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Sikh Widow's Fate

Discussion in 'Business, Lifestyle & Leisure' started by singhbj, Jun 17, 2008.

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  1. singhbj

    singhbj
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    Sikhs in NZ offended by claim that a widow can't remarry

    Friday, June 13th, 2008
    News Source: www.thaindian.com

    http://www.{url not allowed}/files/news/2008/June/widow-225x300.jpg Auckland , June 13 (ANI): The Sikh community here has been offended by claims being made that a widow cant remarry. A community source, on the condition of anonymity, said that the assertion that a member of the Sikh community can't remarry was an old-fashioned myth.
    The controversy arose over the widow of one Navtej Singh, who was killed a couple of days ago in Auckland . A section of the Sikh community had said that she can't remarry.
    This has nothing to do with reality, Sikhs have always allowed remarriage, the stuff.co.nz quoted the unnamed source as saying.
    Singh’s widow Harjinder Kaur has been left with her three daughters, all aged under five, and her aging grandparents. In Sikhism, the ‘Anand Sanskar’ sets out the religions matrimonial ceremony and conventions of the ceremony known as Anand Karaj. It states: If a woman’s husband has died, she may, if she so wishes, finding a match suitable for her, remarry. For a Sikh man whose wife has died, similar ordinance obtains, says Anand Karaj and adds that the second marriage can be solemnised in the same way as the first Anand marriage.
    In Sikhism the 'Anand Sanskar' sets out the religions matrimonial ceremony and conventions of the ceremony known as Anand Karaj. It states: "If a woman's husband has died, she may, if she so wishes, finding a match suitable for her, remarry. For a Sikh man whose wife has died, similar ordinance obtains." It also says the second marriage can by solemnised in the same way as the first Anand marriage. The one prescription on it is that "generally, no Sikh should marry a second wife if the first wife is alive".
    Other rules says Sikhs sould marry without "giving thought to the prospective spouse's caste and descent" and that a Sikh daughter must be married to a Sikh. A marriage between a Sikh and a non-Sikh appears to be permitted but cannot have the Anand Karaj.
    "No Sikh should accept a match for his/her son or daughter for monetary consideration."
    Sikhs trace their religion back to the 15th century and the birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. With 26 million followers, it's the world's fifth largest religion. Sikhs believe in equality of all humans and strongly reject the caste system. Other provisions Sikhs follow include a tenet that no Sikh should accept a match for his/her son or daughter for monetary consideration.


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    Submitted by bachittar on Sat, 06/14/2008 - 9:54am.

    Dear Sirs,
    SSA
    I notice that a minority of those who consider themselves "good" Sikhs tend to follow Islamic rules. I feel it is necessary not get confused and stay in touch with Gurbani for guidance. Sikhs can and should be encouraged to remarry if they find suitable partners.


    Submitted by Karamindar Sing... on Sun, 06/15/2008 - 7:43am.

    The third Guru Amar Das Ji advocated widow remarriage and banned the custom of 'sati'. If suitable parteners can be found, why not? If men can remarry, then why not women? Aren't they equal in the eyes of the Guru!
    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!

    Source: Sikhs in NZ offended by claim that a widow can't remarry | SikhNet
     
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  3. dalbirk

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    As far as i know there is no bar on a widow remarrying . I am often confused by Sikhs who in the influence of culture bind it as a religious taboo . Like with Hindus in India or with Muslims in the West . Sikhism is all for gender equality total & unconditional . As per Sikh Rehat Maryada , a man or a woman upon the death of their respective spouses may remarry . Let us not make this most modern religion of ours look like a orthodox & pre historic one . If we really want to do something like that , we must not take the shelter of religion .
     
  4. spnadmin

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    Just a quick note. This incident occurred in New Zealand. I am aware that there are pockets of Sikhi in New Zealand that continue traditions that have always been more cultural in nature than related to Sikhism. Re-marriage of widows and widowers is only one of many examples. But, because the community is religiously Sikh in terms of ancestry, what has happened is that culture and religion have become completely synonymous. It is unfortunate, but the widow may have a very hard time bucking tradition. She is isolated.

    BTW

    I notice that a minority of those who consider themselves "good" Sikhs tend to follow Islamic rules. I feel it is necessary not get confused and stay in touch with Gurbani for guidance./quote

    This is not correct. In Islam both men and women are permitted to remarry, whether widowed or divorced. Within Hinduism tradition has prevented women from remarrying. Has nothing to do with Islam.
     
  5. pk70

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    I never heard that Sikhs object a widow's remarrying. If some groups harbor such views they certainly are not Sikhs . May be a strong influence of a sect or cult is going on in those. Guru ji when ended "Sati" tradition, remarriages of widows were started happening.
    Equality means equality in all sense..
     
  6. spnadmin

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    pk70 ji

    I do not think it is the influence of a sect or cult. It is probably more the result of geographical isolation for more than 100 years. Sikhs came to New Zealand in the late 1800's when NZ was part of the British Empire. They went there as laborers and craftsmen, and gradually they married, raised families, and built gurdwaras -- all during a period of time when travel was limited, few people had telephones, there was no Internet, communication with the rest of the world was difficult. As a result a culture built up around old traditions and memories from the motherland. There was nothing to challenge it from outside for several generations. That leaves a group with its own way of thinking and believing and practicing their faith. Now communication is open and travel is easier. Technology, education, economies modernize, but beliefs die hard. The conservatism mentioned here is not true of all Sikh sangats in New Zealand, but there are some that are very traditional in their thinking.

    Now most of the sangat is modernized and has excellent web sites to educate and inform.
     

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