Fully Sikh is a new Australian work by one of Australia’s most talented and celebrated spoken word artists. The world premiere is on at the State Theatre Centre of WA from 10 October through to 3 November. Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa’s culture and politics have informed her poetry for years. She made headlines around the globe when she performed a rousing poem confronting racism on Australia’s Got Talent and went on to tour her poetry across Australia and overseas. Fully Sikh is Sukhjit’s story and marks her highly anticipated theatre debut.
Watch her clip from Australia’s Got Talent, where she performed a rousing poem about racism.
If you can't access the video, read her poem below.
If you’re not in Australia, ‘where the bloody hell are ya?’ Remember the Bingle jingle, inviting the world to mix and mingle?
Where a fair go was your welcome mat, unless you’re of caramel descent and then ain’t nobody got time for that.
You see, rocking up for my first job at Coles, was like a scene from Border Patrol.
What makes you Australian?
Is it a Southern Cross Tattoo or wombat stew crumbled with a Dunkaroo?
Do you think of a time when Australia’s learnt to share and care and dare to wear its heart on its face, fully aware that most of us in this place are far from fair, but brown and black and slow to attack?
But quick to embrace a warm Australia.
I’m confused as to why, on Australia Day, when the night sky spews bigot bile, I’m left traumatised.
When a teen rips off my uncle’s turban, I’m an enraged flame of pain and shame and sorrow, for tomorrow when a hooning ute throws a rotten peach at my dad and screams ‘go home, ya bloody terrorist.’
I plead to you Lara , where the bloody hell are we?
My people, the Sikhs, came here in 1860 with camels and carts and courageous hearts and look at the maxi Taxi, we’re still driving and steering this country in offices and hospitals and even on stage.
So when people tell me and my family to go home to where we came from, I reply with a smile, tongue-in-cheek, ‘mate, we’ve been right at home for the past 150 years!’
I’m not the one that’s a freak, I’m fully Sikh.
by Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa