.
In addition to appearances by artists included in the exhibition, there will be a performance by the Australia-based Dya Singh, who takes traditional Punjabi singing for a trot around the globe.
The music actually begins Thursday with a 9:30 Club concert by London DJ / producer Nitin Sawhney, whose set with tabla player Aref Durvesh and bassist Jonathan Maron will be augmented by performance painting muralist J. Garcia and dance by Taal.
Friday evening, Heritage India hosts BBC DJ Bobby Friction, dhol drum master Lal Singh Bhatti, bhangra beatmaker Bikram Singh, turntablist Nihal Mehta, Garcia (again) and Baltimore hip-hoppers Tavia*. (Yes, that * is part of their name.)
Painters Amrit and Rabindra Kaur Singh will auction off their work.