Anoop Boyal’s Sikh Life

Grady Wheeler

Anoop Boyal (Grady Wheeler)

When Anoop Boyal is at Mount Vernon High School he is an average student, but when he goes home his world is a little different than most of his friends. His mother’s cooking in the kitchen, the music playing in the living room, and his parents speaking Punjabi to each other set him and his family apart from others. Boyal is very fond of being with his family and playing sports like track and field.
Boyal’s family is very important to him. His immediate family consists of his two parents, Bally and Gary Boyal, and his brother Valjot Boyal (‘21). Although he was born in the United States his parents are both from Punjab, India. His parents moved from Punjab to Sacramento, California, before he was born “to find better opportunities,” Boyal said. Boyal’s family has strong Indian origins so his family is naturally more culturally diverse than other families in Mount Vernon. Culture and religion influences his family’s everyday life.
Boyal and his family practice Sikhism which is a very prevalent religion formed in the Punjab region of India by Guru Nanak in the early 15th century. Sikhism is a monotheistic religion, everyone is believed to be equal and achieve unity with Waheguru by leading a good life. Boyal and his family do their praying at home as there is not a Sikh temple nearby. His household also all speak two different languages, English and Punjabi, which he learned from his parents and his family growing up.
In 2010 his family moved from California to Iowa. Boyal and his family travel to California often to visit their relatives that still live there. Every summer Boyal recalls going on vacation to Sacramento, California. Last summer he got to go to his cousin’s wedding and celebrate with his family. His favorite part of the wedding was the party they had which consisted of delicious Indian food, dancing, and many more activities. When asked what he likes most about his family, Boyal said, “my family is very nice to me, my mom always helps me out with anything I need and my dad has taught me important lessons.” It is very obvious that family is an important part of his life.
Boyal enjoys competing in sports and doing his part for the team. Track has always been Boyal’s favorite sport to compete in. Since middle school he has been a part of Mount Vernon track and field. He started his track career running sprint events in the 100m and 200m. As of last season his main events he runs are the 800m, 1600m, and 4 x 800m relay on the junior varsity team. His favorite meet that he ran in last season was against Tipton where he ran the 800m. He finished in first place with his best time of 2:14.
One of Boyal’s teammates, Alex Fencl, described him as a hard worker and hopes to see him on the track again his senior year. “A funny story about him,” Fencl stated, “it was the first day we did ‘hell and back’ a workout where we run the Fourth Street hill and after we ran hills we started to jog back. On the way back Anoop suddenly collapsed and starts yelling in pain. I look back and Anoop is laying on the ground holding his leg. He had gotten his first calf cramp and it lasted a good five minutes.” Both Fencl and Boyal are excited about their senior track season in the spring. Boyal seems to have as much of a positive impact on his teammates as his teammates do for him.