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Her Turban Won Her Hubby

Jun 1, 2004
Courtesy: Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
21 Feb 2005
Her Turban Won Her Hubby
WHEN she dances the bhangra at weddings, everyone stares at her.
When she takes the bus, the MRT or goes shopping, heads turn.

And when she met her future parents-in-law for the first time a few years ago, they were stunned.

The reason? This bubbly American caucasian is a devout practising Sikh who wears a turban.

Mrs Guru Jaswant Kaur Khalsa, 29, was born in Arizona to practising Sikh parents. Mrs Khalsa has been a Sikh since birth.

She married Singaporean Rajveer Singh, also 29, in 2001 after a one-year courtship and the couple run their own yoga company, Yoga East.

They teach yoga at studios and at their home in the Bukit Timah area.

They met here while she was visiting a friend who introduced her to Mr Rajveer, who had then just broken up with his Punjabi girlfriend.


For her, being a Sikh in Singapore has been an interesting experience, with many Sikhs quizzing her on why she embraced the faith and, of course, why a woman would want to wear a turban.

Her reply: She has been wearing one since she was a child so it was normal for her.

Her two younger unmarried sisters, aged 22 and 16, are also Sikhs and wear turbans.

But when she arrived here in 1999, she saw that most Sikh women do not wear turbans. She has since become the focus of attention wherever she goes.

She said: 'In the US and in Western countries, the women are more vocal.

'For them, since men and women are equal, the women felt they, too, should wear turbans.

'I feel more balanced and focused when I wear it.'

Mr Rajveer said the turban is like a crown to symbolise their independence.

Sikhs also wear the turban for practical reasons like keeping their hair neat.

Mrs Khalsa, a graduate in creative writing from the University of New Mexico, is proud to wear the turban as a declaration of her faith. She can tie it in two minutes and did not realise that tying it in front of the mirror would get her a husband one day.

Mr Rajveer said: 'When I saw her tying her turban so gracefully, I told myself I wanted to marry this woman.'

They were at a yoga camp in Los Angeles in 2000, and he happened to catch her tying her turban as he passed by her room.

He just stood there watching her.

Mr Rajveer's parents are proud of their daughter-in-law although they were surprised when their son told them he was marrying an American Sikh.

His mother, housewife Ranjit Kaur, 59, said: 'I always thought he would marry a Punjabi Sikh.

'But I see how they love each other and she is respectful towards me. I am happy with her.'



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