“There is nothing bigger or older than the universe.”
~ Stephen Hawking
Living with a “border-less” heart in the world of “man-made borders”…
Gurdeep was born into a farming family, in a simple and ordinary village called Siahar in Punjab. After moving away to Whitehorse (Yukon) Canada, Gurdeep has continued to pursue a diverse variety of creative projects since his early childhood days in the village. At their farm, his family would grow many kinds of crops, vegetables and beans, and they would also raise cows and buffaloes that provided milk. So, he was fortunate to grow up eating home-grown and organic meals. Living on a farm also allowed Gurdeep to grow up close to the land and waters, which fostered a passion for nature. Living on the land embedded in him a respect for”Air (as Guru), Waters (as Father), and Earth (as Mother)”!
In 9th grade, Gurdeep learnt from a friend in his village about a “thing” that existed in the world. His friend, with his sweet childish-innocence, called this thing a “Dishnary” (he meant “Dictionary”). It had an English translation of almost all the Punjabi words. Overjoyed with this new discovery, Gurdeep cycled all the way from his village to a nearby town, so he could buy that “thing”! It opened opportunities for him to learn a new language and communicate with the rest of the world. He read, word-by-word, all from the dictionary.
Gurdeep was in grade 6 when he wrote his first poem. By grade 10, he had written numerous creative literature and compositions, including poetry, prose, a full novel, hundreds of stories and a play. By the age of 23, he became a published author of two books.
In Punjabi, Gurdeep’s first book is titled Mitti De Ghar. His second book, entitled Among the Stars, is based on the life of Kalpana Chawla, the first woman of Indian origin to go to space.
Writing is Gurdeep’s passion and lifetime craft. For him, the day is not complete without weaving some threads of ideas into written words.
He moved to Canada in 2006 and has lived in many great Canadian cities, towns and villages, including Squamish, Vancouver, Abbotsford, Saskatoon, Edmonton, North Battleford, Turtleford, Lloydminster, Yellowknife, and now, Whitehorse. Through road trips, Gurdeep has had an opportunity to travel through and extensively explore Canada.
In 2011, he became a Candian citizen. This motivated him to increase his knowledge of this beautiful country, further understanding its land and its people.
From BC to Quebec, Gurdeep has travelled to almost every large city, while also spending time in small towns and villages. Due to his upbringing in a humble village, he has developed a strong appreciation for small, tight-knit communities. He was especially captivated by wheat farms in Saskatchewan. He would sit by the roadside and watch the prairie-land farmers harvest the wheat crop for hours and reminisce about his similar experience at his family’s farm in Punjab.
As a part of Punjabi-Sikh culture, Gurdeep was born into the world of Bhangra. In his youth, at the age of 17, he began taking professional Bhangra classes in Ludhiana, Punjab. This allowed him to learn to dance from the heart and adopt dance as a part of his lifestyle. Since his days in Punjab, his love for dance has continued to grow and evolve.
When I Dance bhangra today, I feel the freely-flowing young energy and I dance as though I am 17-years old.
After moving to the Yukon in 2012, Gurdeep has pursued his passion for dance, providing Bhangra lessons at many locations in Canada.
Gurdeep began posting Bhangra dance videos filmed in the beautiful landscapes of the Yukon. Over time, his posts went viral and his work has been featured on CBC Yukon, CBC National, CTV National News, Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post, SBS Australia, and many other platforms. Even Canadian embassies abroad shared his works to showcase the wonderful side of multiculturalism that is currently present in Canada.
Although Gurdeep has spent an ample amount of time travelling across the globe to the many corners of the world, the Yukon is where he calls home. Apart from his village in Punjab, it is the place where he has lived most of his life and he considers himself to be a proud Yukoner. In his free time, Gurdeep enjoys sharing a laugh with his fellow Yukoners at coffee shops or in the streets of the many unique Yukon communities.
“The whole Yukon seems like a village of friends”, he often reflects positively on his decision to live in his close-knit and friendly town.
Gurdeep believes that life is an art and he makes the most of every moment!
“When you treat each day as a new day, you learn how to start fresh and live in the moment”, he often ponders.
“Sometimes saline and sometimes saccharine, life is like a fruit shake with a distinctive diversity of flavours”. Gurdeep has created a variety of quotable life lessons.
Another quote he often uses is, “Monetary richness without happiness is real poverty and monetary poverty with true happiness is real richness”.
He pursues other passions too, including photography, video-editing, web-art, digital-designs, languages, and music. However, written wordography and Bhangra remain his favourite.
The vast land, open-air, wide mountains, smiling sun and, even sometimes beautiful drizzles, all taught him to be a free-spirit. Gurdeep celebrates life with an open heart that he found through his love for nature.
You are such an amazing addition to our community, thank you for making Whitehorse home!
~ Dan Curtis, The Mayor of City of Whitehorse
“Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
I live my life keeping these quotes in mind.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca — ‘I am not born for one corner; the whole world is my native land.’