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Each day, more than 6,000 men, women and children search the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) Registry for a life-saving donor like you. These patients have leukemia, lymphoma and other blood cancers that can be treated by a bone marrow or cord blood transplant. For many of these patients, a transplant may be the best and only hope of a cure.

Because tissue types are inherited, patients are more likely to match someone from their own race or ethnicity. South Asians, unfortunately, make up less than 2% of donors on the National Marrow Donor Registry. Nearly 75% of South Asians that require a bone marrow transplant to live do NOT receive one because of the shortage of potential donors.

We can use the spirit of chardi kala and the urgency of vand chakna to help save lives. If you’re in the Boston area, between the ages of 18-60, in general good health, and committed to donating, you can put your ideals into practice this Sunday.

Where? Gurudwara Sikh Sangat Society Boston at 561 Windsor Place, Somerville, MA

When? Sunday, October 5th from 10 AM – 2PM

No blood tests are required to be on the registry; rather you’ll use a long cotton swab to swab the insides of your cheeks for 10 seconds. The cells that are collected on the swab are sent to be tested for human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genetic markers. Your HLA type is entered into the national registry; if a patient’s HLA type matches yours, you will be contacted by the NMDP and asked if you can donate.

Learn more at http://www.marrow.org/ABOUT/Need_for_Donors/index.html.

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How do we personalize the message of Gurbani? The following short film argues it can be accomplished by learning our script, Gurmukhi, and engaging it with our history:

The message of the Gurus was conveyed in a language and vocabulary that the listener could understand and also develop an emotional bond with. The focus was on communicating the revealed message to spiritually and socially uplift the listener. The adoption of a local language as a symbol of group identity is well illustrated by the contributors of the Guru Granth Sahib. The use of a different language by the same contributor is a sign of a distinct religious and political group. It is a signal of unity in everyday circumstances.

The Guru Granth Sahib is a treasury of old dialects and languages spanning over 500 years. The oldest specimen of the language is from 12th century by Bhagat Jaidev whereas the latest is from the 17th century by Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib. At minimum, the Guru Granth Sahib is one of the world’s greatest collections of languages and anthology of divine poetry and repository of classical music.

Gurmukhi holds great historical significance. It is the vehicle of a scripture that belongs to a distinct faith which speaks against inequality; the script emphasizes the accessibility of religious teachings to all. By understanding the context, meaning, and grammar of our written and spoken language and learning our history we may begin to personally and directly interact with the divine… which means I have a lot of work to do.