A Confused Punjabi-Sikh Girl | Sikh Philosophy Network
  • Welcome to all New Sikh Philosophy Network Forums!
    Explore Sikh Sikhi Sikhism...
    Sign up Log in

A Confused Punjabi-Sikh Girl

Currently reading:
A Confused Punjabi-Sikh Girl

bliss

SPNer
Joined
Apr 29, 2011
Messages
6
Likes
15
Sat Sri Akaal everyone,

I'm a young Punjabi-Sikh girl from Australia and I would like to ask your opinions on these topics raised.

First of all, I hold my religion very close to my heart... however I am very critical of Punjabi culture, and I do notice the bad things like:
  • double-standard in men and women, heavy patriarchy/sexism - boys can go out, girls can't and if they do, they are deemed to be 'bad'.

  • racism towards other cultures - seeing white/black people as being different to us and saying they have bad morals

  • upholding of caste system - you often hear 'jatts' refer to other castes as 'choodas' and even when they say they don't believe in caste.. they continue to do so

  • extreme pride in having a 'good' family - it's so important for many parents to marry their kids into a good family and often don't let their children be happy and have the freedom they want because other people will think it's 'bad' - e.g. going out
and many more beliefs which contradict Sikhism.
This is all generally speaking on my experience but I'm sure many of you can relate.

I would like to know, what is your opinion on the fact that Punjabi culture is being held higher than Sikhism by many Punjabis? How could we change this? Do you disagree with me? I would just like your opinions because I feel so lost and so insecure in my culture.

I see a lot of young Sikh men who go out and get drunk, get Sikhi tattoos, call themselves "jatts" and get angry when they see young Sikh girls going out and I think it's disgusting that parents are telling their kids this is right.. personally I have taught my little brother that this is completely wrong. He was putting "jatt" on his Facebook before and I got upset at him for doing that... but lots of parents aren't teaching their kids about Sikhi, they are just instilling their racist and sexist beliefs in their kids.

Older people are saying Punjabi culture is becoming 'Westernized' but I just believe it is evolving. What do you think? Do you think Punjabi culture is changing for the good or the bad?

Secondly, I am a singer and dancer, I write english music and dance to english songs and I have recently got some interest for a major recording company in America.

However, many Punjabi people say that I am departing from my beliefs and morals and I am wrong. This makes me deeply sad because I absolutely love music and these people are telling me I'm wrong and too provocative and Punjabi girls don't do this. What do you think? Do you think it's wrong that I am becoming a singer/dancer? Their are many young women in Bollywood but none are Punjabi and British singer Jay Sean who is also Punjabi-Sikh is a representative of Western Desi's but he is a male and I know that people think different of male and female in Punjabi culture and I'm scared people will think I'm wrong and hate me. Would you honestly feel uncomfortable with a young Punjabi-Sikh female singer/dancer? Do you think many Punjabi people will get angry and not respect me?

I would really appreciate any answers as I am very lost and confused and this is the only place I can turn to for help. Thank you in advance for your answers.
 

Attachments

kds1980

SPNer
Joined
Apr 4, 2005
Messages
4,502
Likes
2,739
Age
38
Location
INDIA
Re: Confused Punjabi-Sikh Girl

Secondly, I am a singer and dancer, I write english music and dance to english songs and I have recently got some interest for a major recording company in America.

However, many Punjabi people say that I am departing from my beliefs and morals and I am wrong. This makes me deeply sad because I absolutely love music and these people are telling me I'm wrong and too provocative and Punjabi girls don't do this. What do you think? Do you think it's wrong that I am becoming a singer/dancer? Their are many young women in Bollywood but none are Punjabi and British singer Jay Sean who is also Punjabi-Sikh is a representative of Western Desi's but he is a male and I know that people think different of male and female in Punjabi culture and I'm scared people will think I'm wrong and hate me. Would you honestly feel uncomfortable with a young Punjabi-Sikh female singer/dancer? Do you think many Punjabi people will get angry and not respect me?
There many females in bollywood which are from Sikh background.

As far singing and dancing is concerned what type of Dancing you do.If you do bollywood type Dance then I am sorry no respectable family from any religion would want to see their daughter doing it.
 

bliss

SPNer
Joined
Apr 29, 2011
Messages
6
Likes
15
Re: Confused Punjabi-Sikh Girl

Thank you for the response.. I don't know what type of dancing is in Bollywood, I don't watch their movies. Could you please link me a video?
 

kds1980

SPNer
Joined
Apr 4, 2005
Messages
4,502
Likes
2,739
Age
38
Location
INDIA
Re: Confused Punjabi-Sikh Girl

Thank you for the response.. I don't know what type of dancing is in Bollywood, I don't watch their movies. Could you please link me a video?
most of dancing in bollywood is vulgar so I don't think it appropriate to post a link here.You just tell what dancing you do?
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
SPNer
Joined
Jun 17, 2004
Messages
14,500
Likes
19,179
Re: Confused Punjabi-Sikh Girl

Sorry for interrupting. However the thread is double posted and the starter articles are not exactly the same. I need to figure out how to merge the threads without making a mess. At some point expect the two threads to be merged. spnadmin
 

bliss

SPNer
Joined
Apr 29, 2011
Messages
6
Likes
15
Re: Confused Punjabi-Sikh Girl

Oh okay.. I do hip hop dancing
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
SPNer
Joined
Jun 17, 2004
Messages
14,500
Likes
19,179
Re: Confused Punjabi-Sikh Girl

Two threads now merged. Original thread remains in the Sikh Youth forum.
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
SPNer
Joined
Jun 17, 2004
Messages
14,500
Likes
19,179
Re: Confused Punjabi-Sikh Girl

I am myself interested in the reactions of the forum to your question about "double standards for men and women." For both Bollywood and for other forms of popular performance, not limited to hip-hop, as found on CD's, TV, YouTube, etc.
 

kds1980

SPNer
Joined
Apr 4, 2005
Messages
4,502
Likes
2,739
Age
38
Location
INDIA
Re: Confused Punjabi-Sikh Girl

I am myself interested in the reactions of the forum to your question about "double standards for men and women." For both Bollywood and for other forms of popular performance, not limited to hip-hop, as found on CD's, TV, YouTube, etc.
What double standards.Sikh men who joined bollywood were almost disowned by community.Infact many times it comes to us as shocker that the character which we were seeing from years is a Sikh.These people never used the term Sikh for them,they just used to say either jatt or Punjabi because they knew that using term Sikh could have been controversial for them.On the other hand it is the sikh women in bollywood who used word sikh for them despite cutting hair in recent 90s and 2000s

Traditional Sikh families Which wanted their sons to wear turban always kept their boys away from this industry.At best they can play back door role of fashion designer writer etc but never the On screen role.The only role Sikhs played on screen was always of comedian in Hindi Film and serial industry.
 

kds1980

SPNer
Joined
Apr 4, 2005
Messages
4,502
Likes
2,739
Age
38
Location
INDIA
Re: Confused Punjabi-Sikh Girl

Older people are saying Punjabi culture is becoming 'Westernized' but I just believe it is evolving. What do you think? Do you think Punjabi culture is changing for the good or the bad?
Punjabi culture is going from bad to worse.The problem of Human nature is they copy bad points from other culture's and also keep their bad points.Casual dating,pre marital sex was never a part of Punjabi culture but they copied it from west on other hand they also increased caste discrimination ,Young Punjabi's are forgetting about good points from their culture like taking care of parents,siblings ,family values etc

Also pind Punjabi Culture of jatts is much different from other Punjabi's mainly urban one.Sexism is much more among jatts than in other Punjabis
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
SPNer
Joined
Jun 17, 2004
Messages
14,500
Likes
19,179
Re: Confused Punjabi-Sikh Girl

kds ji

Also pind Punjabi Culture of jatts is much different from other Punjabi's mainly urban one.Sexism is much more among jatts than in other Punjabis
How bad is it among other Punjabis?

Also, bliss ji...you are writing from Australia. How greatly do you see "pind culture" affecting you in Australia? Is it possible that values of pind culture have attached themselves to an Australian way of life out of fear of being overwhelmed?


What do other forum members have to say?
 

kds1980

SPNer
Joined
Apr 4, 2005
Messages
4,502
Likes
2,739
Age
38
Location
INDIA
Re: Confused Punjabi-Sikh Girl

kds ji



How bad is it among other Punjabis?

Also, bliss ji...you are writing from Australia. How greatly do you see "pind culture" affecting you in Australia? Is it possible that values of pind culture have attached themselves to an Australian way of life out of fear of being overwhelmed?


What do other forum members have to say?
Sexism in urban sikhs of India is much less.Infact anyone can see Sikh women working in top positions of various companies.I am not saying it does not exists but cases of domestic violence or alcoholism in men are quite compared to village Jatt Sikhs. Also Religious families many times are much more strict on boys so they don't cut their hair while give relaxation to women for slight trimming,waxing so there is case of reverse sexism too.

Incase of Going out I don't think anyone can say Sikh men from urban india are encouraged by families to go out.

Also not to forget village culture in India in all communities is quite different from urban one and women enjoy much more freedom.
 

Mai Harinder Kaur

Mentor
Writer
SPNer
Joined
Oct 6, 2006
Messages
1,755
Likes
2,732
Age
67
Location
British Columbia, Canada
Personally - and this is just my personal belief - the sooner the Sikh community leaves behind the Punjabi culture, the better! Clear back to the days of the Gurus, all those practices were condemned by the Gurus themselves. I believe that they are so deeply entrenched that they probably cannot be modified within the culture.

Sikhi is an incredibly deep and beautiful way of life and as long as most Sikhs cling to this antiquated culture, we will be unable to effectively share it with a world that is badly in need of what Guru ji teaches us. Certainly there is nothing wrong with retaining some of what is good in Punjabi culture - like mattar paneer - but those negatives really cast a pall over all of us.

Also, our diaspora community needs to be much less insular. We tend to be very outgoing and friendly amongst ourselves (when we're not fighting each other), but quite distant, even cold, to our neighbours. Honest, guys, most goras don't bite. In fact many are very nice people. When I have taken the time and effort to explain what Sikhi is all about, most people are really impressed (except the Christians and Muslims who just can't get their minds around a Deity that doesn't hate - especially doesn't hate "sin").

If the daughter I don't have came to me wanting to do vulgar dancing - or anything else vulgar, for that matter - I would be displeased. Most dancing isn't vulgar, though. I don't know much about hip-hip dance. I love break dancing, which used to be a part of hip-hop.

Dear Bliss ji, I would advise you to keep Sikhi close to your heart and practice it as best you can - and throw away the Punjabi garbage if you are strong enough. There are those who will condemn you, but someone has to start doing this if we are ever to break free of the chains of the evils embedded in that culture.
 
Last edited:

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
SPNer
Joined
Jun 17, 2004
Messages
14,500
Likes
19,179
Mai ji

Thank you for your powerfully relevant reply. I, for one, would ilke to know why Punjabi girls are always "confused" on Sikh forums. Is it that the label has become a reality and when it attaches itself, it is impossible to think of oneself as not confused? There really is nothing confused or confusing in your comments, Bliss ji. It read clear as crystal to me.
 

Amer9417

SPNer
Joined
Nov 22, 2010
Messages
4
Likes
8
"What is in a name?" ask yourself this when someone brings up caste because thats all thats left of that foolish system, as i understand the gurus themselves looked down on that system of segregation and to kds ji lets face it the pind has nothing to do with it im sure these women are allowed to succeed but im sure they faced their share of unequal treatment. As for the issue with dancing that seems apparent i personally have nothing against it keep your moral strong and whats to worry. You should also not let the ignorance of the community around you to limit what could be a life changing career. I can tell by the fact that you are posting this you yourself are a first generation in your country, you should understand the chance are you parents have never even been exposed to a culture that isnt there own, show them you are a smart strong young person and slowly, very slowly they will learn to accept your decisions. I also believe that if you make it as a song writer and singer that if you keep your faith and morals a big part of you you wont ever be looked down upon, show that you love your people and your religion and they have nothing against you, infact you might even serve as something of a role model to all the young Punjabi girls who themselves are lost. Also as young punjabi guy with parents and a community that sounds exactly like yours i have to say that these foolish, lost punjabi boys with tatoos who scream punjabi pride every chance they get make it look easy for those of us who actually try to avoid stereotypes like that. To get to the point your concerned with i think that the sikh religion is so smart in its equality that it should be held above punjabi culture even though it for the most part isnt.

Finally i wish you best of luck in your future decisions and remeber the most important thing should be not to loose your values no matter what you decide.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2010
Messages
2
Likes
12
Location
the sunshine state
Greetings,

I normally do not post to any of these discussions but I must say I enjoy reading them. I also should add that I am not a Sikh, but I am an American who was born and raised Muslim. I follow the Sufi traditions and have much respect for Sikh beliefs. I also attend the Gurdwara in my area, whenever I can.
I can not really answer you questions relating to Punjabi culture as I am not of Indian orgin, but as a woman growing up in the West with an Islamic backgroud I also experieced double-standards. Not just for the genders, but social status, as well as racial hang ups. I feel that this is not just in Punjabi culture, but can come from anywhere, including American culture. If I have not learn anything from my visits to the Gurdwara is that the most important relationship a person can have is with the Divine Being. Whatever our actions are, should be pleasing to the most High.
I personally do not need man or religion to tell me what my status is as a woman. That goes without saying. Instead of being caught up with social expectations, I focus more on what I feel the Divine is expecting of me. I merge with western culture and philosophy, but do not absorb what I can not get any benefit (spiritual) from.
There is no worry of what others may think of me, as I will have to answer to the Divine only.
The only advice I can really give is to study and find out what is expected of you as far as being a Sikh is concern, then turn to your heart to guide you.

I must ask for forgiveness if I offended anyone for posting here.

In the Divine light....
 

GS Sharma

SPNer
Joined
Apr 20, 2011
Messages
1
Likes
2
Age
60
Dear Sister,

Don't get confused of various thoughts, beliefs and practices. Being SIKH, you are fortunate that you can worship the latest, modern and most intellligent GURU i.e. none else but our " GURU GRANTH SAHIBJI MAHARAJ HIMSELF". Believe me, read him sincerely just for 5 minutes at any point, you will find solution to your entire worldly and metaphysical problem. Please note, I am non SIKH, I am Hindu from Allahabad (UP), BAHEGURU made me fortunate and gave a chnace to have his DARSHNA. Now, I am free from all confusion.

I am only and only His servant.

With best regards

GS Sharma

Personal email removed. This is not a safe Internet practice. It is possible to contact a member through the SPN private messages. Thank you,spnadmin
 

Amer9417

SPNer
Joined
Nov 22, 2010
Messages
4
Likes
8
queenandcrown ji i want to personally thank you for what you just said you are so write these prejudices are every where i also want to say its wonderful to hear that you are open-minded enough to participate on another religions forum the world needs more like you
 
Joined
Oct 29, 2010
Messages
163
Likes
172
Age
76
Bliss Ji,
I am very impressed with your thoughts and discerning power. You are not confused – you are a potential leader of Sikhs and Sikhi. You have worked out Truth that has been mingled with bigotry under the name of ‘culture’. Sikhs have been trying to do that since Guru Gobind Singh’s time and ‘not quite succeeded’. It needs people like you who have understood in young age that we are going in the wrong direction. Anybody who criticises someone usually mirrors him or herself. People try to put in less than they want to take out of culture – this way culture either dries out or loses form.

Hold on to your beliefs, and question all that happens, and when seeking direction look at the examples of our Gurus and the Granth Sahib. Nobody knows any better than you if you can logically sift the truth. Let me not dampen your approach of analysis but Sikhi needs this approach in all the teachings in scriptures – and there are many documents that have been ‘confused’ for Sikhi followers and people take strength from these to corrupt both Sikhi and Culture. The examples are the Deras, Babbas and political leaders etc.

About presenting yourself as a role model in film industry and taking part in activities as dancing – surely it is the message you are trying to project that will decide whether it is good or bad. Most Gurbani is based on ragas (the form it is written) and when the people listen and are engrossed they move their bodies in rhythm. I do not advocate you cut down your dancing to that but I do not see anything wrong in dancing. There are dances where not a word is said but a story is conveyed to the viewers (assuming it is viewers you are dancing to). May be you can invent dancing that projects Sikhi in the way the Gurus wanted it to be!
 

nomn2wdtrjy

SPNer
Joined
Nov 1, 2010
Messages
1
Likes
2
Age
35
satt shri akaal to all, its my first post/reply in this site even i am member since 5 months, i appriciate your thoughts, music & dance is not bad but the way of living(when youare in proffesion) is bad,
'banda koi v mara nai hunda, bande de kamm mare hunde ne''
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Top