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Would you rather be a Number?

81594481_9e3c65013b_mSounds like the Canadian Immigration Dept needs to backtrack over some pretty wild requests to people of Sikh heritage.

Sikh groups angry about a controversial government letter requesting name changes for Sikh immigrants have taken their fight to the popular social networking website Facebook.
At least five online groups dedicated to discussing the government letter, which asked people with the common Sikh surnames Singh and Kaur to change their last names before coming to Canada, have been created.

Sikh name-change letter challenged on Facebook

As an immigrant to Canada myself, I can understand the frustration of these people. I didn’t have to change my name to be here, but I did have to wade through quite the bureaucratic mess called immigration.

It’s a good idea for groups to form online to dispute this letter, coordinating this protest, while people are spread across the globe is difficult, social network sites such as facebook should make that easier, and hopefully the government will listen.

I’ve known a few Singh’s, but I didn’t realize how popular the names are…

Singh and Kaur are common names in the Sikh community. In a tradition that began more than 300 years ago, the name Singh is given to every baptized male and Kaur to every baptized female Sikh.

The names are used differently by different people. Some use Singh or Kaur as middle names, while others use them as their last names.

Common Sikh names banned under Canada’s immigration policy

My first thought is, do they want to be mistaken for someone else? My second thought, would they rather be just a number?

 

Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada. If I post something here that you find helpful as you navigate the world of engineering, planning and building communities, that’s wonderful. But when push comes to shove: This is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.

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