Jashdeep discusses his identity as a POC and life at Cal as a Punjabi student:
“For one thing, my parents made sure to facilitate a lot of the interactions that I had when I was young. But even then my mother taught me to look beyond the color of skin, caste, & religion while also being an advocate for not judging others. To still widen my friendship with everyone and create beautiful relationships along my journey.
My father is like my homie. I often relate him to Black Panther’s father due to his knowledge of the world and wise words like “A Man who has not prepared his children for his own death has failed as a father.” That’s something my father abides by. He’s striven to make me independent in every facet of my life. He exudes this personality of ‘Sehaj’ – Punjabi term for patience and contentment in life. To him, life is unpredictable. It would be a waste of a gift, that is life if one complains about it and is always sorrowful. The aspect of being human is to experience all the emotions and experience what life has to give in any condition.
Being part of the Jakara Movement Chapter at Cal has allowed me to work with my community, especially the Sikh Californian youth group, as we focus on improving the interstices of education, health, gender, and social justice. As I continue to be a part of social and political organizations, I have realized that not everyone has the same experience. My experience as a POC will be very different from yours, and everyone else’s. Seek to listen, and not to be heard. If everyone took a minute to listen to other individuals and not just insert their own opinion or judgments before listening, we would definitely progress as a society. Always inform yourself by having conversations with people and scheme outsources in a personal way while not being a burden to others. There is no need to be ignorant of others, but rather be cognizant.”