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I Considered Cutting My Hair

Discussion in 'Sikh Youth' started by OpenmindedSingh, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. OpenmindedSingh

    OpenmindedSingh
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    I am strongly contemplating cutting my hair. It is now something that I think about on a daily basis and is becoming a more serious issue. I often spend hours, depressed, thinking about whether or not I should.

    I'm a 20-year-old male, college student. I am a Sardar, though I trim my dhari slightly, because I don't like the way it is coming out. It is much thicker and longer than that of my friends who are the same age and I have decided that I just don't want it looking the way it is growing. I have been trimming it slightly for over two years now, since I first entered college. Whenever anyone, including my parents, asks me whether or not I've been trimming, I simply reply 'No' and tell them that I've been applying gel to keep it looking shorter than it actually is.

    I feel tremendous guilt lying to my parents and friends and now it is coming to the point where I believe I must make a decision as to whether or not I should publicize this and cut my hair altogether.

    Also, when I go to, or perform at collegiate Bhangra/Dance competitions, almost all of the sardars I see trim their dhari, and most of them have cut their hair. I didn't really have many Desi/Punjabi/Sikh friends until I entered college and began dancing and hanging out with Indian student groups. I see very few Sardars with dharis, dancing at bhangra competitions.

    I have always believed that one doesn't need to wear a Pagg to be a good Sikh, but rather internal values are what is important.

    I've been cutting my dhari short for two years now, ever since I entered college and ever since it began growing more than I would have liked it to. Also, I feel as if some people (friends, Sangat from Gurdwara) know that I have been cutting it and look at me a little differently. That, too, makes me feel uncomfortable. I come from a Gursikh family and am concerned as to how my parents will react as well
    I am finding it extremely difficult, confusing and depressing to live on the fence - as a sardar who cuts his dhari short.

    I'm sorry if this sounds like a rant, but I have been pretty concerned and depressed over the issue lately, and this depression is beginning to affect my schoolwork. If anyone has any advice, comments or concerns, please share them below. I could have made this post ten times as long as I have so much to say, but hopefully this suffices for good advice. Thank you
     
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  3. Navdeep88

    Navdeep88 Canada
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    Honestly, Singh Ji,

    Its your path. You get to decide how you wanna go about it... but I warn you, the twists and turns are rocky. It's quite the change, if you do decide to cut your hair, it'll take a lot of settling into, and won't be easy.

    Imo, faith is like ebb and flow, you can't really get away from it. The external might change... and then it might change back. haha. you never know, but as it is, i think its important to experience life. For me, it was through cutting my hair, walking away... and the rest of it, I can't really say much.

    **but Im sure others will reply here, who are Amrithdhari and have come out of that dilemna quite differently, please take their views into full consideration. Especially if the dhari issue is your main concern, I don't know about that.

    Best of luck and I hope you are in higher spirits soon!
     
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  4. OpenmindedSingh

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    thanks for the quick reply.

    If you wouldn't mind, could you please tell me a little more about your experience with cutting your hair. thank you
     
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  5. Luckysingh

    Luckysingh Canada
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    Openedmindedsingh ji

    It is your decision only.
    Whatever you hear, will not be right or wrong.
    What you will experience if you cut it, nobody can tell you for sure.
    It would be your own personal feeling.

    There are plenty of singhs that have faced these same dilemnas.
    All of them with differing results.

    Hiding the fact about your trimmed beard has only caused you guilt. If you were to be open and admitting to your parents. Then their reaction may help you make up your mind.

    I will let you know that there are numbers of singhs, who underneath their turbans actually have cut hair. I'm not talking about the men with thinning hair that decide touse a turban as a cover. I'm talking about singhs that have cut their hair in times of uncertainty and not revealed their actions to the whole world.
    You would be surprised how many of these there are. Even certain figures that are known worldwide actually have cut hair underneath. I won't name any names, but you would be surprised if you knew.

    I have known singhs to grow their hair back or some even leave it cut and go even shorter.

    The choice would be yours although nearly everyone who first cuts long and never cut hair says it feels like a limb has been cut.
     
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  6. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    But one thing i can say for sure..there is nothing Open-minded/closed minded about cutting/not cutting hair/beard etc. Its a Misconception.
     
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  7. BhagatSingh

    BhagatSingh Canada
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    OpenmindedSingh ji
    A couple questions for you:
    1. What do you expect to hear from other members?
    2. What do you want to hear from other members?
     
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  8. justosh

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    may have been said before, if so sorry...... but ask your-self

    are you cutting your hair because SOCIETY wants you too........ or do YOU actually want to?

    then you will get your answer

    :)
     
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  9. Searching

    Searching
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    You need to be open about your feelings with those to whom this decision is going to matter the most i.e you parents.
    Suppressing your feelings will lead you more depressed and stagnant. discussing them will give you a different perspective of things.

    If tomorrow you do decide to cut your hair then do let you parents know well in advance. Discuss it with them at length. Surprising them with a new look might not be a good idea at all.
     
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  10. Navdeep88

    Navdeep88 Canada
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    Singh Ji,

    Pretty much what you're experiencing but more. Your parents will be disappointed. In terms of sangat, you'll get the occasional flack for your external appearance.

    But most of all, it'll be tough coming to terms with your own identity.

    *I dont advise anything, Im not a dude so I dont know guy issues, there are however, younger men on this forum who may have dealt with the dhari issue if that is your main concern. Hopefully, theyll come out and help u.

    One thing I can suggest is, whatever parent you feel comfortable with, share this issue with them. Im sure they dont want you all depressed and doing bad in school.

    good luck brotha!
     
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  11. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Openmindedji,

    I suffer from the same problem that plagues you, but in reverse, allow me to explain, I did cut my hair in my twenties, but more from a need of not muddying the image of a Sardar whilst I went on a voyage of trying everything one should not, I would like to state that now at my current age, I feel like I have lost 15 years, those 15 years, mired in addictions, women, bankruptcy and heart problems, they did not lead me anywhere, please allow me to comment.

    Life is cyclical my young friend, for every man like yourself there is a man like me, for every man that is in anguish over his life, there is a man at peace with the same life, for every man that wishes to lose something, there is another who wishes to gain it, I am not going to tell you to cut your hair, or not cut your hair, it is your decision, and only you will reap the consequences, they may be minimal, they may be huge, but they are nothing to do with being judged by society, or your parents, or your peers, it is what is in your heart, it is how true to yourself you wish to be, it is knowing who you are, if you know who you are, and in your heart, you are a mona, they be a mona, when you get fed up of being a mona, you will come back with 10 times the conviction you have now, or you may stay a mona, and prove the point that you can be a mona, and a good Sikh, however I will say one thing, men and women died so that they could keep their hair, I know you will not understand this, any more than I did at your age, but they did not do this out of blind faith, they did it because they realised something I am only just realising, that faith is not blind, nor is it lip service, that faith is a very real contentment and kindness, love, satisfaction, yearning for nothing other than the hand of God on your head, looking out for you, guiding you, consoling you, wiping away your tears, encouraging you to stand up when you want to sit down, it is Creator deep within you, and although I sense that even as a mona, it is stronger when I look like an extra from the 'wolfman', I just wish, like you I had the courage to take that step, however, I am confident that when my time comes to give my head back to Guruji, I will stand proudly and embrace what I had 20 years ago, what you have now.

    Do what you have to do, but accept that certain actions will have physically more pleasing results, but may mentally devastate you

    Good Luck, even if you do cut your hair, you will still learn, but the hard way, or worse, not at all. peacesignkaur
     
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  12. Parma

    Parma United Kingdom
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    Let the truth find it's own way with in you!
     
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  13. OpenmindedSingh

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    Navdeep, I feel the same way. I also feel the greatest struggle will be an inner one. I can see my friends being accepting and my parents - eventually.

    Harry Haller, thank you for your very thoughtful response. The thought of me being in your situation, twenty years down the road, is crossing my mind.

    I'm also concerned that once I stop being a Sardar, my inner values will also be gone. Being a Sardar implies that one is an ambassador of certain values and morals to the extent that he/she is willing to brand themselves with a Pagg to represent those values.

    Sorry if my responses seem poorly written. My grammar is off every now and then in my responses. I can't really write these responses comfortably or with a straight face. Reading them sort of amps up my initial depressive feelings.

    My family was the only Indian one in the neighborhood, and so the only gursikh family as well. And so my identity as a sardar has certainly had an influence on who I am today. I would not be the same person, and as firm in my beliefs if it were not for my Sardari.

    The trend I have noticed however, is that I no longer resonate with this identity. Maybe it's because of my involvement with bhangra (you probably already know there are very few sardars on bhangra teams, and among those few, most are clean-shaven). Also, the whole college experience of going out and drinking also makes me feel uncomfortable with this identity. Whenever I go to a club (after a desi dance event, for example) I would rarely see anyone with a Pagg in a club. The Sardars always have patkas on and clean-shaven dharis, so I feel as if they're insecure in their identity. I don't know how some manage to live on the fence like that, with that sense of insecurity. I feel as if there is a great identity crisis that people face when they live on the fence.

    what I've noticed also is a blind sense of animosity towards monas. Whenever I see a mona with a nice haircut, I usually feel a very subtle blind sense of animosity (primarily because i'm currently very insecure about my identity). It's not like hate or anything, but it's kind of like that "I wish I looked like that" kind of feeling."

    Idk, it's definitely not an easy decision.
     
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  14. OpenmindedSingh

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    I am considering cutting it because I feel as I can still be a good GurSikh with a haircut.

    I would really like to say that I'm not being influenced by society to cut my hair, but I don't know if I can. I feel as if, because I'm living on the fence, I'm losing respect from both sides.

    Because I am now insecure about my identity, people see me as insecure. Of course, they don't say anything, but I don't have that sense of security that I once had.

    I used to love my dhari a few years ago when I was 15-16 and it looked nice and manageable, but now I know, if I let it grow, it will be very long and thick and I don't like the way it is growing.

    so idk what to do
     
  15. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Life is full of hard decisions, you are starting to realise that, it is making the correct decision that defines who you are, if it helps in any way, I believe that what is taking place in your head is a battle between the essence of Creator, (Gurmukh) and your own desires and ambitions,(Manmukh), what to do, what path to follow?

    I often wondered who would be a King?, it sounds great being a King, you get a palace, and money, and luxury, but the responsibilities of being a King is to look after your subjects, to raise them, to provide for them, to show leadership, a true King will elevate his subjects, not repress them, You sound like you could be a good King, you sound like you could elevate people, inspire people, help people, love people,

    How do we do this? how do we put to one side the pleasures of the flesh, intoxicants, We do this by accepting Hukam, order, Creators order, if you constantly drive at 20mph over the limit, it is exciting, it is dangerous, it is wrong, but it feels right, you are defying the Hukam of the state in which you are doing this, if you carry on doing this, at some point you will be punished by the state, and yet, if you carry on, you will lose your freedom, so Hukam, any Hukam is most important, you cannot fly, that is Hukam, you cannot breathe underwater, that is Hukam, Can you find understanding through the flesh? can you ignore Hukam and still become enlightened? Yes, but you will bear scars, and once understanding is reached, you will have regret, much regret, as well as possibly Herpes!

    The trouble with Sikhi for young people, is that it is seen as boring, tedious, repetitious, it is nothing of the sort, I pledge to you that it is the most exciting thing you will ever embrace, you have a crown, find out what it takes to be a King, maybe then make your decision
     
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  16. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    OpenmindedSingh ji thanks for posting.

    Do what ever you do brother but never lose love of Sikhism and Guru jis in your heart. That love once lost or polluted is almost impossible to rekindle and reconnect to. Keep that pure Jyot burning in your heart. Be jealous of Sikhs in full persona and not the ones without one. We all know what SRM says and how it guides. So try to keep as much good in and keep as much bad out as you can.

    Sat Sri Akal. mundahug
     
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  17. OpenmindedSingh

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    Whenever I go to Gurdwara, I feel as if I don't really resonate with my more religious friends at the Gurdwara. I don't do Kirtan, they do. I don't do banis every morning.

    Before I graduated high school, I used to go to Gurdwara every week. Once I entered college two and a half years ago, that trend stopped. Now, I only go to Gurdwara whenever I go home during breaks, and driving to Gurdwara from my college is out of the question as the closest Gurdwara is about 90 miles away from my school.

    I just don't think I can keep my dhari, especially when I have such a negative of view of how it looks. Sometimes, If I haven't cut my dhari in a few weeks, I find it difficult to even look at myself in the mirror.
     
  18. OpenmindedSingh

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    thank you for the response.

    I feel as if living on the fence like this is making me develop a kind of animosity towards Sikhi - one that I do not want to develop. Now, even when I go back home during school breaks, I don't feel as inclined to go to Gurdwara anymore, because I know I'll get looks from people who notice that I've been trimming and what not. I just don't resonate as well anymore, and because of that I'm starting to develop this sense of negativity.

    I love Sikhi and based on the history that my parents have taught me, I have a deep-rooted respect and love for the philosophy, and I see that fading as I grow more insecure about my identity.
     
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  19. Harry Haller

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    OK, lets now get to nitty gritty, it is pointless posting here unless you are going to be honest with yourself and the rest of us, the only possible conceivable reason you would write the above is because in your head, the image of a full haired Sikh is negative, and this is assisted by the general view of Sikhs. One only has to look at the back pages in Des Pardes type publications to see the large amount of 'clean shaven' types wanted. Add to that the Indian media, films, heroes, all clean shaven, if this is the only reason you are bothered, I have a shock for you, nothing will change, you will still be you, .. one of my ex girlfriends decided to get a bust lift, she was a very pretty girl, but felt, like you, that she could not bear looking at her chest in the mirror anymore, so she did, and to give her credit, they looked amazing, they completely transformed her, however, the last time I bumped into her she looked very glum, every boy talks to my chest, she said, not to me.

    I could not live with a woman who needed me to look a certain way, if you think your current state feels depressive, imagine yourself with a woman who only wishes to be with you because your not 'one of them hairy types',

    However one thing that has been said here is an absolute must, talk to your parents,

    Good Luck
     
  20. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    We must always recognize that the reason many of us are around and even have an option to be a SIkh is because many before sacrificed for such options for us,

    [​IMG]

    Sat Sri Akal.

    PS: Folks this is not the Islam of the 1500s, it is I love my Hindu, secular, democratic India of the 20th-21st Century. Shame on all who refused to take note :}--}:.
     
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    #19 Ambarsaria, Mar 6, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2012
  21. Kanwaljit Singh

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    Do you think Guru Gobind Singh would be accepting of your decision? Do you think 4 Sahibzade and 40 Muktey would be accepting? Do you think Bhai Taru Singh would hug you in joy? Or you don't feel related to them anymore?

    No one is born with values. You have to work towards them. Wearing Turban and Kesh means you will continue working towards them in spirit of Gurbani and Sikhi.

    People doing Bhangra wear turban because thats a tradition. It is a tradition because the earlier Bhangra doing people were Sikhs with long hair. Why do you need a turban if you have cut the hair?

    People feel it is better to escape their identity to get over the feeling of guilt of drinking and enjoying in clubs and not connecting to Guru. Are you going down the same road?

    There is a wise saying that those who start as your friends end up as your enemies. If someone has never been your friend, he will never be your enemy.

    Similarly people who have cut their hair, were Sikh brothers and sisters who walked with us. This feeling of desertion affects one and all and many are not able to deal with it.

    When you are doing Bhangra with your friends, what do you think? Wish I could drink like them or dance like them? Hopefully u wish u could dance like them, given the fact you like Bhangra. Similarly in life you will realize, looks have got nothing to do with who you are. And before you say why is hair important, we are asking you to stop trying to be someone else. If you wish to be smart or hard working or truthful like someone else, we don't stop you. But Guru Sahib say that if you have been given Hair, why destroy it watching others do the same? What will that get you? Your looks will take you nowhere or worse, take you to people who will destroy you further.

    It is not about a Sikh identity, it is about your identity. You are free to make your choices, but better make those which add something to your life, rather than take away what you have earned all these years. Still remember, your Sikh brothers and sisters (even if you break all relations with Sikhi) would still be there to help you!

    Waheguru ji ka Khalsa
    Waheguru ji ki Fateh<!-- google_ad_section_end -->
     
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