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  1. Palbinder Kaur Shergill, a prominent Sikh lawyer in British Columbia, Canada, was appointed a BC Supreme Court Justice by the Trudeau government. She was born in Rurka Kalan in Jalandhar and is thought to be the first turbanned judge in Canada. "She has represented the WSO in landmark cases in front of the Supreme Court of Canada including the right of Sikh students to wear the kirpan (a ceremonial knife) in schools, and the right of a Catholic high school to teach an ethics and religious culture course from a Catholic perspective." http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/06/26/palbinder-kaur-shergill-bc-supreme-court-turban-sikh-judge_a_23002618/ https://www.canada.ca/en/department-justice/news/2017/06/government_of_canadaannouncesjudicialappointmentsintheprovinceof1.html Just as a point of clarification, despite the name, the BC Supreme Court is not the supreme court in British Columbia. BC courts start with the Provincial Courts, then the BC Supreme Court, then the Court of Appeal. So the "Supreme" Court is the mid-level court. See http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/ I'm sure some among our people will do what they always do, and try to pull her down. "There are certain people in this world who are infected with “the lobster syndrome”. These are the people who cannot stand to see other people do well. They will pinch, pull, and pry to try and drag anyone else down who appears to be progressing ahead of them." Despite my differences with some of her opinions (she's an advisory board member of the Sikh Feminist Research Institute), I'm glad she has been appointed.
  2. Hi iv been wondering for a while now that why is it that Sikh guys cover their heads (the ones that keep their hair) while Sikh women don't? i keep my hair and wear patka when i go out, i use to be mona but got sick and tired of being mistaken for a Pakistani that it reached the point where i started getting offended, so i decided to not cut my hair and started wearing patka. since i been wearing patka etc i been wondering why is it that only sikh guys cover their head? why is it that sikh females don't? theres many non amritdhari sikhs guys out there who keep their hair and wear a pagh or patka but the same can't be said about the females. If i walk around the town center with my joorah without wearing patka i know that i would get "angry" and "disappointed" looks from other Singh's. I actually am really happy that iv kept my hair, no one in my family is a singh so i don't know how to tie pagh but im learning, its the best decision iv ever made, im happy, and since then iv never been mistaken for a pakistani . i know i don't keep my dhari yet but i really want to start keeping it soon! i just find all this confusing. The other day i told my mum and sister perhaps they can dress more modestly and maybe cover their heads, when i said this they nearly bit my head off! they said that they are not muslim women so why should they cover? when i look at old black and white photos of my nani and other relatives all the females are very modestly dress and have their heads covered with chunni and they weren't even amritdhari. I thought sikhs were supposed to cover their heads at all times to honor our guru and waheguru? So why is it that sikh guys cover their heads but sikh females do not? simple question, but hard to find an answer ... or is it compulsory for guys but not for females? i just find it weird how men are supposed to cover their heads but not the women! i mean even at the gurdwara most females don't cover their heads but cover their bun or ponytail instead. Im not even gonna lie when out and about when i see muslim women i look at them and think to myself that this is what i want my wife to look like! she's modest and also covers her head like me! im just being honest. im probably going to be called "judgmental" and "let people live how they want" etc i really think this attitude stops any critical discussion from taking place. just some thoughts, sorry if i offended anyone
  3. I've noticed virtually every sikh woman who foolishly dated and married someone outside their faith have had their marriages end in divorce. Most of these women tend to have married white atheist/Christian men and it always ends very badly very bitter divorces. There was this one punjaban i got to know called [ModCut- NAMES ARE NOT ALLOWED] she married her white boyfriend and divorced 2 years later after she caught him cheating and now shes letting herself being used and abused by guys in clubs and one night stands in online dating sites. Another punjabi girl i knew who was from south england kent she dressed up like a goth and was into the satanic dark heavy metal scene she married her white atheist satanic boyfriend and 2 years later he died of aids after contracting it through heavy drug use through needles. Now she is online dating going out with all sorts ......a lost cause a shame on her parents and community. Now I've just read an article of a bitter divorce where the parminder nagra a punjaban british actress of sikh heritage married her white atheist/christian photographer boyfriend a few years ago. While I was reading the article I thought to myself is this the state of affairs these days that these moronic punjabans can think they will be happier with non-sikh guy after the lust and fun times are over? Maybe its a good thing that Indian parents prefer males over females in Indian and punjabi society as women themselves are not responsible for the future well being of the community no more and will exploit their freedoms and shun their responsibilities in a liberal westernised carefree hedonistic mindset and society.
  4. In one of the 52 commandments Guru Gobind Singh Ji left for the Sikhs he stated that a daughter of the Sikhs should only have her hand in marriage given to another Sikh family. But he did not say the same for Sikh sons for them only given to Sikhs for marriage. Why was this? This question is mainly for the liberal lefties to ponder on. Because to majority of learned and right thinking Sikhs he is clearly showing us how there is a difference between the genders when it comes to procreation and relationships. Sikh Men are like rocks in the ground they will usually stick to their reiligion. And Guru Ji knows the condition of men of all backgrounds are that they are tribal so its a given that sons will not let the Sikh side down. But most women are like sheep they will be lead to whatever religion their partner is a believer in. So if they are married off to non-sikhs then she will become that non-sikh and her offsping 9/10 times will be non-sikhs. For a pularistic faith like Sikhi it is especially dangerous for our demographics sake that Sikh women are raised in the belief that they only want to marry a fellow Sikh believer. We can see countless examples of non-abrahmic faith communities whose populations have been destroyed because they did not control their womens choice of partner. We can look at the kalaesh of northern pakistan who are almost extinct due to muslims converting their women and creating more muslims. We can see zoroesterian persians who had a huge mighty empire that used to invade other lands but now are no where to be found only small communities scattered around the world because muslims forced islam on them and bred with their women creating muslims only. Which is why we know muslims try their best to groom and convert kafir non-muslim women especially those who they view they are in war in to get 1 over the kufr. And if you ever seen a marriage between a girl from Sikh background to a non-sikh groom you will find most of the time the kids are born as non-sikhs. So there is no equality in nature & biology nor in Sikhi nor in most human soceities that want to exist and excel when it comes to relationships there are clear set out rules.
  5. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-35563415 Why are some Sikh women now wearing the turban? By Rajeev GuptaHeart and Soul, BBC World Service 8 hours ago From the sectionMagazine Devinder and her daughter Har-Rai The turban is worn by millions of Sikhs - traditionally, mostly male ones. Now many Sikh women are donning it, too. Why? "Doing this has helped me stay grounded and focused on what my responsibilities are as a human being." Devinder is in her early 40s. She's a slender, tall British-Indian Sikh woman. She works as a teaching assistant at her local school in Ilford, north-east London. You can't help but notice that she wears a turban, or what's commonly known within Sikhism as a dastar. The turban is the one thing that identifies a Sikh more than any other symbol of their faith. An edict handed down in 1699 by the 10th Sikh Guru, Gobind Singh, requires Sikhs to not cut their hair. The turban, part of the Bana or military uniform at that time, was used to help keep the long hair and protect a Sikh's head. However, in line with its military tradition, it's something that has always been a masculine symbol and almost exclusively worn by men, not women. That is until now, it seems. "I wasn't always like this," says Devinder holding up a photo album of her younger years. "I used to have cut black curls, wear makeup - go out and do what people do on nights out… but it never sat comfortably with me even then." Seven years ago Devinder decided to become fully baptised into the Sikh faith. She stopped cutting her hair, and began wearing a tall white wrapped turban. "People told me I shouldn't do it and that it will hold me back. The elders felt it's something that Sikh women didn't do. But wearing my turban, I feel free and it pushes me forwards to be the best I can be every day." As well as wearing the turban, Devinder lets her facial and bodily hair grow naturally as well. It's something she speaks confidently about. Image copyrightGetty Images Sikh women have more traditionally worn headscarves"Asian women are naturally hairy so it was difficult to let go at first and let go of the expectations society places upon what a woman should look like," she says. "But letting it go was so empowering. It's a way of saying this is who I am, this is how God made me and putting that above what society expects of me." It impossible to know exactly how many Sikh women are now wearing the turban, but at a time when some Sikh men are deciding to cut their hair, Devinder is among a growing number of Sikh women deciding to wear one. Doris Jakobs, professor in religious studies at Waterloo University in Canada, has done some of the most in-depth research in this area. She says that women tying turbans are mostly Sikhs living outside of their traditional homeland of the Punjab in India. "This is something that the younger generation in the diaspora are doing. It's a sign of religiosity in which some Sikh women are no longer content with just wearing a chuni (headscarf). Wearing a turban is so clearly identifiable with being Sikh and so women now also want that clear visual sign that they are also Sikh as well. It's a play on the egalitarian principle of Sikhism." Post-9/11, many Sikhs faced discrimination and have even been attacked after being mistaken for Muslims. Some in the community say have turned to the turban as they feel it helps give them an individual identity. Sikhism at a glance Image copyrightGetty ImagesSikhism is a monotheistic religion, founded in the 16th Century in the Punjab by Guru Nanak and is based on his teachings, and those of the nine gurus who followed him The Sikh scripture is the Guru Granth Sahib, a book that Sikhs consider a living Guru There are 20 million Sikhs in the world, most of whom live in the Punjab province of India. The 2011 census recorded 432,000 Sikhs in the UK Jasjit Singh, a research fellow at Leeds University, has spent the last few years interviewing women who have begun to wear the turban. He says there are many reasons why they are doing it. "Some say it helps with meditation and others say its part of a Sikh's uniform," he says. "I found that many young girls see this as a way of reclaiming equality within the religion. The Punjabi community is still very patriarchal but these girls tell me that Guru gave a uniform to all Sikhs - and so why shouldn't they wear the turban as well." The idea is an interesting one. Some might find it curious that, in order to seek equality, a woman might dress like a traditional Sikh man. But others argue a woman wearing a turban is a sign of empowerment. Sarabjoth Kaur, 25, from Manchester, is one of them. She began wearing a turban two years ago. She appears draped in royal blue robes with a matching tightly wrapped turban. It has a metal shaster, a type of ancient Vedic weapon wedged into the front. Sarabjoth, a former bhangra dancer, says her faith became stronger after she witnessed devout white Sikhs wearing the turban whilst worshipping in India. She strongly defends the right for women to wear the turban. Image caption Sarubjoth Kaur (right) with Heart And Soul presenter Nikki Bedi"People in my family weren't comfortable with it. They thought it would be difficult to get a job or how would I find a good husband," she says. "Before we had to change to fit in with British society. "Sikh women are meant to be strong. They're still khalsa (saint soldiers of the Guru) and the Kkhalsa isn't differentiated on gender. When I tie my turban every morning I want to see my Guru. I feel a great sense of pride when I see my reflection as I think this is what my Guru looked like, this is what the khalsa looks like." You can hear the full report on Sikh women and the turban on BBC Radio World Service's Heart and Soul programme, 09:30 GMT on Sunday 14 February - or catch up on BBC iPlayer Radio
  6. In its teachings, Sikhism is strongly in favour of gender equality. But is it like this in every day reality for Sikh women? Harjit Sarang is Family Law solicitor with a specialism in Parenting and Fertility Law for LGBT and infertile couples. She is a Sikh and a passionate feminist. I asked her about the tensions between faith and culture. VB: The Sikh faith is, most would argue, at heart very much pro gender equality. Do you see this as the experience of most Sikh women? // Harjit Sarang // HS: In my experience, for many families the Sikh culture (which is really just part of the Indian culture) is not reflective of the Sikh religion. The two are quite different. As with all religions, over time they are interpreted in many different ways to fit in with what their specific society is ready for. I think the Indian culture in Britain has and will continue to evolve toward the principles of the Sikh religion. But overall it’s not there yet. Currently Indian women in the UK have similar restrictions to those that British women historically faced in times gone by – especially in strict families. Over time we’ve seen feminism and equality becoming a reality for British women, and we will hopefully see the same happening for Indian culture in the UK. VB: So you’d delineate strongly between the Sikh faith and Sikh culture as two different realities? HS: Yes. The Indian culture in some families is, in many ways, very sexist . In my experience many females in Sikh households (particularly those growing up in the 60’s, 70’s & 80’s) would say that they consider the Indian culture (not Sikh religion) to be one of the most sexist and discriminatory for women. That said we are seeing less of this now. VB: Did you find this difficult – growing up in a Sikh family? HS: Yes. And I think many females raised in strict Sikh families did. If they knew about the Sikh religion they would have known that sexism and inequality are unacceptable and therefore challenged those restrictions. But if they did not know the religion in detail they would logically assume that the culture is rooted in the teachings of the Sikh religion – and so probably resented being a Sikh. VB: Could you give us some examples of the discrimination that can take place in families? HS: Sure. Here are eight examples of the discrimination that a woman may experience in very strict Sikh (Indian) households. (Of course there are many modern Sikh families who do not experience any of this): 1). Education – women are told ‘an educated woman is intimidating to a male and therefore will suffer in her efforts to marry’. 2). Freedom of expression – women are told ‘a lady should not have her own opinions but instead concur with the males in the household’. A wife is groomed to be subservient. 3). Freedom to socialise – women are told ‘a lady should not be seen outside of the home alone’. Most Indian females are not free to socialise outside of the home and certainly not out late at night. 4). Household chores – the daughters do everything in preparation for being a good wife. 5). Freedom to marry – whilst arranged marriage has an element of choice, ultimately there is pressure on the female to accept a proposal when one has been made. The male is often in the dominant position asking “is she good enough for me”. Most females would say, if they have doubts about accepting a proposal that the comments made to them are “What is wrong with him??” Again, this goes back to a culture of inequality; the female joining the male family and therefore the choice belonging to the male and his family. 6). The dowry system – the wife’s family are asked ‘What can you offer us for our son’. As a lawyer I still do divorces where dowry features quite heavily in negotiations for financial settlement. Many would assume this to be outdated but it is not. 7). Pressure to be modest – females should keep long hair and dress modestly not revealing arms or legs. 8). No boyfriends – the female is expected to be a virgin. So those are the main eight. Some would argue that these are efforts to ‘protect’ the female. Others would argue that it is control and sexism. Those ignorant of our religion would say those practices are part of the Sikh religion, but in reality they are simply cultural rather than religious. VB: Is this sexism typically something that only exists before marriage? HS: It can still continue after marriage if you are married into a strict family. The system of extended family is most commonly living with the husband’s family. When you raise sons in that strict environment the daughters are already on the back foot; the female (their mother) can be seen as inferior to their father and other males in the household, so all the males in the household take precedence. However, there are also many successful modern family scenarios where there is equality in the household. VB: Is the inheritance process equal for sons and daughters? HS: No, not in strict families. Even though India’s laws have changed the son is commonly the heir because the female is expected to benefit an inheritance from her husband’s family. Of course, there are families who are completely modern and believe in Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s teachings of equality and provide for sons and daughters to inherit equally. VB: Tell us about yourself – where did you grow up? HS: I was raised in the Midlands and most families that I was exposed to were like the family portrayed in the film ‘Bend it like Beckham’! Wherever you have a high concentration of people from the same religious or cultural group, there is a pressure not to ‘Westernise’. It is seen as a weakness and that was the case in my upbringing. This is nonsense to me because what strict families call ‘Westernised’ is actually what Sikhism is meant to be – egalitarian. But it takes time for cultures to progress and realise this. VB: How did you move from that culture to the one you embrace today as a feminist? HS: It has been a long process! But essentially first generation Indians show their parents how to let go of strict practices without feeling as though they are abandoning their religion. They then become parents themselves and raise their children differently, thereby diluting the elements of the Indian culture that are contrary to Sikhi. The Sikh (Indian) culture is so wonderful and rich. It is a pleasure to embrace it while letting go of the negative practices. While some families will take generations to change, there are also many modern Sikh families today. These families follow the truth of Sikhi; there is no inequality in their households. Sons and daughters are treated the same and the daughters are encouraged to be the best that they can be. The practices in relation to socialising, schooling, modesty, length of hair, dowry, alcohol, marriage etc. are rejected and they model to the families around them that life can be lived in this way. VB: Do you ever attend more traditional Sikh functions? HS: I still do… but very reluctantly and only after much persuasion! It’s especially challenging for me to attend events where men and women are separated, women are covered, alcohol is only served to men and even functions where the host refuses to serve meat to the females. I usually don’t stay for very long! VB: Do you attend Sikh places of worship – and is that easy or hard for you? HS: When my husband and I go to the Gurdwara with our young sons, we sit together. We strive to be the change that we want to see. VB: You campaign for same sex marriage and see it as very compatible with Sikhism when many traditionalists might not accept that connection. How do you argue for it? HS: My belief is that a marriage in Sikhism is between two souls. The body is the mere shell that holds the soul. Gender is therefore irrelevant. Respectfully, I disagree with Lord Singh of Wimbledon’ whose comments in the House of Lords argued the opposite. We need LGBT Sikh role models. VB: How are you working to bring change? HS: I campaign for equality (www.equalmarriagecampaign.wordpress.com). The thought of young LGBT Sikh people struggling with their sexuality is very upsetting because in my view it is not contrary to Sikhi at all. Discriminating against them, however, is contrary to Sikhi. As a woman, as a mother, as a wife, I feel that for me there is no better religion than Sikhism for equality and egalitarianism. VB: How can the chasm you see between Sikh faith and Sikh culture be bridged? What advice would you give to those wanting to bring change to their own Sikh community? HS: Well, in essence, I believe that this change all starts at home. I have two sons and they will be aware from me that sexism and Sikhism are not linked. Sometimes with extended family, they see sexism in practice but I am vocal about it and reject it where possible. Each family needs to model the equality that Sikhism truly upholds. http://faithinfeminism.com/bold-honesty-on-sikh-culture-vs-religion/
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