I would like to express my gratitude to state Sen. Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) for writing an informative and educational opinion piece, “Now is the time to get to know our Sikh neighbours” (June 21). It is an informative and educational essay focusing on building a liveable community in the Central Valley through intercultural dialogue and interfaith understanding.
Sikhs, along with other immigrant communities, have made this Valley their home. They have been good neighbors and colleagues. Their adaptation to the U.S. culture has been relatively smooth, with few exceptions like the early 20th century public policy enactments and restrictions against immigrants from Asia.
In general, the Sikhs have been a success story in the civic, social and economic chapters of the state history. Their contributions extend from farming to transportation to medicine and to most other academic fields of higher education.
Vidak highlighted the major misunderstandings and perceptions among the general population of California about Sikhs. It is long past due that we acknowledge the mistreatment of the Sikhs, particularly in the post 9/11 period, and invest liberally in California’s educational system to strengthen the knowledge base of all our citizens.
Daljit Singh, Visalia