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  1. There is a difference between believing the Sikh religion and calling yourself a Sikh. I believe that Sikh is an ethnogroup of Punjabis who have at least 100 years of sikh ancestry, have Sikh principles and beliefs, and practiced it culturally. Sikh ancestry is your father, mother, grandmothers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers, great-grandmothers, etc. are Punjabi Sikh. I believe that people from a different background who convert to sikhism should not call themselves Sikh but they should instead say they practice it. If the convert practices it truthfully for a long time and are known in the community, you will be still considered as a practicing Sikh. You are a practicing Sikh even when you die. You will never be a Sikh in the sense of race given your ethnicity and past heritage (sorry to say this). For example, if my kids see a white or a Pakistani Muslim practicing the Sikh religion, I would not call him/her a Sikh. Instead, I would say he/she is practicing our Sikh religion. Also, you're full Sikh if you're born into a Sikh family with no heritage mixing going back 100 years and stick with your Sikh beliefs until the day you die. It gets complicated when you talk about amritdhari. It's a 100% chance that if you have 100 years of Sikh ancestry , at least one of your ancestors practiced amritdhari. In that case, it is fine for descendants to call themselves sikh but do not practice amritdhari. However, they would still have Sikh beliefs and practice culturally (going to gurdwara, doing seva, etc.) I can tell you a bit information about myself. I was given an European first name. I am Punjabi and I am brown. I wear a Kara sometimes and I cut my hair. I wear a turban on special occasions. When I was 0-4 years old, I used to have a joora. But there's something inside of me that just makes me identify as sikh. I remember fondly my grandfather who was a true khalsa Sikh teach me math every Sunday when he came to visit me. I can trace my blood line back to early 1800s and every ancestor of mine was a Punjabi Jat Sikh. No ancestor of mine was a Muslim, christain, black, arab, Hispanic, hindu, white, or biracial. There are cases where a Sikh has a marriage with a non sikh and raise a family. Those children would be considered half Sikhs as long as they believe they are Sikh and practice it (doesn't have to be amritdhari). Few exceptions, mixed children have higher claim to being full sikh if the father was Sikh but the mother was not. If the mixed children marry other Sikhs and have kids, then those kids claim to being full Sikh will be higher. To conclude, Sikhism is not just a religion. It is a race. I identify as a Sikh because I have a Punjabi background tracing back over 100 years of Sikh ancestry. For people who don't meet this requirement, you can still say you practice the Sikh religion and please continue to do so.
  2. "it is impossible to wear any garment without transmitting social signals. Every costume tells a story, often a very subtle one, about its wearer" - Desmond Morris Yesterday, I posted a new thread here on this forum. Don't go looking for it because you won't find it. The MODS haven't allowed you to read it. Either they think you're not intelligent enough to understand it and where I was going with it or they themselves were not. Nobody can say for sure. Although my money's on the Mods.The object of that thread that never came to fruit was to challenge our perceptions and how race and class plays a big part in the process. It was actually a very funny piece - it was making me laugh even as i was writing it - and it was about the news yesterday about 2 groups of Surgeons and Consultants at a London hospital continuously fighting with each other, putting patients at risk. In yesterday's piece I tried to demonstrate in a humorous way the distinction between how these 2 'gangs' were perceived by the public and how working class 'gangs', often black or brown, in the same area were perceived. (note: the working class 'gangs' in question had been responsible for a couple of deaths whereas investigators say the 2 surgeon gangs could have the blood of over a hundred people on their hands). Perception and psychology then....its everywhere. Having just finished the summer music festival season we see that, each year, the 'white' festivals are full to the brim with drugs with young people regularly dying of overdoses and yet it is the black man's carnival that must be banned because of drugs (weed) and loud music. We hear no mention of the racist music of the far-right and yet the Met police actively announce a crackdown and ban on black music (drill). Perception...its everywhere, not least in the garments we wear. In the 1950's we had the Zoot suit riots in America after American police regularly brutalised and arrested all brown youths wearing zoot suits for no reason other than the fact that they were brown whilst wearing a zoot suit. The perception was that to be brown and in a smart zoot suit you just had to be up to no good. In my own family, nobody had kept their kes and wore a pagh for at least 3 generations until I did. And when i did, perceptions about me changed and the psychology behind those perceptions depended almost entirely upon the race / creed of the perceptor. White people started seeing me as ultra-religious and pious...and even a well of knowledge. Most Punjabis however detest the image and saw it as a sign of uneducated backwardness. Those contrasts are just so extreme. The fact that this turban on my head sets of an instant judgement reaction in people's minds - both super negative and super positive - depending on the racial background of the person that sees me. It's natural...and it's all good. I do it too...when I see a white man in a turban. He might be a train driver or labourer but my misguided perception is nearly always that he could teach me a thing or two about healthy living and yoga. And thats the thing about wearing the turban. There are so many instant perceptions about you that you sometimes almost feel that you should live up to them. You start thinking to yourself "well if all those white people think I must be a fountain of wisdom maybe i should live up to that positive perception". Their psychology starts to affect your psychology. Inexplicably, you start to alter your psyche just so that you can live up to the race based stereotype notions formed in the minds of people who didn't even know their perceptions were based on racial ignorance. Of course its absurd. But life is absurd. This turban on my head has closed a few pointless doors but it's opened a hellava lot more doors....doors that actually lead to somewhere. And thats just one of the stories that this 'garment' of head has to tell. tell me yours......
  3. In the past many empires tend to show race as a unifying factor or an ideal for all citezens of the empire to reach. In the USSR, russians became the dominant race who then used Communism to assert russian dominance in language and culture. In Mainland China it has become Han dominance, with Manchuria, Tibet and Mongolia now dominated by Han speaking and even the Han ethnicity as more of them move deeper into China, under the guise of communism and capitalism. America asserts its dominance using capitalism to control many nations and slowly convert them to the american culture. My point is, if Sikh Raj propped up, whats stopping it from turning into Panjabi dominance? Since we make up the majority of Sikhs if rule happens there is a good chance we'll be there pulling the strings. As we would expand using Sikhi we'd turn various peoples into panjabi speaking groups with panjabi becoming the dominant culture. To a degree this happened in Ranjit Singhs raj. Ideally we need Sikhi to be the dominant entity and not Panjabiyat. I'd settle with panjabi/english staying as lingua francas, but are your thoughts?
  4. Hello. My Indian Jatt Sikh boyfriend proposed last month. I accepted. We're very much inlove. I've been trying to look up how mixed race/mixed religions combine their 'ideals & traditions'. I'm a White British atheist but have always wanted the traditional white dress. I also love the Sikh weddings, and of course will be having a very traditional Sikh wedding. I've seen that some people, through YouTube videos, have 2 marriage ceremonies... one Sikh and one non-religious/very western... is this a pretty common option, to have both? Is there not a way to put aspects of my dream wedding within the Sikh marriage ceremony? Or would it be best to do 'my' side of things the day after? Also, my father is meant to give me away. I have no relationship with him, so can I use my mother or sister? I'd love to know if anyone here can tell me what options they've seen or even been a part of. I'm going to India in December to witness some inlaw-weddings, and I will talk to my inlaws then, for information... but I'm just researching for myself at the moment, you know? Thank you in advance.
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