A Confused Punjabi-Sikh Girl

SachaSingh

SPNer
Jan 6, 2011
15
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Sat Sari Akal, Bliss.

I think you have made some very good points and although you say that your are 'young', and that may be so in terms of age, but you seem to be a very wise person.

I have only short time at the moment so I will take up your point about the 'caste system' amongst the Sikhs. Yes, I find it very troublesome when I see that so many young Sikhs, especially those living in the USA and Canada, describe themselves as 'Jatts'. There are a lot of websites and blogs and forums where they declare proudly to be Jatts and sometimes even make derogatory remarks about other castes.

This is a disturbing trend which seems to have started only over the last 10/15 years or so. As we all know that the basic principle of Sikhism was not to believe in any caste system but treat all humans as equal. In fact the 'panj piaras' all came from different castes and Guru ji declared them all to be as one.

When we first came to this country, nearly all of us worked in the factories and did the same manual labour. Thus the caste distinctions were gradually begining to erode a bit; in any case people did not go aroung putting tatooes on their bodies to declare themselves to be Jatts.

Now, in the Punjab one can understand as property relationships and the way of life has not changed a lot and one can still see, to some extent, people from differnt castes performing different types of jobs.

However, in the west where we largely do jobs dependant upon our education and ability, why do we need to describe each other by a classification many thousand years old and from another age ?

If we are ture Sikhs then first thing we all need to do is to get back to the true principles of Sikism and stop dividing ourselves by the castes that were discarded by our gurus centuries ago!
 
Jul 22, 2009
1
1
Wahe Guru G ka Khalsa Wahe Guru G ki Fateh,
There is nothing to confused about the religion Sikhi as our Guru all ready gave the same rights to the women as men. This is the only religion based on only good thinkings by various sants. We must adopt this by the intirior of heart. Go out enjoy but never forget waheguru the almighty.
Second always remember the word SUKH WELE SUKRANA, DUKH WELE ARDASS, HAR WELE SIMRAN folloe the lines ans ur confusion will remove. We must feel proud for being a sikh or sighni. My sister wear gatra, Panj Kakaran, althouth she wear jean or other modern outfits, but sighni by heart. Follow gurbani study gur vichar and ur confusion will remove.
Dukhave waste sikh nahi ban na, be the singhnee by heart & work. The one who remembers the gur ki bani never take a wrong step, always redy to hrlp others.
Sari gal da saar be sikh by heart not from the outside.

SAT SHRI AKAL
 

findingmyway

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Aug 18, 2010
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Bliss ji,
Here are my :2cents: for what its worth. Most of the issues you raise are things many of us struggle with and have been discussed in other threads but I don't have time to find them right now. Will do if you want me too though.

Culture;
I'm with Mai ji in that we need to remove the shackles of Panjabi culture. Living without any culture is impossible so my personal view is to take the best of all cultures and live according to that. If the aspect of culture is in keeping with a Sikhi way of life it is ok otherwise it is rejected as all cultures have good and bad points. My rejection of a lot of Panjabi culture does make me a bit of an outcast in the local Sikh commnity and it is not easy, it can even be lonely sometimes but I have to do what is right. Change can only happen 1 person at a time so by not conforming hopefully it gets others thinking. However, remember also to respect what others have chosen for themselves and not be aggressive as that would make you as dominating as them with your views.

Male domination;
This is a problem the world over. Fight it without agression but with determination. No-one can take your achievements away from you if you won't let them.

Caste system;
It is a scourge and a cultural hangup. My personal view is there is no caste and I will repeat that til I go ho{censored} at anyone who tells me otherwise! Change starts 1 person at a time. It is upto us to change ourselves then teach others.

Rascism;
Defy it. My friends are from all over the world and all backgrounds. I don't discriminate as long as they have a good heart! My friends respect my choices (eg not drinking) and I respect their choices even if we don't agree! I would happily marry a guy of any colour as long as he were Sikh and we shared the same ideals.

Marriage;
This is difficult as the marriage is between 2 families and not just 2 people. It is a balancing act to get it right. Be guided by your beliefs as to what is right and not just your heart.

Showoffs;
The more someone shows on the outside, generally the emptier they are on the inside. Don't be fooled ;)

Going out;
What kind of going out do you mean? Clubs are places to promote lust, alcoholism and drugs. I was very put off by what I saw so won't go at all now. Is it really the environment you want to be in? That goes for men and women. As far as dating goes, what are your intentions? That should be your guide.

Singing and dancing;
I guess this really comes down to how and what kind? Sikhi is a way of life, it is about following Gurbani. A lot of the entertainment business in all cultures nowadays uses women's bodies rather than the women (possibly not literally but in the image, the way they are portrayed). Obviously there are exceptions to this. It is also a lifestyle as mentioned previously. Let your conscience be your guide as to where you will go in your career. Keep gurbani as your guide to what is right and what is not.

Gurbani is always the litmus test and will always help you decide........
 

sarabjotforu

SPNer
Feb 24, 2009
1
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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.


I complete agree with what you said. We Punjabis are partial toward male and female. then we blame these americans and australians for being racist when they are not. We actually always forgets we are the biggest racist. Not just punjabis its abut every india . If someone from bihar comes to punjab we call him bhayia and harras him but we always forgets that our tenth guru shree guru gobind singh ji was also born in Patna thats falls in Bihar.

Moreover i agree with you Jattism part. these guys treat other people like ****. they thing they are the best when they are not. 70% of punjabi youth is addicted to drugs , doing all kinds of illegal work still we say we are the best .dang it I seriously dont think we are the best. To be among the best we first need to get rid of this racism and drugs .

Further adding on to this article i would say punjabi culture is not evolving at all . Though we are becoming westernized but we still live in some 17th century. We still have caste system in punjab. I can even see the parents playing a big role in this. One of the thing i would like to bring here which is really bringing disgrace to punjabi culture according to me is that if you go to any punjabi or sikh matrimonial site you ll see people looking for only jatt groom or brides even after being well educated they act as racist. They call other ppl bhapas, bhayias, choodas and all other kind of **** which i think is not justified at all.

these are my views . I am not trying to offend any one here but this is something what i think.

Do comment even if you dont like it or you want to add something to it
 

Harman Singh

SPNer
Jun 12, 2006
12
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I would like to start by saying thank you for bringing this up as I feel many Punjabi Sikh women have began to distant themselves from Sikhism because of the negative impacts of the culture. Do I drink? Yes, Do I have some double standards? Yes, Do I try hard to justify them? Yes, Do I believe in equality? Yes, Does this make sense? to me, yes... To everyone their own. You should empower yourself with your beliefs, the questions you are asking and the thought process form which they are created means you are on the right path, change does not come easy, be strong, be yourself, and be powerful because you can help drive the change you hope to see. You are definitely right that the culture of Punjab and the religion clash head to head like 2 rams, but this has much to do with the history of India and past events that have influenced later generations and the negative messages portrayed in much of punjabi music. I might blast Diljit's track panga and dance like an idiot to it at parties but I am more aware now of the negative influence music like this has on me through its message. To answer your questions in detail requires some thorough thinking and explanations, but me and my girlfriend fight over this all the time, at the end their should ideally be equality but the reality is that men and women are different and society has setup barriers for this inequality, and unfortunately the dignity and image of a girl judges the respect one has for her, but this is a strong mind set in the punjabi society, north american culture is changing this thinking very rapidly for those fo us living here, but you won't convince the traditional indian thinker anytime soon. End of the day this is your life and your end goal to your actions and intentions is happiness, do what makes you happy so long as it is not hurting anyone, constantly think about god and what Sikhism teaches of the concept of god and not what people tell you, society is always changing and the views and power of women has exponentially changed int eh positive direction in the past few decades, so what's right to people today is wrong tomorrow and vic versa, so just do you because the only person that can judge you is no person, waheguru knows whats in your heart, let the ignorant arrogant haters do their thing.
 

Harry Haller

Panga Master
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Jan 31, 2011
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No there are hardly any male models or heroes with turban or beard.Infact 1 Sikh man became Mr.India no.3 position in 2000 but after that he was hardly seen.

Also I am not at all worried but certain people on this site do get worried when they see Sikh men abandoning Turban.Infact even the most liberal sikh sites put emotional articles saying why Sikh boys are not wearing Turban.Hardly clean shaven Sikh men are promoted as role model out of fear that Sikh boys will pick them up as role model and will cut their hair.recently Yuvraj singh ,clean shaven sikh cricketer became Man of the series of world cup ,but there were hardly Sikh sites that praised him.had he been a fully turbaned and bearded sikh then the entire Sikh world would have been going gaga over Him.On the other hand Monty Panesar who was a very average cricketer received so much appreciation from sikh world .Every other day there was an article over him and how he is becoming young role model for sikhs

Harry ji

When it comes uncut hair and turban then Sikhism is one of the most orthodox religion in the world for boys then why to liberalise it for girls?I am very sorry to say that many sikhs including the liberal one get too emotional for turban.If we have to become liberal then why not let Turban and beard die their own death? Why to care about them

KDSji,

I do care passionately about turban, enough to consider wearing one again after 15 years, I just think its important that we put as much emphasis on what is happening inside our heads than what is on top of it
 

pali67

SPNer
May 1, 2009
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patiala
this is a world of hypocrats. people think some thing, they say something and they do something different. please do not confuse yourself. don't think that you change anything or everything. you do good in your life, that's the message of sikhism.animatedkhanda1
 

kds1980

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Apr 4, 2005
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KDSji,

I do care passionately about turban, enough to consider wearing one again after 15 years, I just think its important that we put as much emphasis on what is happening inside our heads than what is on top of it

You are choosing it because you have right to do so.What if you have been in career where turban and beard are not accepted.?

My post which you replied was to person who said that profession and Religion are 2 different things,but the fact is for Sikhs they have to decide before choosing a profession that whether the profession you are choosing is ready to accomadate to your religious beleif.Because if you are once in that career you may want to practice your religion but your career may not allow it
 

Harry Haller

Panga Master
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Jan 31, 2011
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kdsji,

If my turban was that important to me, then I would not go into a career where that was an issue. However we are talking about the young lady in question here, and I so no reason why she cannot do hip hop dancing and still be complete in sikhism
 

kds1980

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Apr 4, 2005
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kdsji,

If my turban was that important to me, then I would not go into a career where that was an issue. However we are talking about the young lady in question here, and I so no reason why she cannot do hip hop dancing and still be complete in sikhism

I don't have much knowledge about hip hop dancing but in most of the western dancing women wear less clothes and do various hairstyles.If hip hop dancing could be done in decent way then I don't see any problem in it
 

Kanwaljit.Singh

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Jan 29, 2011
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No there are hardly any male models or heroes with turban or beard.Infact 1 Sikh man became Mr.India no.3 position in 2000 but after that he was hardly seen.

Are looks important to a Sikh? Does it make any difference if a Sikh makes a mark in Film industry or not? Do we have to give bollywood cheap-entertainment-grinders so much importance? And we went overjoyed when Manmohan Singh became PM, now we just judge him all the time and he 'fails in our eyes' ??? So why do you want to have another Sikh guy in film industry or elsewhere as our 'representative' so that we can judge him all the time? Why not judge ourselves? Why not connect to Waheguru and leave this world at its own peril?

@Topic Starter
If you are 'inspired' from bollywood brigade, step back and rethink. The ladies in bollywood try hard to look good so that they can stay in rat race and then marry, are forgotten and live sad housewife life after age of 30-35. not an enriched life. and women in bollywood are third grade citizens after actors and directors (see max pay of actress compared with max pay of actor). dont go for singing and dancing to 'entertain' people, practice it as an art for yourself and reach the highest level.

Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki Fateh ji
 

Harry Haller

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Jan 31, 2011
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kdsji,

you strike me as a faithful and loyal sikh who wants to do his utmost to protect our young and our women, however two points

1. We cannot all aspire to the high standards you have set yourself (that is a compliment btw :) ), I personally cannot stand singing and dancing, and what passes for entertainment these days, however, this young lady has to make her own choice and her own way in this matter, and if she finds these things give her a life then all to the good. She must be aware of the god issue here or else she would not have brought it to the attention of this forum. What she is asking is if society and tradition should be respected as much as god. I think the answer to this is no.

2. We cannot and should not live others peoples lives for them. Advice can and should be sought, but at the end of the day it is an individuals responsibility to make choices and also live with the consequences, whatever they may be

I think you, more than some of us, feel the pain and hardships inflicted on sikhs of years gone by, and I think you find it very hard that other people have no idea of the sacrifices made so that we can actually live as sikhs in peace. I can understand that frustration, but not all of us were cut out to actually finish the race and win the prize, some of us will have to be content with just finishing the race at some point
 

kds1980

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Apr 4, 2005
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Are looks important to a Sikh? Does it make any difference if a Sikh makes a mark in Film industry or not? Do we have to give bollywood cheap-entertainment-grinders so much importance? And we went overjoyed when Manmohan Singh became PM, now we just judge him all the time and he 'fails in our eyes' ??? So why do you want to have another Sikh guy in film industry or elsewhere as our 'representative' so that we can judge him all the time? Why not judge ourselves? Why not connect to Waheguru and leave this world at its own peril?

My post was in reply to another person who said that there are sikh models.As far bollywood is concerned Yes it is important.Almost all Sikhs grow up in India watching bollywood so it affect lot of their psychology
 

kds1980

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Apr 4, 2005
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kdsji,

you strike me as a faithful and loyal sikh who wants to do his utmost to protect our young and our women, however two points

1. We cannot all aspire to the high standards you have set yourself (that is a compliment btw ), I personally cannot stand singing and dancing,

No I am not

I Just want to add few more lines in it.

1)I am not hardcore practicing sikh

2) I don't even believe that Sikhism has any great future as majority of people everywhere wants to practice it in the way he/she wants and this has created lot of division

And these are my personal views which I have written,I am not going to reply to this post about why my views are like this.

This is just to inform you so people don't create any misconceptions about me.
 

Navdeep88

Writer
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Dec 23, 2009
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Bliss Ji,

I think you should pursue your passion, but I would tread very carefully. Mainstream pop and hip-hop culture, especially in the west is not kind to women. I cringe every time I hear Lady Gaga (or the hip-hop Gaga, Nicki Minaj), if thats what it takes to be successful as an "artist", then I would never sing a note (if I could).

If your getting attention from a major label, be prepared to hold your own! Its usually the people behind the scenes that do the damage, try to create something "different" to give longevity. And in the process, there is an indulgence in ideas and images of lust and violence that are used to tempt people to their lowest nature. Its kinda scary.

However, I think its quite possible to remain yourself and pursue your dreams (ie, Taylor Swift). There is nothing vulgar about her performance and she sings and dances. If she came from a Punjabi family, Im sure her parents would be proud of her. Adapting that route to hip-hop may be a challenge... but if thats where your heart is, and you know who you are, it can be done.
 
Oct 29, 2010
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harry haller Ji,
" I can understand that frustration, but not all of us were cut out to actually finish the race and win the prize, some of us will have to be content with just finishing the race at some point" I am with you with most of your recommendations but I would have replaced this sentence by "we are all here to do our best but Sikhs have the Guidance to do it Gracefully and Successfully"
 

Aulakh

SPNer
Mar 24, 2010
12
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A beautiful observation and fruitful suggestion from Mai Harjinder Kaur
Gian singh aulakh



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.
 

seeker3k

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May 24, 2008
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Dear confused,
<?"urn::eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p> </o:p>
I understand your hurt and no one is helping you. I can give you the problem Sikhism has but this is not the time for that. I will share my part of my life with you. I hope it may help you to understand and get courage to go peacefully in your life.
<o:p> </o:p>
I am male live in <?xml:::eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Canada</st1:country-region> close to 70 year old. I was born in Jatt Sikh family. I was also very narrow minded in my youth. I use to think Sikhism the best religion in the world.
<o:p> </o:p>
When I was 20 I caught my sister with boy in his car. I was very anger at her. At home parent and me hade heated discussion about what she did. I was ready to leave home n live in other city. Why we boy’s n men’s think that way? It is the talk the boys do describing his affair with girl. Nothing goes in the car but it is the juicy stories that bother family. IN <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">UK</st1:country-region> most of my friends were Punjabi and mostly were jatts too. So you can think what was the state of my mind was then.
In my late 20’s I came to <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Canada</st1:country-region> the people were non jatt and non Indian. Because I was by my self in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">Canada</st1:country-region> I use to go out with white friends from work or meet them at bar.
There a boy comes with his girl friend and his sister brings her bf to that bar. Every one dance with others. I was surprised that sister was kissing her bf in front of brother. Not only that she would dance with other boys in the bar and kiss them too. That made me think how my thinking was back word. Later on when I went back to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">UK</st1:country-region> I apologized to my sister of my behavior.
<o:p> </o:p>
You have great talents singing and dancing. I wish I could have those talents.
You have to explore the possibility of your talents to go to the top. People here condemning the bollywood dance. Who watch this bugler dance? Who made this dance song the #1 (muni ho gai badnam)? They don’t even know what is dance. We men have dirty mind. We men can not think that dance can be a real talent. All we think if girl dance she must be loose woman. We men can not think otherwise.
<o:p> </o:p>
I am not trying to tell you what to do or what not to do. What you should do find your self. You can find it in SGGS but I am sorry to say you will not find any thing in Punjabi culture. Don’t walk on paved roods make your own road. You need to get economically strong. If you still be dependent on men you will not find you’re self.
<o:p> </o:p>
This is man’s world. Most of the religions were invented by man. There is no place for woman. SORRY. It is good thing you are not born in Islam.
<o:p> </o:p>
All then fathers brothers boy friends should give this girl moral support
<o:p> </o:p>
Hate begets hate. Don’ try to become like men, be a creative women and show us the better way
 
Last edited by a moderator:

kds1980

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Apr 4, 2005
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You have to explore the possibility of your talents to go to the top. People here condemning the bollywood dance. Who watch this bugler dance? Who made this dance song the #1 (muni ho gai badnam)? They don’t even know what is dance. We men have dirty mind. We men can not think that dance can be a real talent. All we think if girl dance she must be loose woman. We men can not think otherwise.

There are several classic dances in India which require real talent but the fact women who do those dance don't become overnight stars.No one say that Kathak or bharat natyam dancer is loose woman but no one watches them too
 

seeker3k

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May 24, 2008
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It is not about becoming STAR it is about how one feel about him/her self.
When we look in the mirror do we like what we see in mirror
 
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