Navdeep, I feel the same way. I also feel the greatest struggle will be an inner one. I can see my friends being accepting and my parents - eventually.
Harry Haller, thank you for your very thoughtful response. The thought of me being in your situation, twenty years down the road, is crossing my mind.
I'm also concerned that once I stop being a Sardar, my inner values will also be gone. Being a Sardar implies that one is an ambassador of certain values and morals to the extent that he/she is willing to brand themselves with a Pagg to represent those values.
Sorry if my responses seem poorly written. My grammar is off every now and then in my responses. I can't really write these responses comfortably or with a straight face. Reading them sort of amps up my initial depressive feelings.
My family was the only Indian one in the neighborhood, and so the only gursikh family as well. And so my identity as a sardar has certainly had an influence on who I am today. I would not be the same person, and as firm in my beliefs if it were not for my Sardari.
The trend I have noticed however, is that I no longer resonate with this identity. Maybe it's because of my involvement with bhangra (you probably already know there are very few sardars on bhangra teams, and among those few, most are clean-shaven). Also, the whole college experience of going out and drinking also makes me feel uncomfortable with this identity. Whenever I go to a club (after a desi dance event, for example) I would rarely see anyone with a Pagg in a club. The Sardars always have patkas on and clean-shaven dharis, so I feel as if they're insecure in their identity. I don't know how some manage to live on the fence like that, with that sense of insecurity. I feel as if there is a great identity crisis that people face when they live on the fence.
what I've noticed also is a blind sense of animosity towards monas. Whenever I see a mona with a nice haircut, I usually feel a very subtle blind sense of animosity (primarily because i'm currently very insecure about my identity). It's not like hate or anything, but it's kind of like that "I wish I looked like that" kind of feeling."
Idk, it's definitely not an easy decision.
I was 10 when I cut my hair, December 2006, I remember it well. My reasons however came from more social reasons, experiencing bullying truly does change your outlook on many things, one of which was my identity. The taunt of 'rag-head' and '****' was consistent and it eventually got to the point where I had just had enough. So I decided to cut my hair. 5 odd years down the line? I regret cutting my hair, and I also perceive myself as a bit of a loser. Cutting my hair was the easy way out, why didn't I stand up for myself? At the time I was immature and foolish, wanting to be accepted, I guess with time, you tend to realise a lot more things, one of which was that I should have been proud of my identity and embraced it. But to the point...I guess there is a lot more to Sikhi then keeping long flowing hair and having a long beard, but I do believe that this very identity does a lot more good for your character than bad. All in all, it's your choice whether or not you want to keep your hair, no one is going to look at you in a different way, but with that said, the feeling you get when a fellow sardaar nods at you in respect, is unbeatable.
Safety and peace.
I think the biggest concern on my mind is the reaction from my parents. I don't know how to go about telling them, especially my mom.
You're right. I used to do paath (usually just Mool Mantar in the morning, and not on a regular basis) but I stopped doing so few (many?) years ago.
"That stuffs important, hate to say it, but hair alone doesn't make the Sikh.
Likewise, lack of hair doesn't make one totally un-Sikh either."
- That is absolutely true.
- According to SRM, it does.
- However important concept of Sikh at heart and Sikhi growing from inside to out has some value.
- This is where I mentioned a few posts ago,that you should not lose your inner love of Sikhism.
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