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Vaisakhi Celebration (Seva)

Raised toward our $1,500 Goal
9 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on March 04, at 12:00 AM EST
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Vaisakhi Celebration (Seva)

Who We Are:

Seva, previously Sikh Students Association, is Northwestern's first Sikh official student organization. We are an educational and philanthropic organization rooted in Sikh values. Sikhism is a religion founded in the 16th century in the region of Punjab (present-day North India and Pakistan). Sikhism is the world's fifth largest organized religion (almost twice as many adherents than Judaism), yet few in America know who we are. 

What We've Done:

Seva was founded in Spring of 2020 after we realized that Northwestern lacked a representative organization for Sikh students. This past fall, with the support of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, we have put on events such as Samosa Social Kickoff Event, a screening of Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, and Northwestern's first Wildcat Langar (free community meal).

Making History:

This spring, we plan on hosting Northwestern's first Vaisakhi celebration. Vaisakhi is a holiday that marks the start of the Punjabi New Year. The holiday holds additional significance for Sikhs since it coincides with important events in our religion.

We plan on bringing a collection of speakers (professors of Sikh Studies), panelists (Sikh community members), and educational groups to discuss the history of Sikhism, share Sikh experiences (such as surviving Partition), and provide a deeper understanding of Sikh symbols such as the turban.

Our goal through this event is to educate the Northwestern community on Sikhism and celebrate Punjabi culture.

How You Can Help:

We would appreciate your support through making a gift and spreading the word. All funds will go toward Seva. We are a new organization so feel free to spread the word of our organization on social media and with family and friends. Thank you!

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Kangha is one of the 5 K's of Sikhism and roughly translates to "comb." It is a symbol of cleanliness. During religious services, all participants (including non-Sikhs) must cover their head. Help us purchase head coverings such as turbans, rumals (bandanas), and chunnis (scarves) for our Vaisakhi religious service and Wildcat langars throughout the year.



A kara is a steel bracelet that is worn by observant Sikhs. One symbolic meaning of the kara is a permanent bond to community. We want to make sure our attendees can be part of the community and hear our speakers. Help us obtain microphones, speakers, and projector equipment for our Vaisakhi day celebrations!



A kachera is a type of undergarment that looks like shorts. It is worn by observant Sikhs to symbolize being ready at a moment's notice and to preserve modesty. Help us to explain the meaning of kachera and the other 5 Ks by helping us to pay for printing educational flyers and pamphlets. We also plan on making our information digital and accessible through QR codes in order to save paper.



Kesh roughly translates to "hair." Observant Sikhs don't cut their hair which is why some Sikhs choose to tie it in a turban. This money will help pay for a professional turban-tying group to come to campus and tie turbans on any interested students. This event is quite popular at nearby schools like the University of Chicago and University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) and we can't wait to bring it to Northwestern's campus!



A kirpan is a type of dagger that symbolizes the Sikh duty to defend those who cannot defend themselves. Unfortunately, many Sikhs (and other religious and ethnic groups) have historically faced acts of discrimination in the US especially in the wake of 9/11. Help us to teach others about the history of Sikhism in the US by making a gift to pay for transportation and speaker fees for our guest panelists and visiting professors.

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