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Gora Trying to Please Sikh Family. Converting to Sikhism

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converting, family, gora, sikh, sikhism
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 16-Sep-2009, 14:50 PM
goragorarang's Avatar goragorarang goragorarang is offline
 
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Gora Trying to Please Sikh Family. Converting to Sikhism

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Sat sri akal, I've got major problems that I could use some advice on...
I am a gora (no religion) and my girlfriend is Sikh, she is ready for marriage but thinks marrying me would tear her family apart and leave us alienated. I have met the parents (but was not introduced as a boyfriend) and they are very welcoming, but her mother is much more old school than her westernized father and apparently her mother would be furious if she married a gora. Furthermore, her grandmother would never talk to her again.
Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/love-and-marriage/26706-gora-trying-sikh-family-converting-sikhism.html

Most of my best friends are Sikh guys, and I know all their families and they are all extremely accepting. I also have a basic understanding of Punjabi and know a lot of common words. The main complaints her mother stated about marrying a gora is that I would be watering down the culture and I would not be able to communicate enough with the relatives, specifically the mother.
Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/showthread.php?t=26706

I might soon be taking Punjabi classes so I can speak fluently and I am not against converting to Sikhism, because I respect the values it teaches and I have been learning about Sikhism for some time. All my friends are westernized though and do not really follow any of the 5 K's, except some wear a kara and I do not think I could ever wear all 5 K's. Furthermore, I am not sure if converting would be enough because her mother also said she could not marry a chamar guy, so it clearly is not all about the communication. It seems like there is an underlying racist tone with the older generations of Sikh's (at least where I am from) because while most are accepting of spending time with gorae, they do not want them entering the community. I love this girl, but I know how important family is and do not want her family to cut her out of their lives because of me. How should I go about trying to win over the family? I know Sikhism advocates equality, but how do I tell them that without being rude so they can see that I am a man of good character or should I make the ultimate sacrifice and give her up for the sake of her family's happiness (because that is very important to her)?



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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 16-Sep-2009, 18:16 PM
Randip Singh's Avatar Randip Singh Randip Singh is offline
 
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Wink re: Gora Trying to Please Sikh Family. Converting to Sikhism

Look, bottom line is, you are seen as an outsider. White people amongst Sikhs are seen as people with lax morals. Its not about your colour but how the western media is seen. You are seen worse than a Chamar in their eyes, because a Chamar Sikh would still be accepted.

The parents fear is you will corrupt their daughter and future grand kids.

The way to alay these fears is to become a Sikh. I think it would demonstrate your commitment, give you an understanding of another culture. Above all, you will see the world through Sikh eyes, and realise the prejudice we go through because of our appearance.
Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/showthread.php?t=26706

I think also it will give you great kudos amongst the Sikh community. I know of Gora's who have become Sikhs and they are some of the most respected members of the Sikh community. Our own Narayanjot and Mai are examples of this.
Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/showthread.php?t=26706

Amongst some Punjabi's there is this thing about purity of Indo-Aryan blood, but many Sikhs do not adhere to that.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 16-Sep-2009, 19:17 PM
Narayanjot Kaur's Avatar Narayanjot Kaur Narayanjot Kaur is offline
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re: Gora Trying to Please Sikh Family. Converting to Sikhism

Many thanks for the upbeat and inspiring words Randip ji. But one little correction. Please forgive m. Mai ji is not a convert --she was born into a Sikh family, father from Punjab and relocated in Canada, mother a French Canadian. She will of course correct me if I am wrong.

But please do not be offended. Those were very kind words.

To goragorang ji - My hunch is that you will be fine in the end but that it will be bumpy. Take Randip's advice to heart and follow up. The best card that you hold right now in your hand as far as influencing her parents is that you have good Sikh friends. Make it a point to go visit with a bunch of them coming along with you. Bring some cakes and pastries. Don't stay more than 2 hours. See if you can make small repairs, fix things that need fixing at the house, run short errands, start acting like a son. Use your brains and figure out how to win a place in the heart of her father and mother. Work at befriending her brothers. Don't rush and don't be aggressive.
Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/showthread.php?t=26706
Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/showthread.php?t=26706

I have moved this to the Love and Marriage section so that it can begin to have some content. It is a new section of the forum. Thanks.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 16-Sep-2009, 21:49 PM
faujasingh's Avatar faujasingh faujasingh is offline
 
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Re: Gora Trying to Please Sikh Family. Converting to Sikhism

First thing, do the 'Pairi Pauna' that is touching the feet
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 17-Sep-2009, 18:10 PM
Randip Singh's Avatar Randip Singh Randip Singh is offline
 
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Exclamation Re: Gora Trying to Please Sikh Family. Converting to Sikhism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Narayanjot Kaur View Post
Many thanks for the upbeat and inspiring words Randip ji. But one little correction. Please forgive m. Mai ji is not a convert --she was born into a Sikh family, father from Punjab and relocated in Canada, mother a French Canadian. She will of course correct me if I am wrong.

But please do not be offended. Those were very kind words.

To goragorang ji - My hunch is that you will be fine in the end but that it will be bumpy. Take Randip's advice to heart and follow up. The best card that you hold right now in your hand as far as influencing her parents is that you have good Sikh friends. Make it a point to go visit with a bunch of them coming along with you. Bring some cakes and pastries. Don't stay more than 2 hours. See if you can make small repairs, fix things that need fixing at the house, run short errands, start acting like a son. Use your brains and figure out how to win a place in the heart of her father and mother. Work at befriending her brothers. Don't rush and don't be aggressive.

I have moved this to the Love and Marriage section so that it can begin to have some content. It is a new section of the forum. Thanks.
Apoligies to Mai.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 18-Sep-2009, 02:20 AM
Randip Singh's Avatar Randip Singh Randip Singh is offline
 
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Wink Re: Gora Trying to Please Sikh Family. Converting to Sikhism

Quote:
Originally Posted by faujasingh View Post
First thing, do the 'Pairi Pauna' that is touching the feet
Hehe I didn't think of that one. That's more of an old Punjabi custom than Sikh, but nevertheless demonstrates a level of respect or humility.
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 18-Sep-2009, 02:45 AM
faujasingh's Avatar faujasingh faujasingh is offline
 
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Re: Gora Trying to Please Sikh Family. Converting to Sikhism

any elderly indian is damn impressed with it. A box of indian sweets adds touch.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 18-Sep-2009, 06:42 AM
Mai Harinder Kaur's Avatar Mai Harinder Kaur Mai Harinder Kaur is offline
 
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Mai Harinder Kaur is just really niceMai Harinder Kaur is just really niceMai Harinder Kaur is just really niceMai Harinder Kaur is just really niceMai Harinder Kaur is just really niceMai Harinder Kaur is just really niceMai Harinder Kaur is just really niceMai Harinder Kaur is just really niceMai Harinder Kaur is just really niceMai Harinder Kaur is just really niceMai Harinder Kaur is just really niceMai Harinder Kaur is just really niceMai Harinder Kaur is just really niceMai Harinder Kaur is just really nice
   
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Re: Gora Trying to Please Sikh Family. Converting to Sikhism

Just to try to clear things up.

Randip Singh ji says:
Quote:
I think also it will give you great kudos amongst the Sikh community. I know of Gora's who have become Sikhs and they are some of the most respected members of the Sikh community. Our own Narayanjot and Mai are examples of this.
Narayanjot Kaur says:
Quote:
Many thanks for the upbeat and inspiring words Randip ji. But one little correction. Please forgive m. Mai ji is not a convert --she was born into a Sikh family, father from Punjab and relocated in Canada, mother a French Canadian. She will of course correct me if I am wrong.
Both of you are right in part. My Dad was a Sikh originally from Punjab, my mother was French Canadian Catholic.

As far as I was concerned, I was always Sikh, but my mother had other ideas and insisted that I be baptised as an infant and educated to be Catholic. I hated it, but went along until it was time for confirmation when I would have to publicly make a statement of faith, which I could not do, of course. I schemed and plotted and managed to get myself unceremoniously kicked out of the Catholic Church. As usual, I have a blog link: The Day I Became A Sikh. I think this particular post is both hilarious and poignant.

So, was I born a Sikh or not? Who cares? Clearly I was called by my Guru years before I was able to be outwardly what I had always been inwardly. I personally believe that one can be a Sikh only if called by Guru ji. But who am I to say what form this might take?

Perhaps this whole situation, Goragorarang ji, is Guru ji's rather strange way of calling you. I have no way of knowing. That must be resolved within yourself.

I will say this: this nibbling around the edges sort of Sikhi won't make it. To try to be a Sikh without looking like a Sikh is missing too much. Being a Sikh is a glorious, fulfilling experience/way of life - costly at times - and well worth it. But you'd have to throw yourself into it completely. Your Sikh friends who don't do this are also missing out.

Forgive me if I get a bit preachy. Most Sikhs have no idea the all-encompassing depth of what we have. Shri Guru Granth Sahib Maharaj contains all the answers to life's questions, if we will make the effort to find them. And we have a method of actually having a two-way conversation with Guru ji. I think the fact that I had to fight and sacrifice (in several different ways) to be a Sikh gives me an appreciation that many lack.

By the way, as for my ancestry, I am half Punjabi, 3/8 French, 1/16 Prussian and 1/16 Inuit. Go figure.

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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 23-Sep-2009, 02:13 AM
goragorarang's Avatar goragorarang goragorarang is offline
 
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Re: Gora Trying to Please Sikh Family. Converting to Sikhism

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Thanks for the replies, I will take your advice and hopefully everything works out in the end
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