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General Western Culture / Western Sikhs - Why Seen as such a Threat?

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Ishna, Sep 2, 2015.

  1. Ishna

    Ishna
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    I've encountered this sentiment plenty of times in the online Sikh world. Western culture is a threat to Sikhi! Western culture is a threat to Punjab! Thankfully, only rarely have I come across it in real life.

    What is it about western culture and western Sikhs and even "white" Sikh converts that is seen as such a threat to Punjabi culture or "Punjabi" Sikhi?

    In the spirit of full disclosure, this very issue has gotten me banned from other forums (apparently spelling it out like this makes me racist) and has caused me to voluntarily leave this one in the past, and the Sikh community in real life. I barely identify as a Sikh anymore, because I don't feel like I can ever be accepted into the quam because of the colour of my skin and my native culture.

    So I'd really like to know, just what is it that some people seem to hate so much about me and my kind?

    Many thanks
     
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  3. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Ishna ji,

    Guru Fateh

    Sikhi is based on open-mindedness which does not require any special garb, any specific rituals like fasting, pilgrimages etc. etc.

    My kids are born in the west. I was raised in the west. In Sikhi, it matters naught what direction one is from because Ik Ong Kaar is omnipresent. Only ignorant people are racist of every hue,creed and faith because they are too insecure to educate themselves.

    Ishna ji, for me you are more a Sikh in your thought process, gestures and deeds than many of us with the full regalia.

    Please do not let these things bother you rather Gurmat values will strengthen you even more like it has done to Gursant Singh (check him our on FB) an ex 3HOer.

    With love and respect.

    Tejwant Singh
     
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    #2 Tejwant Singh, Sep 2, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
  4. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Everyone needs someone to blame, who else could possibly be responsible for the drugs, the wantonness, the obsession with celebrity and money, but the west, you see before the west got involved, most people in India were simple people, they ate roti and daal, entertainment was the local village elders, where you could spend the evening watching say, two sisters being sentenced to gang rape for some bad marriage, where babies got killed because they were the wrong sex, where corruption was rife, where life was cheap, but it was honest, and do you know why, because it all got kept under wraps, it was discrete, then along came western attitudes, and people became more honest, and that's when the troubles started.

    Well its a lose-lose situation I am afraid, either you are going to steal our sons and husbands away with your blonde hair and blue eyes, or, worse, you know more than us, and your going to show us up with your logic and questions while we prepare for poorenmashi. How dare you tell us how to practice our religion, when mumbling and moon worship has been our mainstay for years!

    yeah well you ask too many questions that we can't answer, or at best, we have to write in flowery spiritual terms to try and throw you off the scent, look you know the emperor has no clothes, we know too, but do you think you can keep it quiet, damn it, there's money at stake here!



    well, maybe if you asked a few less questions, embraced the mumbling, and just had a bit more faith, in the miracles, the moon, the sexism, the prejudice, its all for the right reasons you know, you would understand why we mourn female babies if you tried, but you can't, your no Sikh of ours, you seem to think life is about emulating the Gurus, no, no, its about worshipping them!

    as I said, you could be accepted if you just change your attitude, why don't you post a nice you tube video in favour of honour killing, that would help, maybe more white people might buy the concept!

    maybe you should see a doctor?




    too many damn questions, now go and make my dinner , Im going out with my friends
     
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  5. arshdeep88

    arshdeep88 India
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    We wear western clothes,use western technology and appliances in our home and for day to day activities and yet we blame westernization for everything.

    There are pros and cons in every culture and in my opinion culture has very little to do with the message of Sikhi. There are many ills which get attached with the culture and are continued from one generation to the other in the name of culture till someone questions it and sheds it for the better for the upcoming generation. Casteism is one such issue continued in the name of punjabi culture till today and yet we see in Guru Granth Sahib ji again and again shabads asking all of us to rise above it and embrace all human race as one.

    Being most of the time as a reader I enjoy my time here at SPN and read many of the forums started by you and many others and could myself relate to the questions being asked by you and would like to thank you for that. :)
     
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  6. ActsOfGod

    ActsOfGod
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    Don't throw the baby out with the bath-water.

    [AoG]
     
  7. Ishna

    Ishna
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    Oh, I'm not. I'm just pursuing the philosophical aspect of Sikhi that doesn't require assimilation into Punjabi culture to practice. :)
     
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  8. ActsOfGod

    ActsOfGod
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    Glad to hear that.

    You've probably heard this before, and it's worth repeating, that Punjabi culture and Sikhi are diametrically opposed to each other. While at first it may seem that it's needed to assimilate into Punjabi culture to practice Sikhi, one will soon discover that Punjabi culture actually hinders ones progress in practicing and following Sikhi.

    So allow me to reframe it this way for you: Consider yourself lucky that you don't have the burden of Punjabi culture to deal with in your journey in Sikhi. Those who come from a Punjabi background have a lot of baggage to deal with, and it's quite difficult to get on the path of Sikhi. Lots of obstacles.

    As far as I know, everything that Guru Sahib taught can be practiced by any human being anywhere in the world (or any other world, for that matter). And the Rehit is prescribed to keep us safe and foster our spiritual growth. It doesn't require cultural assimilation (no matter what the conservative Punjabi's would have you believe). Guru Sahib's teachings are for all humanity, and are beyond culture and tradition, time and space.

    Ignore what everyone says and just follow Guru Sahib genuinely from your heart and with all your love. If you do that, everything else will work itself out. That is guaranteed.

    [AoG]
     
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  9. Ishna

    Ishna
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    That's a very good way of reframing it, thank you.

    When you say to follow Guru Sahib's teachings, do you mean Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji only, or the Guru panth as well?

    The teachings within Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji are most definitely eternal and universal. A level of understanding of the cultural references is, however, required, but this can be overcome relatively easily.

    The Guru Panth, on the other had, is subject to culture. The Rehat Maryada does introduce cultural elements, and material from outside of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. It is easy to see how the Rehat Maryada has a place in Punjabi culture, but a lot of it is out of place elsewhere.
     

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