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Help Please! Trapped between My In-law's Beliefs and Mine

Discussion in 'Questions and Answers' started by Guru di beti, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. Guru di beti

    Guru di beti
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    how do you change this trend? my nephews (age 10 & 14) put up an argument with me in terms of religion. Their ability to convince their parents about cutting hair was absolutely shocking. the kids argued that it is more important to be close to God by heart, and mind, not physical appearance. its between them and God whatever action they take. they feel that putting a turban on was for identification back in the day when it was hard to tell who was muslim and hindu. it was to save the victims of riots! what do they need that now, in todays time. their hearts should be clean, pure, their mind should be with God, .. Physical appearance is not the true meaning of Sikhism, Sikhism mean being a good human, close to God internally!
    when our kids can defend their actions with the paragraph above, how can you convince them to keep the kes? I, now have been blessed with a beautiful boy a month ago, and I am married into a Jatt family who doesn't keep kes, who aren't religious. I am from a family of turban males, and long kes of ladies. no one in our family has ever trimmed. we have Sri Guru Granth sahib ji living with us. (we arent fully religious either, we do eat meat and party, but we also give our identification and Patth our full attention as part of our daily life). Now that I have a son, I wonder how I will keep his hair. his father cuts his hair, and I have repeatedly asked him to think about putting a kes on, so we can start our child on the right path. he says its too hard for him, since no one in his family has ever kept a turban. he feels like he wont look attractive. (i personally find well groomed sardars very attractive). but how do i convince my husband to keep it? He is not fully ok with the idea of our son keeping hair aswell. I was saying that we will show him what our religion has taught us, and when he can make a decision on his own, then he can decide whether to keep it or not. My husband feels different. He feels that our son will not keep it since no one in the family keeps it. how do i convince my husband, nephews to keep it, and how will i control my son in the future to keep it when they put up an argument of pure heart compare to physical looks?

    One more thing. My grandmother in law believes in this weird black magic . she says in order to prevent black magic n my son, I must keep my sons first clothes, his umbilical cord from his belly button, and cut few hair and keep it safe. This way, no one can do black magic, and if they do, we can ask someone in their pind to reverse it. Now I am very against these ridicules superstition stuff. I mean, Our Gurus have banned these beliefs, we as a sikh should not believe in these things. FINE< if I agree to do these things for sake of her belief because she is old and to give respect I do what she says, My thought of taking his sikhi away when he is ONLY a month old (cutting a bit of his hair) frightens me. I don’t want take this away from him when he just entered this beautiful world. I did say no to them, but I know she is very scared that something is going to happen to him. I have told her that because we believe in our Gurus and God, nothing will happen to him, but I feel like I can’t get through her. And everyone in the house is very upset at me. Especially when all the bibiyan get together, they tell me I should do those things. How do I keep her happy and not cut my baby’s hair! I live with my inlaws, and its getting between us. Its an issue now! I am from delhi, and we and our family don’t believe in black magic and curses. We only believe that Our gurus and god will protect us from all evil.

    Please help!
     
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  3. harbansj24

    harbansj24
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    Guru di beti ji,

    Yours is a difficult situation. But millions of women do find themselves in such difficult circumstances where they are forced to make a choice. Of coarse a lawyer will tell you that as a mother you have certain rights and you can demand and exercise them. But we are not looking at that type of solution.

    So maybe you can patiently, continuously and gently explain to them your rationale and then you can become more and more firm. Maybe with Guru's kripa and seeing your determination, they may relent. Even if then they do not agree then you may assert your maternal right and live separately with your son for some time. But this depends entirely on how exactly you are placed emotionally and financially.

    These are just some alternatives that outsiders can suggest. You will have to decide your own coarse of action with Guru's kripa.

    Guru fateh and Chardiakalan.
     
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  4. Guru di beti

    Guru di beti
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    thank you Harbanjs24

    But my conscience wont allow me to take such step against my in laws. They are wonderful people but with different belief. I guess, that’s why they say to marry someone from your own social standards. I had a love marriage, and at that point, didn’t realize that once we have a kid, our upbringing with our own beliefs will conflict with one another.

    But why is it that people (majority) from pinds (villages) are not aware of Sikhism , the true meaning of Sikhism. Why is it that most of them are without turbans. Why do they believe in different saints and babas! They will take some saints name before Wahegurus? It really bothers me…I was brought up believing in Guru jies and Guru Granth sahib ji, no one else. Don’t get me wrong, I am not religious myself, just to rebel against my parents to marry my husband, I cut my hair off (biggest mistake of my life, I stopped after I got my point across to my parents). I eat meat, I don’t follow the 5 k’s, except KES now. But I still love my Guru and their teaching. I guess I am big on turbans cuz I am from a family of all turbans. We are a bit different. People point fingers at me saying that because I speak “hindi” and my family is from delhi so i shouldnt call myself Punjabi sikh! Because I’m not amritchehk, I am not a proper sikh either. I guess they r right, I don’t know whats right or wrong, I just know that people should do as they please when it comes to religion and God, and try not to impose their beliefs on others. In terms of my husband and I, we have to come to an understanding in how we are going to raise our child.. with turban and sikh values or, without a turban and their pind values. ??? hard ! really hard choice!!!

    I was born and brought up in Canada, so I am not totally educated on Sikhism… just what my parents has taught me…

    thank you, i just needed to vent, so i did! thank you for listening!
     
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  5. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    sometimes all a person needs..is a sympathetic ear..to be reassured that whatever he/she is doing is RIGHT.
    In this case all of us here on SPN say forthrightly that you are RIGHT Ji. Sikhi is not for compromise or for sale. Gentle persuasion and a show of strength in Gurbani and Gurmatt will turn them around.
    I have had a very very personal experience of this nature...and I am shocked that such "darkness" can actually EXIST in a house full to the BRIM with Gurbani/Gurmatt/Education of the highest level..its like finding a dark patch/shadow right under a BRIGHT SUN !! Impossible BUT TRUE..I have seen such a shadow under the Bright Sun..and i still cant beleive it..
    SO yes Guru De Beti Jio..be the tower of strength your son needs you to be..Guru sahaii hovega. Battles are never easy..struggles are always difficult..BUT perseverence always wins...something as soft as water can make holes in stones. Keep in Chardeekalla always..
     
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  6. Sikh royalist

    Sikh royalist
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    rather than making your son a good sardar make him a good human and a Sikh i find ur in laws like typical jatt families who don't care much abt hairs.
    when you fell into love with a mona you must have found him to be a good person you can raise your son to that level.
    although religion is molded into traditions but some parts of the traditions remain in ones life.
    i find khatris more sticking to the hairs i have hardly seen a khatri who even cuts his beard and have heard that one who doesn't keeps hairs in not easily married in katris and in jats the opposite is happening.

    actually i had a hair cut for the first time when i was only four and a half year old i seriously had no intension to attract small kindergarten girls:p but the problem was that i was never told the importance of hairs and was having them for no reason from my side.so better than making your son a sardar for no reason raise him as a damn good sikh.
     
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  7. Lee

    Lee
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    Yes I agree with Sikh Royal. At some point in time your children will develop their own personalites which latter become belifes and ideals. Exactly what beliefes and ideasl and principles they hold you can of course help guide but ultimatly it will be their own choice.

    So first teach them to be good people, every thing else springs from this.
    As an aditional question, may I ask, how important is it to you that your children are Sikh? Would you love them any less if they decided upon Christianity instead, or even Atheism?
     
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  8. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    I don't understand your point.The question here is not whether she should raise her son as good human being or not.The question is she want to raise him as sardar and she has full right to do it as she is the mother.Why should she cut the hair of her son when she does not want to do?
     
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  9. Sikh royalist

    Sikh royalist
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    buddy i have said what i wanted to i am sorry if i couldn't make my point clear to you.:)
     
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  10. BhagatSingh

    BhagatSingh Canada
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    If a few hairs will keep your mother in law happy, why not? She's old and will die soon anyway. :wink:
    Or you could get your husband to give you some of his hair :yes:
    OR Say you lost his first clothes and the cord ...so there's no need to cut the hair because the spell or whatever won't work!!! :}{}{}:

    Convincing your in-laws is going to be next to impossible! Don't bother, just move on.
     
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  11. why sikhism

    why sikhism
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    A LITTLE STORY,
    One of my cousin is '' Mona Sikh '' and bit of athiest as well. He was quite reluctant to take his wife to Gurudwara sahib at the weekend even. After some time they were blessed with a daughter and my cousin loved his daguhter. When his daughter learned to speak she learnt " WAHE" as short form of WAHEGURU from her grandparents. Whenever they go somewhere she demands for "Wahe" means to play kirtan in the car.
    Then that little girl learnt image of Golden Temple and associated it with waheguru as well. ( because she might have seen this picture in his uncle's mobile). Then my cousin bought a new mobile and that little girl was playing with mobile and she asked her dad for "Wahe" again because to her mobile was associated with WAHE again, Then my cousin had to download that picture to his mobile.

    I think you should apply the same . Children are always influenced from their parents. Beleive me , They can be argumentative for some time but at some point of their life they realise the truth. I am saying with my own experience because I was a atheist for some time and used to do argument with my father the same clever way. I was revolutionary and critical and my parents are very simple but educated jatt family. They never really tried hard to change my views but they remained firm about their faith. Although I will not class them as proper religious but still today I am married , independent women and I strongly realise that my argument was nothing more than my foolishness or you can better call it "MY SHALLOWNESS".

    So i advise you to do your best effort, pray for naam daan for your whole family and leave the rest to our Guru Maharaj.

    kind Regards.
     
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  12. seeker3k

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    Dear Beti ji

    It takes two hands to clap.
    Looks to me you are caught between rock and hard place. I do not want to put you down or call you wrong. Who got you in this place? It is easy to blame others. You say they don’t not understand what I am saying, they hurt my feeling. The question is do you understand their feeling.
    You said you grew up in Canada, I live in Canada. Canada is the best country in the world. For health care law and order and human rights that I know of. I don’t know how long you lived in Canada. People here are living in harmony. You must have learned in Canada to get along with other religion people? Did you ever argue with Christian or Muslim that your religion is betters then theirs? Chances are you did not. Then why with your in-laws? I am not saying the Christians are better then the rest. But they are more mature then us. You married mona Sikh, was it arranged or was it love marriage? From your writing you love your husband. How is that you will not love your son?
    I have lived in Canada for 40 years. I was born in Punjab in jatt family. Went to Uk when I was 14. Lived there for 12 years then came to Canada. In UK I was very strong Sikh but did not wear turban. Use to believe that only true religion is Sikhism others are wrong. It was in Canada that my eyes were opened. I think no one under the age should be allowed to join any religion, we parent should give the child the information about all the religions. Not just about of their religion. When we give information about only one religion we make them beget. Why are we afraid to discuss other religion with our children? Give them enough information so they can make sound choice.
    Sikhs were there before 1669. Gobind Singh did not create Sikhs he created Khalsa, Khalsa was the paid army. There is difference between the two. People join Khalsa for the same reason they join the army now. I could not find any where in the writing of Gobind Singh where he said every Sikh must become Khalsa. There are not many writing of Guru’s because all the writing was lost in the sarsa nadi when they left Anadpur. Is there a need for the separate army now?
    Is it worth the fight with your in-laws and husband over religion? You should have thought that before you got married to him.

    One more question: Is your parent putting some pressure on you to insist raising your son as kesadhari?

    seeker
     
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  13. AusDesi

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    Can someone tell me, what is the point of the turban itself? I mean I understand the long hair(Kes) but why put it inside a cloth?
     
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  14. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    AusDesi ji

    The history of both Hair and Dastar is intertwined. Please set me straight if I am wrong about this.

    Both kes and dastar were, pre- during- and post- the times of Guru Nanak, indications of a person of high rank. Even those who were followers of Islam and of "hinduism" as practiced in those times had long hair/beards and wore turbans if they were in the more affluent or high status layers of society. So these in time symbolized a person's wealth, power, influence and life-style. Those who had to labor in the hot sun, work with their hands, get dirty found it more difficult to keep hair or tie dastar because of the time and care required. I suspect that some time later these purely practical reasons became institutionalized to the point where it was assumed that they should not keep hair or tie dastar.

    For Guru Nanak, and into the time of Guru Gobind Singh, restricting kes and dastar kept inequalities in society alive. Thus -- for Sikhs hair and dastar were important ways to eradicate social inequality.

    Here is a contradictory bit of information to the above theory: The wearing of a turban is and has been widespread throughout the Near East, Middle East and South Asia, among rural folk and nomadic tribes. It is actually a very practical head covering for a lot of reasons, particularly in dry sandy climates. The loose end of a turban can be used as a mask against a sand-storm and as a water filter if someone has to drink from a muddy pond.

    Today Sikh Rehat Maryada requires a Sikh male to wear a turban as a distinctive mark of Sikh identity-- in accordance with the idea that all are equal in the eyes of God.
     
  15. seeker3k

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    Narayanjot ji,

    I maybe misunderstanding what you wrote.
    Quote
    hair/beards and wore turbans if they were in the more affluent or high status layers of society. So these in time symbolized a person's wealth, power, influence and life-style.

    Others who don’t or can not wear turban should feel lower?

    Quote
    Sikh Rehat Maryada requires a Sikh male to wear a turban as a distinctive mark of Sikh identity-- in accordance with the idea that all are equal in the eyes of God

    What about the women they do not have to wear turban? I see lot of women who took amrit are wearing turban. You person with the turban are equal in the eyes of God. So those don’t and cant wear turban are not equal in the eyes of God?

    I think (I could be wrong) some how some made it rule that Hindus should not wear turban only the Muslim Mulahs should. The rishis can keep long hairs but can not wear turban. Most every one did not wear turban nor the kept the hairs.
     
  16. spnadmin

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    Well seeker3k ji

    I was describing the situation 300 years ago and before that for a thousand or more years. So yes there is a misunderstanding. My comments were not keyed to the situation today because the question from AusDesi ji had to do with how the practice began in the first place. Hope that is better. And I have replied inline to your comments.
    I have no plans to make a study of kesh and dastar among the peoples of the world. So rather than make an issue out of this it is better to take one example at a time and figure out what is happening.
     
  17. AusDesi

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    Who wrote the Rehat Maryada? Also, what If a sikh has long hair but does not tie it in a turban? That person would not be considered Sikh?
     
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  18. spnadmin

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    Aus Desi ji

    I will post a link to the history of the Sikh Rehat Maryada. The answer to your question depends on whether that person is amritdhari - baptized - and complies with the Sikh Rehat Marayada.

    From a cultural perspective a Sikh male who keeps hair but does not tie dastar is likely to be confused with a "rishi" as described above. A turban is like a signature for Sikh identity according to SRM. Wait for the link.
     
  19. spnadmin

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  20. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
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    What's the point of wearing an army uniform when we can nuke the enemy? What purpose does a uniform serve in the midst of missiles ?
     
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  21. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Good point Nam Jap ji - That is the spiritual quest!

    On the ground -- SRM says wear a turban. :}8-:
     
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