North Little Rock High School Senior Begins a Sikh Religious Society Youth Group

Taylure Bridges, Sports Reporter

Manjoban Kaur, a senior at North Little Rock High School, started the Sikh Religious Society of Little Rock Youth Group. The group meets at the Sikh Religious Society of Little Rock every Sunday from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Her goal is to help kids learn the Punjabi language (predominant language spoken by Sikhs) and more about their own religion which is Sikhism.  

The Sikh Religion is the fifth biggest religion in the world and a newer religion. In this religion, Sikhs believe in one god: Ek Onkar, which means “God is one.” Sikhism mostly practices honesty, integrity, and cleanliness. It was founded in the Punjab region of India about 500 years ago. According to worldatlas, Sikhism is now practiced in India, the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and more.

Kaur was in a Gurdwara service (a Sikh service that focuses on meditation and prayer) when she thought about this project. Two thoughts appeared to Kaur while in the service: “How are children supposed to come if they don’t comprehend the Punjabi that the priest is speaking?” and “How are children supposed to know anything about their religion if no one is attempting to teach them?”

Several years ago, a Punjabi instructor taught the class only using the Punjabi language. Kaur stated many children can’t understand the material if they don’t understand the language,  with most of them being more familiar with English. The kids were encouraged to go to the class by being promised pizza and snacks. The class was not consistent and Kaur felt no one was really trying to get kids to attend a Sunday service voluntarily. “I decided that I wanted to change this. I did some research on Sikhism and watered down some of the excessive information to make it more attainable for children. I created many presentations to lecture. However, I wanted to ensure that the students were well-engaged and enjoying themselves because the previous Punjabi class was strictly a lecture without any additional activities or well thought out lesson plans,” implies Kaur. 

The Sikh Religious Society of Little Rock Youth Group is a student-led organization that was started to help educate the Sikh student body about their religion. Kaur plans on conducting community service projects with the youth group to emphasize the importance of community service their religion partakes in. Kaur incorporates activities, lessons, and games in the class to help kids become more excited about learning. The activities Kaur has the children participating in are worksheets like crossword puzzles, word searches, and coloring sheets. These worksheets consist of many different aspects to what Sikhism means. The activities Kaur has the children doing really benefit them in learning their Sikh background. According to a student in the group, they explain why they like the activities. “Yes, because they are fun and easy and I learn about our religion,” states the student. “I hope to help this grow in the future by spreading Sikh awareness in small towns like North Little Rock,” professes Kaur. 

This was designed to help younger students understand and be able to explain where they come from. Kaur feels kids should not be embarrassed or hesitant to tell others about their religion and traditions. While this project is mainly focused on kids, it is also for older students that lack the understanding to see the major relevance the religion has on them. Kaur wants the next generation to keep traditions alive, Kaur is also hands-on with the students. “As I am teaching, I am also one within the students, meaning that I am learning along with them. I hope to provide confidence to my students about their religion, Sikhism,” says Kaur.


Kaur has many Sikh students in the North Little Rock School District from ages 5 to 18 that are participants in the Sikh group. “They all have been such a great support system to me as they helped me tremendously by getting my foot in the door with this project. As the time went on, every student looked forward to attending the weekly youth group. “I am extremely honored to have begun the conversation of Sikhism in North Little Rock,” says Kaur. This group has inspired more kids to want to learn. “I want to go every Sunday!” states a kid from the youth group. 

Kaur’s attribution to society has helped many kids come to terms with their religion and practicing the Punjabi language and it also helps benefit the future generations of Sikh kids. Kaur hopes that sharing this project with the community will encourage other culturally motivated students to begin projects of their own. “Diversity is one of North Little Rock High School’s best attributes, and it is important for diversity to be spotlighted,” states Kaur.