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Asking For Insider Advice On Interrace Sikh Marriage

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by dy1, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. dy1

    dy1
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    I know there has been a long discussion in similar threads and I will read them. But I would appreciate a direct help and answer to my situation.

    I am a turkish girl who accepted to follow Sikhism sincerely when I learned about this faith. After a couple of years of serious consideration, me and a Punjabi-Sikh guy we wanted to get married. We are both mature (30 years old), highly educated people earning our own living, and we didn't make a haste decision. My friend’s father understood that I am a real nice girl and a sincere Sikh, and I am capable of fitting into their culture. He agreed to our wish, but obviously his mother doesn’t want me.


    My friend has siblings and they are already married.

    The mother says that if he marries a non-Punjabi Sikh, then in the future (maybe 20 years down the line) it will create problems for the (yet unborn) children of the siblings, because good Sikh families won't want to let their kids to marry someone in whose family there is an outsider like me.



    I understand that some families may think that way, but I can't accept that all good Sikh families should support the caste/race divisions which is clearly in contradiction with Gurus’ teachings. Would this really be the case? Would the children of my friend's siblings not find spouses because my friend marries a non-indian sikh? Is this such a insurmountable problem or is it just exaggeration and unreal fear?

    To be exact, my question is: would the kids of my friends' sisters/brothers not find marriage offers from good Sikh families, because there is a white Sikh in the family?
     
    #1 dy1, Aug 3, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2008
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  3. KulwantK

    KulwantK
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    Sat Nam, Ji!
    It is an unreal fear of your future mother-in-law. A lot can happen in twenty years. It is a saddening thing to see someone who calls herself a Sikh (which it sounds like she does) and yet holds onto the silly outworn caste/race thing.
    Your future sisters and brothers in laws' children should have no problem finding nice Sikhs for their marriages.
    Sikhs come in all races and colors, are all over the world, and in twenty years there will be even more of them to choose from regarding marriage partners for your future sisters and brothers in laws' children. Not to worry!
    Regarding the ruining of his family- it sounds like they are already having some serious difficulties anyway. The father of your friend obviously has no problem, and the mother does, with you marrying their son. So, there is probably some friction to begin with between the parents. Not pleasant.
    Long standing social conventions can be heard to break, like bad habits, which racism and the caste system are- bad habits. However, someone has to start somewhere.
    That start may as well come from a place of Love- you and your friend getting married, because you both love the Guru, and each other.
    Obviously your friend has thought it through, as well, or would not be interested in marrying you.
    The best of everything to you all-please keep us posted- we all wish the best for you!
    Cheers and Blessings-
    KulwantK
     
  4. dalsingh

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    Hi dy1

    Sorry to hear about your dilemma. I know it must be quite disheartening. Here is one view on the matter.

    A lot hinges on your true feelings for the faith. Because from what I have seen you will need really strong faith to face the ups and downs that may arise from this relationship. Firstly you are very likely to face some resentment from certain family/community members, but there will certainly be others who wont take such a narrow minded view.

    If in your heart of hearts, you can truly say you are Sikh of your own choice and haven't converted for other reasons, then in my view the question of you marrying another Sikh isn't an issue. What you are probably encountering is deeply entrenched Panjabi culture more than Sikhism. If you're from a Turkish background you may have some insight into conservative attitudes towards cross cultural marriages from your own experiences.

    I don't know where you are but I think the Sikh diaspora community is likely to be different to what it is now in twenty years. In my own family there are two young children (the generation beneath mine) who are of mixed race. This hasn't stopped marriages taking place within the wider community by immediate members of the clan into "good Sikh families", whatever that means.

    In all reality, the question you have to honestly ask yourself is whether you yourself are prepared to face a period of hostility that is pretty much inevitable, until you become accepted in the family/community of your friend. This may take some time and be quite unpleasant at times. The biggest fear Panjabis have is the loss of culture from inter-racial marriages, this is not entirely unfounded from my experiences.

    That being said. I think it is unlikely, that some family - twenty odd years from now - is going to look down on someone because their cousins were mixed race Sikhs, who spoke Panjabi and were culturally/religiously aware - this doesn't correspond to my experiences of the community. But you could be dealing with an ultra conservative/traditional family.
     
  5. singhbj

    singhbj
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    Waheguru ji ka khalsa
    Waheguru ji ki fateh

    dy1 ji,

    A Suggestion,

    Please test the integrity of your friend ?

    Tell him that you want to talk and meet his parents in person.

    You will come to know from his reaction whether or not, he himself is willing or not !

    Waheguru ji ka khalsa
    Waheguru ji ki fateh
     
  6. KulwantK

    KulwantK
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    Great idea, Ji!
     
  7. Huck_Finn

    Huck_Finn
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    dy

    i am not sure if you are going to get any worthy advice from me

    these issues are all personal and vary from person to person based on experiences and culture.

    I can see two courses of action:

    u go by her decision - she's happy, ur not

    you go by your decision - she might be happy/might be sad, ur happy/might be sad

    the second one looks more like a win-win or lose-lose :)

    it then depends on what happens after 20 years, i have never planned for more than 2 months and ur doing it for 20 years....that takes some thought.

    world has changed a lot in last 5 years, am not sure how much it will change in 20.

    so here's my 2.5 cents

    Go by what your heart and mind says :)

    No regrets later
     
  8. dy1

    dy1
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    thanks :)
     
  9. LifeWithSoul

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    i don't think so....and hey..maybe there will be other families where there has been an "outsider" married in.....the main thing is keep the values strong and show them!!
     

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