The Sikh Youth Symposium 2023, organized by the Sikh Youth Alliance of North America (SYANA), recently took place at the Guru Nanak Society of Greater Cincinnati Gurdwara Sahib in Cincinnati, Ohio. The event, which is a public speaking competition, saw young people between the ages of 6 and 20 from Cincinnati and Dayton participate in five separate age groups.
Each group was given a book three months in advance, and the participants had to answer three questions in the form of a speech for 5-7 minutes. The questions were based on various topics such as the basics of Sikhism, Sikh history, the Turban, and Guru Granth Sahib. The event aimed to provide an environment where Sikh youth could develop public speaking, oral, and written communication skills while also delving into Sikh history and philosophy.
According to Sameep Singh Gumtala, the local convener for the Symposium, the event provides youth with a platform to learn and reflect on many topics, encouraging them to reconnect with the foundations and roots of Sikh faith. He also added that the event is a great opportunity for Sikh youth to learn valuable skills such as public speaking and communication.
The event was a success, with all the participants putting in a tremendous amount of effort to prepare speeches for the final day. The winners from each group will now participate in the State level symposium with winners from other cities in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
The event received praise from Gyani Amrik Singh, Head Granthi of the Gurdwara Sahib, who thanked all the students, parents, volunteers, and Sewadar Committee members for making it a success. The Sewadar Committee assured full support for organizing such events for children and youth in the future.
The Sikh Youth Symposium has been running since the year 2000, with competitions being held every year in March-April in different cities of the USA and Canada, followed by the State level and the final International Symposium in the first week of August. The US and Canada are divided into 13 different regions.
Events like the Sikh Youth Symposium are excellent for the youth of the Punjab diaspora. They provide a platform for young people to learn about their culture and history while also developing valuable skills that will benefit them in their future careers and personal lives.