Becoming Canadians: Pioneer Sikhs in Their Own Words


167 pages
Contains Photos, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 1-55017-108-9
DDC 971.1'00882946





Reviewed by Raj S. Gandhi

Raj S. Gandhi is a professor of sociology at the University of Calgary.


There are some 200,000 Sikhs in Canada today. This rich and fascinating
study examines the presence and experience of Sikhs in this country,
starting with their first community formation in British Columbia. Based
largely on interviews the author conducted with 37 Sikh Canadians, the
book describes how these courageous pioneers traveled from Calcutta to
Hong Kong, and then by an ocean liner to Canada; how they struggled to
maintain their identity in the face of pressures from the host society
to relinquish it; how they won the right to vote, but not until 40 years
after their arrival; and, above all, how they persevered and even
flourished in the midst of discrimination and prejudice. As this
generously illustrated book makes crystal clear, Canada was, and
remains, a racist society.


Jagpal, Sarjeet Singh., “Becoming Canadians: Pioneer Sikhs in Their Own Words,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 20, 2024,