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How is it like being a young sikh in the west?

Discussion in 'Sikh Youth' started by Wordster, Apr 14, 2008.

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  1. Wordster

    Wordster
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    Young people want to be like each other. Not all, some want to be special, so they find other young people to be different with.:D
    I was different too, but I didn't dress in any special way. I didn't risk getting killed after 9/11, just harassed. How is it like being a young Sikh in the west? Is it hard? Do you get bullied a lot or are the other kids too afraid of you?
     
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  3. BazGrewal

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    I am in high school now, and the bullying stuff for me at least was only during my Elementary School year. I wouldn't say that it is especially hard.
     
  4. BazGrewal

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    By the way I'm also glad that i stand out, unlike many formers SIkhs who now try to fit in.
     
  5. skeptic.freethinker1

    skeptic.freethinker1 United States
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    Humans have a natural tendency to mock people who are different from themselves.

    I say that this tendency is part of human nature because some of the worst experiences I had due to my different appearance as a Sikh were during my Kindergarten and primary school years. At that stage I don't think other kids had any prejudice against my religion and I don't think anyone taught them to pick on me. But they still did. Without any provocation. Just because I looked different with my 'Juda' and patka.

    Almost every few days I got in fights with other kids because they tried to touch or press my Juda. Both my parents being doctors, had busy schedules, but they did try to come to my school and talk to teachers about the trouble I was having. They even met my classmates more than once. Whenever they visited it got better for a while but then someone else, probably couple of years older than me would pick on me on the bus or cafeteria and you really can't straighten up every cuckoo in your school.

    Anyhow it got better as I progressed through school, primarily because the cuckoos who still found my turban funny, learnt some self restraint as we all do as we grow up. There were still some occasional taunts on the bus, occasional cheetos thrown at my turban and references to me being from middle east. But by that time I had a strong circle of friends so things were manageable.
    As I moved to University, things became great as at that age people become quite 'politically correct' and noone wants to joke about you on your face. There were still some occasional quips but I took them in a stride. Also the girls at grad school are more interested in you if you look different. So my turban became a plus point for me there.winkingmunda

    Anyhow, while growing up in US, the worst part is the early school years when kids can be extremely insensitive and sikh kids aren't really prepared to handle the taunts. There were so many days when I came home crying just because some a** opened my patka.

    I see so many other young kids in my extended family going through the same experience now as they are quite young. Their parents are quite active and repeatedly go to the school to meet teachers and principal to make sure the kids don't get harrassed in any way. Some of them even did some interesting show and tell sessions in their kids' classrooms about Sikhism so that the non-sikh classmates are better acquainted with sikh beliefs. But jokes/abuses don't really stop completely. In fact in most cases, kids just stop complaining to their parents about minor abuse as they begin to feel embarrassed by their parents repeatedly coming to the school.

    It seems to be part of every young sikh's life, who is living outside Punjab.

    In my experience, most sikh kids don't really want to be like other kids. It's just that they don't want to be picked upon all the time. In my opinion, it's not too much to ask!!
     
    #4 skeptic.freethinker1, Sep 24, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2010
  6. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Humans have a natural tendency to mock people who are different from themselves. 
    A natural tendency?

    How does one learn to "mock" at all?
     
  7. skeptic.freethinker1

    skeptic.freethinker1 United States
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    Not sure. But I don't think somebody teaches Kindergarten kids how to pull another kids 'Juda'. I'm sure the mischievous non-sikh kids come up with that own their own.
     
  8. findingmyway

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    I was bullied for many years at the beginning of my school life because i am brown skinned. Kids just need an excuse. I survived it as in many ways those cruel kids did me a favour-i came out of it stronger and not afraid to be who i am, to believe what i see as right and behave accordingly despite peer pressure. I learnt at a young age that I will never be accepted so i should just be proud of my differences. I've experienced much racism in my life and i've found the best way to defy it is to behave opposite to what the person expects (politely) and to teach. Most bullying arises from ignorance (can be dealt with) or people who are just plain nasty (they'll behave badly to anyone) or a specific reason (eg drugs/alcohol/being abused themselves).

    My favourite movie quote is, "We are not a melting pot but a box of jelly beans. Essentially the same shape but all different flavours." Enjoying sharing yours and others flavours :coolkudi:
     
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  9. findingmyway

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    As you get older and choose your social circle, you'll find plenty of people from all backgrounds who will respect you for who you are even though you are different
    :thumbsuppp::thumbsupp:
     
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