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Sikh Herstories

We are delighted to be working with some amazing new Community Curators at Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre. We’re exploring heritage, history and culture, in ways which work for our participants.

Project Background

The Culture Leicestershire team supports outreach to local communities and works with them to share their heritage and culture. The Sikh Women in History project is part of our audience development work at Bosworth Battlefield’s Heritage Centre, Leicestershire. The small temporary exhibition gallery offers a great opportunity for visitors to learn about local history and to show that English heritage is much broader than people realise.

There is a close link in the historic timeline between the Battle of Bosworth which was fought in Leicestershire in 1485 and the birth of Guru Nanak in Punjab in 1469. We are delighted to be working with a group of Sikh women Community Curators who are researching Sikh women in history, starting from the medieval period.

Medieval women forging the way: Influential women of the Sikh world and beyond

The storyline of this unique exhibition focuses on Sikh women who challenged social norms and played instrumental roles in advocating for social change within the Sikh community and beyond. The exhibition delves into their contributions to women’s rights, health and social care, education and the arts.

The exhibition includes:

  • Portraits of inspiring Sikh women through history, created by members of the community
  • A timeline to compare what was happening around the world during significant points in history.
  • A short film about the group’s work with a creative practitioner
  • Objects which support the life stories of the Sikh women
  • An opportunity to share your own reflections about inspirational women

The free exhibition runs from 21st April 2024 until the end of October 2024. Parking charges apply.

 

Bosworth Medieval Medley 2023

At this year’s Bosworth Medley, the Sikh Community Curators provided a hands-on opportunity to learn about Sikh heritage through historic headwear. The first Sikh Guru was born in 1469, just 16 years before the Battle of Bosworth. The group demonstrated how to wear a scarf and various ways of tying a turban. The turban is a marker of Khasa identity, symbolising uncut hair.
People enjoyed the experience of trying on turbans and the volunteers were able to answer questions about the history of Sikh turbans and Sikh culture. Turban styles have changed over the centuries, but the symbolic strength remains. One of the visitors said ‘It was a real pleasure and so interesting. It was definitely a highlight of our visit to Bosworth – and so unexpected.’

The Sikh culture was also honoured through the amazing dancer, Ravneet Kaur who performed some traditional dances from Punjab involving intricate footwork, hand movements and storytelling.
A visitor commented that ‘seeing the Punjabi dancing connected me to my inner heritage. My mum has been doing our family tree and part of my family came from India.’
The ladies also took part in the medieval fashion show, dressed in the traditional clothing and jewellery of the period.

For more information about Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre visit https://www.bosworthbattlefield.org.uk/

To find out about volunteering opportunities at Bosworth visit: https://www.cultureleicestershire.co.uk/volunteering/opportunities/