Indian-origin Sikh woman first turbaned judge in Canada Supreme Court
Last week, Palbinder Kaur Shergill was appointed to the B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster, becoming the first turbaned judge in Canada.
She was born in Punjab, India, and immigrated to Canada with her family when she was four years old. She grew up in Williams Lake, B.C.
Ms Shergill’s extended family in Jalandhar, India run a non-profit computer and stitching centre for the poor, reported The Indian Express.
Her appointment was announced along with two other judges by Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, under the new judicial application process. The new process emphasises transparency, merit, and diversity, and will continue to ensure the appointment of jurists who meet the highest standards of excellence and integrity.
Known as a prominent human rights lawyer in Canada, Shergill was instrumental in helping shape human rights and religious accommodation law in Canada through her pro bono work as General Legal Counsel for the World Sikh Organisation of Canada. “Prior to her appointment to the bench, Justice Palbinder Kaur Shergill practised as a lawyer and mediator with her law firm, Shergill and Company, Trial Lawyers. She has extensive trial and appellate experience and has appeared before courts and tribunals across Canada, including the Supreme Court of Canada. Justice Shergill was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2012 and is a recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for Community Service,” said the introduction released by the minister.
This was an interesting question that came from an online forum.
Indeed, US is the land of plenty and almost everything is available in the US. Indian Grocery shops – check out our extensive listing – can be found in almost every city and metro in the US. They stock a wide array of ethnic food, utensils, cookers and trinkets. Indians still prefer to carry suit-case full of ‘stuff’ while traveling to the US. A few weeks ago, we responded to a similar question “Where do I buy Indian mangoes in the USA?”
Here are a few practical reasons why Indians might ‘stuff’ their baggage while traveling to the US.
Food-stuff and dry-grocery – to be used during the initial few days after they land. Many Indian visitors are used to home-cooked food and might plan to cook a dinner/lunch at an extended-stay hotel or at an apartment. [Why don’t they just drive to an Indian store for grocery stuff? Because it may not be possible to drive down during the first few days. ]
Clothing – Indian ethnic wear, like Indian Sarees, Chudidhar (for women) and Kurtas (for men) sell at a steep premium. It is practical to carry sufficient number of these. Indian clothing can be heavy, adding to the baggage!
Trinkets, Curios, handicrafts – ‘what did you get for me?’ is a typical question colleagues, friends and neighbors might ask. Indians returning back to the US generally carry a bagful of typical curios for others and some for themselves
Mom’s pickles – Pickles, papads, ‘homemade’ masalas and savories are perennial favorites even though US customs officers have been known to randomly pick and discard some of these
Indian Utensils – Some folks carry Indian utensils, cookers, mixers and even wet-grinders. Such stuff can be expensive in the US.
Requests from family and friends. Family and friends in the US are sure to make requests from 1, 2, 3 which returning-Indians might be obliged to bring back.
Kasargod: The expatriate community in Qatar is scrambling to find tickets to come back home following the escalating crisis in the country following the isolation of Doha. Following the crisis, the expats who booked tickets through or from other Gulf Countries are in a rush to find or buy tickets on Indian and Sri Lankan flight operators before the vacation begins on June 22.
The airlines in the Gulf countries have responded to the crisis by assuring the passengers a full refund of the ticket amount. The expats, in the meanwhile, have pointed out that the move is insufficient to tide over the crisis as the airfares have quadrupled following the crisis.
Several Malayalies who run their own businesses in the Gulf countries conduct their financial transactions out of Doha. The country is also at risk of food shortage as was signaled by the heavy rush at the hypermarkets. The food, egg, meat and milk supplies of Qatar are either from or routed through Saudi but the country hopes the transactions will have a smooth flow in the holy month of Ramzan.
Meanwhile, KMCC President SAM Basheer has asked the Malayaly community to have faith in the administrators of Qatar. High-level talks are on to diffuse the crisis and the community should abstain from interfering in the domestic affairs of the country and beware of negative propaganda in social media.
Kudos to you and CNN for the highly entertaining and engaging interview of this year’s Spelling Bee champion, the 12-year-old Ananya Vinay.
The maturity you guys displayed in quizzing the young Spelling Bee champion about “a nonsense word” tweeted by the President of this great land shows class and finesse! I just don’t understand all the ruckus over your innocuous remark about Sanskrit.
In a time-honored journalistic tradition, you seem to have researched extensively on South Asians and Sanskrit before the interview. You guessed rightly, that Sanskrit happens to be the mother tongue of the 1.2 billion Indians (just as Latin is the Lingua Franca in all Latin American countries)
I feel the same way as you. Every brown-skinned American kid should be well versed in the language of the land their parents or grandparents migrated out of. After all, didn’t former President Obama speak fluent Swahili?
In your googling you must have come across this little-known fact: Indian babies don’t cry. Rather the first word they utter after slipping out of their mother’s womb is the rhythmic chanting of Om (or Auṃ in Sanskrit: ॐ). I remember my grandmother singing Sanskrit lullabies to me and my cousins while growing up in the old country; I am sure Ananya’s grandma did so too.
I am glad you are brushing up on your Sanskrit before you interview the Indian-American Fab Five members of the Congress. A few words of Sanskrit with a Namaste is sure to break the ice when you happen to bump into Niki Haley or Bobby Jindal.
‘Punardarśanāya’ from an Anon-Desi | From Little India, El Camino Real; where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average spelling Bee contestants.
Here is a recent query from an online forum. The questioner adds
“I have no plans to work, or claim welfare of any kind. Simply buy a property and spend my days relaxing, shopping and so on.”
Our editor responds: Merely the intent to move to the US will not get you a visa. However, since you are a multi-millionaire, and have a million dollars to invest, you may be eligible for certain categories of immigrant visas. As a high-net-worth individual/entrepreneur, you qualify for several types of visas. You could apply for the following:
E-2 Treaty Investor (nonimmigrant visa) – According to the USCIS, one is eligible for an E-2 visa if you invest a substantial amount of money in a new or existing U.S. business. This is applicable for individuals from countries that have a treaty of commerce with the United States. This visa isn’t an immigrant visa, so it has an initial period of stay of 2 years. You can extend the visa in two-year increments.
EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program (immigrant visa and green card) – Check out the detailed Q&A: What is Eb5 visa? EB5 is a popular program that some wealthy Chinese and Indians have been availing. After your attorney files the green card application, one should be prepared to do an interview and wait about six months before being granted the Visa
Q&A: What would be the impact under Indian laws for Indians, either residents or non-residents, getting citizenship in other countries?
Indian law does not prevent an individual from acquiring a foreign citizenship. However, after acquiring a foreign citizenship, an individual has to Renounce their Indian Citizenship (ref link: Consulate General of India )
“It is mandatory for all persons of Indian origin, who had ever held an Indian passport, to renounce their Indian citizenship upon acquiring any foreign nationality. This is a prerequisite to obtain Visas or OCI cards from the Consulate.”