Royal BC Museum adds historic dining set to ‘100 Objects of Interest’

Royal BC Museum adds historic dining set to '100 Objects of Interest'
Royal BC Museum
Sets like these were common for immigrants for caste and class sensibilities

To celebrate Sikh History Month, the Royal BC Museum has added a Tamba dining set to its online ‘100 Objects of Interest Collection‘.

The museum says the dining set was used by Indar Singh Gill during his trans-Pacific voyage in 1927.

Indar Singh Gill’s father, Naranjan Singh Gill, was part of the first major wave of migration from Punjab to Canada in 1906, according to the museum.

The museum says that preservation of these artifacts is key to better understanding the lives of people immigrating to Canada.

“When you consider the significant and positive impact fo Sikh communities in building B.C. and Canada, it’s important to also recognize the challenges these communities overcame and their resilience,” said Dr. Tzu-I Chung, Royal BC Museum curator of history in a press release Tuesday. “This particular dining set is a testimony to settler families’ multi-generational journey from Punjab to Canada, and their enduring legacy.”

The statement says Sikh migrants often travelled with these types of dining sets because of caste and class sensibilities.

Naranjan Singh Gill’s wife and children immigrated to Canada in the 1930s. His son became an entrepreneur and his daughter became an English professor, according to the museum.

Some professors say these artifacts provide insight into difficult living situations immigrants faced at the time.

“Many immigrant communities experienced that era as racially volatile, socially fragile and fraught with imminent threats of expulsion,” said Dr. Satwinder Bains, director of SASI at the University of the Fraser Valley in the press release. “These items strengthen our resolve to recollect our past so that future generations may understand their own particular histories with the richness they deserve.”

The addition of the set to 100 Objects of Interests is a part of this year’s theme Finding Sehaj: A Journey to Peace and Tranquility. Other programs include a digital panel discussion about ongoing farmer protests in India.

READ MORE: This Week in History: Royal BC Museum publishes book to accompany Orcas: Our Shared Future exhibition

Justin WaddellJustin Waddell

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