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Marriage between Gora Sikh (Male) and Punjabi Sikh (Female)

Discussion in 'Love & Marriage' started by gorasikh, May 27, 2011.

  1. gorasikh

    gorasikh United Kingdom
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    Sat Sri Akal!
    I really appreciate the chance to get some advice and guidance from my Sikhi brothers/ sisters!
    I have read about inter-faith and intercast marriage and have gained some understanding - my situation however is different and I have very few people to talk to. There is alot of detail to this but I will be as brief as i can describing the most pertinent points.

    The Background:
    I am a 26 year old lawyer, I started learning about sikhism through work colleagues and my own studies (sikhphilosophy included :). have considered myself a sikh for 1.5 years and I am very happy with the path I am on. I have known this girl for a very long time though as friends, and for about a year we have become very close. We actively share our faith and do some great simran together, we have strong shared morals and future plans. I know I want to marry this Kaur and Know she feels the same. It is sometimes difficult to see each other as her family like to keep tabs on her, but I accept that and actively try not to make life difficult for her.

    Some detail:
    I have met her Mother on several occasions at Gurdwara and its been great, she is very sweet and has been sending me gifts. I was worried what the future would hold for us, so i phoned her and said "with an open heart I believe i have found my soul-partner in your daughter and i will always honour her" she said that we will talk about it in more detail later - this was a few months ago (quite encouraging I thought: although father does not know)

    Present time:
    My Kaur has been under alot of stress and we have been more distant too since we have both been very busy. Her brother is going to get engaged and that has changed the family dynamic and maybe made her more aware of her future and pressures (but i obviously dont have much experience of punjabi family life).

    I recently sat down with her and explained how I felt and what i wanted for out future. I said that I realise that it will be hard and we will face some attrition but i will always be a support and together we can face anything - She told me with tears rolling down her cheeks about Izzat but not about what it meant for us. I have done my research and studied what Izzat entails but am very unsure about what the future holds - this is causing me alot of anxiety...

    I am a truely devoted to Waheguru and aspire to being amrithari (we both do) I am from a successful family and have a prosperous career ahead of me as a Barrister. I have strong, sound morals and will always treat my wife with respect and honour her.
    In terms of the future I also want my children to understand the important elements of sikhi so they can have a personal relationship with Guru ji if they choose.

    Future
    I know I should try and remain detached and that guru ji has everything planned out. But this is hard when i think we are meant to be together and that it is Izzat of the Ramgharia influencing her. I would appreciate advice of what to do from the Sangat about what to do, bearing in mind I have big exams coming up and am trying to fight off emotional upset at this time so my future isn jeapordised.

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
     
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  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    gorasikh ji

    Yes your story is a bit different from others we have published here at SPN. For now I do not have a lot to say. You have obviously read some of the threads I refer to. You know how tough this situation is, and how complicated it is. So I am not going to repeat it just now. I just want to share 2 flashes that came to mind as I read your words.

    A wedding in a Punjabi family is a major event that occupies even rivets the attention of scores of people on 2 or more continents for months. This is not the time to focus too sharply on future plans with your beloved. Too much pressure. Too much pressure on everyone. Let this be a time when things simmer, not bubble. A good time for reflection for both of you. And you need that.

    My second thought, really an intuition, is that this might actually work out, but not now. Once the marriage is over with, you need to be "around" the family more. I hope forum members don't become alarmed at this suggestion. But do some things like bring a big box of samozas over on a Saturday morning when dad is there. Little by little, Love Her Family.

    That is it from me.
     
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  4. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    Gorasikh ji not much more to add to what spnadmin ji stated but few ideas and comments if of any help,


    • Your Age
      • 26 is pretty young
        • Time is on your side
        • Take the time
    • Your visibility to the family
      • Mother knowing your wishes
        • Good
    • Relationship
      • It appears stronger from you than the woman
        • Let it get the test of difficulties and uncertainty to check for strength
    • Issues
      • Rest of the family knowing your wishes and chemistry
      • Chemistry between the two families
      • I don't know but little things can matter,
        • Veggies versus non-Veggie habits
        • Drinking
        • Friends on either side
    • Easier said than done
      • Love is letting go
        • Let love sustain with or without consummation or marriage
        • Be prepared for the issues and obstacles but don't push people into corners
      • In all honesty ask yourself hoping answer is a "strong yes" otherwise it may not be too equitable a relationship,
        • Am I the best that the woman can do?
        • Is she the best for me?
      • Be happy and Smile with the family
    Put everything in the mix, wish happiness for all will be the outcome.

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
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  5. gorasikh

    gorasikh United Kingdom
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    Spnadmin - Thank you for your reply!
    I am very thankful for your words:
    You are right about the pressure - Im feeling the pressure/ anxiety and I live on my own, it must be even harder for her surrounded by family influence, I hope that some time here during my exams will relieve some of this and renew some of the more fun aspects of our time together.
    Secondly, I was so pleased to here from you that it could actually work out. When you say "once the marriage is over" do you mean the marriage of her brother? Your idea is a good one in bringing the samasoas and I will bear this in mind for the future.
    How do you think I should approach the subject of izzat with her - I was thinking of just telling her that I have a better understanding of what she is going through and say i am always here for her or alternatively, do you think it is wise to play a more active role and ask her to talk to me about what her family is saying to her so I know where I stand and how to approach it? - Thanks
    WjKK WjKF
     
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  6. gorasikh

    gorasikh United Kingdom
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    Ambarsaria Ji - thank you for your message.
    I appreciate how many points you have covered, but may I ask for you to expand on one or two?
    On the relationship section: How do you know that it is stronger from me, this is very perceptive and has been quite an acute change with us - but how do I let it get the test of difficulties and test for strength ~ I dont really understand your point here.

    What experiences have you had that could guide me to letting the other family members know - i thought of using an intermediate to talk in more detail with the mother but should this be the first step or a step after I have had further talks with the mother?

    Easier said than done:I do believe in the bottom of my heart that she and I are the best for each other, and this fills me with confidence.
    I always remain happy and upbeat when I am with my Kaur, I know that the situation is difficult for her so i try to be uplifting to relieve the pressure on her.

    Can I add another question to this post?... That is my question of Izzat in the Ramgharias. Obviously I see sikhism as a castless system but in Britain there is some overlap with culture of the Punjabi caste system and this is highlighted in marriage. Some people have told me that the Ramgharias are a close-knit community and my question is: If there are any Ramgharia out there - how does Izzat work for you and what must I do to approach such a sensitive issue?

    WjKK WjKF
     
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  7. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    gorasikh ji


    I was referring to the marriage of her brother.

    As for the subject of izzat: How would I approach it, you asked?

    For the time being I would not discuss it at all. You plan to carry on with your exams and agree that taking the pressure off your own relationship is a good idea. Create some breathing room. Take some time out. Later I would find answers to these questions:

    1. What does it really mean to her in terms of the risks she is taking in her family? What price would she pay if she broke with family expectations?

    2. What risks is she willing to take?

    3. Once you hear her answers, then, what risks are you willing to subject her to?

    The price may be so high that the only thing someone who "loves" can do is let the bird fly for her own safety and peace of mind. There are no sure-fire strategies for moving forward in a case like this. You have to be willing to move ahead slowly and form impressions of a realistic future each step of the way.
     
  8. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    I hope that addresses and provides some elaboration.

    Sat Sri Akal
     
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  9. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    I want to add one thought.

    Izzat is not about religion. It is about culture. You are bringing religion to the discussion, and you see the Sikh religion as a way to overcome differences. Culture looks to you like a barrier that can be overcome. She is bringing culture by way of izzat to the discussion. Does culture look to her as if it cannot be overcome? Religion plays no role in this problem if that is how she sees things.

    You may have to accept that as real.
     
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  10. Randip Singh

    Randip Singh
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    You are a Sikh, she is a Sikh. There is no problem!

    Get married and worry about everything else later!

    End of :)
     
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  11. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Gorasikh,

    You are ahead of me, my friend, and I was born into sikhism! The only problems you will have are all cultural, I personally would prefer a son in law with a heart like yours, regardless of colour, rather than a born into sikhism indian with a questionable heart.

    My situation is reversed, my wife is white, I am not. Her mother refused to meet me, my parents did meet her, but my mother despaired and also talked of izzat. We won over each others parents with love in the end. My wife does peri pena to my parents, and has made much effort to respect them, my mother has also taken to my wife, and now everything is ok, but it did take 3 or 4 years.

    As far as izzat goes, the more you are around, the less the izzat question is valid. I am not suggesting you ingratiate yourself with the family, but we live in accepting times, and your girlfriends family just need some validation from the local community that all is ok, and they will probably be very welcoming towards you.

    Spnadminji is correct tho, wait till the brothers marriage is over, and take it slowly
     
  12. kuldip singh sidhu

    kuldip singh sidhu
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    You are a Sikh too.
    It shouldn't matter if you are a gora.
     
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  13. davinderdhanjal

    davinderdhanjal United Kingdom
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    Gorasikh Ji,
    If you are planning to be Amritdhari - you are one in a million. Amritdharis are the Ambassadors and protectors of Sikhi – not many of the people born in the faith are doing that at present. Have your Goal in mind always, follow True Sikhi, take direction from Granth Sahib and let the Lord carry you through.
    If you get into details – the issues open like a cobweb. You are starting anew – a clean slate – untainted view of what Sikhi should be, that may set an example for a lot of us.
     
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  14. Goree Lady

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    Hi Gorasikh,
    I am goree lady and have married a Sikh man. He is not religious and I am a Catholic Christian. I have been religious all my life and baptized too. It was hard not having religion in common. I go to the Gurudwara but he would not go to my Church. The kids were not baptized anything and he said they could decide when they got older although they could go to the Temple. They were raised strictly Indian and learned the language too. I had to comply to make my marriage work. We have had many problems and his family did not accept me at first but after we had kids, all was fine. They love me now and compare me to their Indian daughter in laws. I think if Kaur's family accepts you, you will have to learn more of her culture. Since you have the same religion now, you will not have those differences. If you raise the kids Sikh, it will be more easy having a common religion and believing in Waheguru. I believe in one God, and many paths to get to God. I respect the rich Punjabi culture and can feel God's presence in my Church as well as in the Temple. I have learned the language too so it makes is easier to speak to my mother in law. My kids are all adults now and want to marry Indian people of different faiths. My husband will not accept my daughter marrying a Muslim. It is very hard. I think the more you have in common with your wife, the better. Just respect each others cultures and beliefs with a common love. I pray for God's blessings on you both. My marriage has been hard even to this day but with the grace of God, we will hopefully overcome all obstacles.
     
  15. Navdeep88

    Navdeep88 Canada
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    Dear Gorasikh Ji,

    Just out of curiousity, did you start learning about Sikhi because of your friendship with her or was it something you did completely on your own, without any connection to anyone else? What sparked it?
     

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