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Watch out libraries! “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and “Where the Wild Things Are” have a huge competitor coming into the arena. “A Lion’s Mane” is an empowering new children’s picture book that celebrates the Sikh identity. Written by Navjot Kaur and illustrated by Jaspreet Sandhu, the book colorfully documents a young boy’s journey around the world, through different cultural lands, and within himself. It aims to encourage Sikhs and non-Sikhs to maintain a positive self-identity and to steadfastly challenge bias and intolerance. “A Lion’s Mane” will be available in August 2009, but watch the mini-trailor here:

This book will make a great addition to any personal library (both young and grown up!). Make sure to let your public library know about its release as well. To receive updates, you may leave your e-mail address at saffronpress.com.

The wonderful folks at SALDEF developed and recently released a video designed to help law-enforcement agencies become familiar with Sikh customs and principles. It illustrates various scenarios in which law-enforcement personnel may interact with Sikhs (i.e., Mr. Awesome Kirpan Wielding Sikh awaiting assistance for his crappy Jeep’s flat tire, Mr. Sharp Looking Off-Duty Sheriff Sikh photographing Famous Government Structure, Mr. Regular Dude Sikh walking through security at an airport) and also addresses the proper etiquette to be observed when handling an article of faith or entering a gurudwara.

The video highlights both the Sikh community’s desire to correct public misperceptions and the welcoming attitude of government agencies in furthering cultural competency within their ranks. Hopefully, this video will prevent future mishaps and misunderstandings by maintaining free-flowing dialogue between both groups.

I have to admit that this video also serves some selfish purposes because of its general applicability: I think I may show it to anyone who asks me “so tell me about Sikhs.” And the SALDEF folks will get a little plug as well. Superb.