• Hi, welcome back to my blog. This post is about my class’s most recent field study. During this field study, we visited a Komagata Maru museum which was inside of a Sikh temple. Then we stopped for lunch then explored the Punjabi market. This trip is part of 6 different trips we will be going on throughout this project. In each trip, we will learn about different types of oppression in Canada and how all those things were apologized for.
The Komagata Maru was a ship carrying 376 south Asian men. Most of them were Sikh but they were all referred to as Hindus by Canadians. The men on this ship were hoping to come to Canada for a better life. They were hoping for higher wages so they could bring back money to their family’s back home. When they arrived they were not allowed in. Only a handful of people were allowed to get off because they were returning residents. These people had been at sea for months and when they finally arrived they weren’t allowed to get off the ship. Then Canadian government refused to let passengers get off the ship. The Canadian government refused to supply them with food and water. The South Asian community in Vancouver at the time fundraiser 60,000$ to get food and water for the passengers. They also hired a lawyer with that money but after almost 2 months of struggle, they were sent back to India. When they arrived in India British officials fired shots at them and killed 20 passengers and the rest were captured and put into prison. If you want you can learn more here.

This event was quickly forgotten by many Canadians but was remembered by many South Asians. Today it is remembered as an important period in Canadian history. It is remembered as more than just an event. It represents the struggles, racism, inequality that many people faced at that time in history. This is why a public apology was so important to the people affected. The apology would be a recognition of the wrongdoings of the Canadian government and how they miss treated, South-Asian people. In 2016 Justin Trudeau made a public apology for the events of the Komagata Maru. This was seen as a turning point and a place to start for the recognition that was needed for these events.

I found this trip helpful for me and how meaningful and long-lasting the events of the Komagata Maru are for the South Asian community. The Komagata Maru serves as a reminder to recognize our past and to learn from our past. It was it really meaningful for me to understand the racism they felt back then. I recognize how lucky I am to be the person I am today. I don’t think the road to eliminating racism is over yet. Looking at the Komagata Maru and thinking how terrible it was, we can still see racism throughout our day-to-day lives. We are a long way away from eliminating racism but educating ourselves and future generations is an important step in the right direction.

  • Route to Vancouver

  • Route Back

  • Time Line Of Komagata Maru