I Considered Cutting My Hair

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Aug 8, 2011
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Openmindedsingh ji
You are being overtly concerned with you looks. That is not a good sign in itself. I am sure your beard does not make you look disfigured like person with cleft lip.
But still if you think you need to have a cleft repair then so be it.
 

Kanwaljit.Singh

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Jan 29, 2011
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My cousin when he came to Canada saw the same thing. He was from a conservative family too, he had made speeches and poems in school, did Ardas in the assembly, went daily to Gurudwara with his mom. In University, he saw Sikh boys wearing a turban and then smoking! He was SHOCKED and decided, he was not going to do the same!

He felt one should not keep the pooran swaroop of a Sikh if one has to go with habits like smoking and drinking. So what he did? He cut his hair. Now he thinks of keeping his hair once he starts his own business.

Do you see the point? He is still scared to embrace his identity. You are confused to embrace your identity. Moving away from the identity is easy part. Understanding and embracing it is the tough part. And it is not about what kind of Sikh are you in life, but what kind of person you are! (personally for me being a Sikh is all about existing, there is nothing in my life that is not related to Sikhi, if there is, I have to cut it out and throw away!).

We understand your point. But you must understand what Sikhi is too. And if you can, prove to people what kind of success comes to those who walk with their Guru, for as you said, such people are rare in your town!
 

TigerStyleZ

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Mar 31, 2011
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Veer ji,

there is a deeper problem, you have conflict with your mind, please tell us more about it. Why you are considering cutting hair? Tell me real reasons...

So you think if you cut your hair you will be a good Gursikh? Even some Sikhs with kesh and pagh who don´t drink , aren´t sexual infleunced aren´t good Sikhs, when they don´t do path, or listen to gurus bani. Why do you think we Sikhs differ from others? Why do you think GURU JI gave us this great identity? A good Sikh is person who absolutely follows GURUS Bani, without complaining , with his whole heart. And even then he is only called "good" Sikh. It is the society that wants you to change and is changing you! The pressure of the society! You can´t really devolpe yourself! For example take wolf children.. You are only doing it because you are not satisfied with your looks , do you see the point? The society got you on the *****, where they wish you to be! You haven´t got any self confidence..
If you once cut your hair you will think I overcome the obstacle... Then you will start thinking : Oh, I cut my Kesh now I can try other, things like smoking etc, I overcome the obstacle to cut my kesh so no one can stops me- and then you are fully in the jaal of maya and so called "pleasures".
You are only searching of YOUR definition of Sikhi, not that one GURU ji gave - the best and easiest one.
Ask you a question are you a Lion full of temper and confidence? Or are you a sheep without confidence and
full of depression and superficiality, thinking whole day "how will other people see me etc"?? Are you a leader? Would you die starvation dead like a Lion, who doesnt finds any meat? Or would you be like a sheep getting his sheeps wool removed? Ask yourself question what is your aim ? Do you think you would be a better human when you cut your hair? Do you think people will se you in a other way?

If you cut your whole hair you will get a step farer away from guru ji... But probably you are already cutting it... You are already getting far away of being a Sikh

Hope you understood what I am talking about. I know my expresson isnt that good...
 
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findingmyway

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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.

To be honest and blunt, I think you are very confused, and it sounds like the appearance is an excuse for deeper issues. In one breath you say appearance is not important for what is inside but in another you say that the appearance makes you think about your conduct and reigns you in. Do you really want to cut your hair so you don't feel guilty about doing things you know don't fit in with the lessons of Gurbani? Is it really a way of giving in to reckless abandon and having the licence to do that as you won't be spotted among the hordes anymore?? Have you tried to read and understand Gurbani at all? Do you have any affinity to anything the Guru's have taught us? I am not asking for a reply but these are questions for you to think hard about yourself and think long with complete honesty even if that honesty is painful.

I also wonder whether your feeling that people looking at you differently in Gurdwara is paranoia. Everyone is generally so wrapped up in their own world I really don't think your personal life is their concern!!
 
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findingmyway

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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.

Harvir ji, thank you for honesty. I also know how painful bullying can be. I also grew up in an all white area but when we moved house and schools I learnt that bullies will find any excuse so changing appearance/name etc etc would not have helped. My bullying made me less afraid to stand out as i will never fit in so why try!!! I still get stares at my full length swimming costume and other Sikhs still tell me to shape my eyebrows but my kesh is my kesh and I won't give it up for anyone as it helps me internally and belongs to me! My Sikhi beliefs make it worthwhile the comments and stares for me personally :mundabhangra:cheerleader
 

bscheema

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Jan 4, 2010
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:sippingcoffeemunda:i had been through this situation and i did cut my hairs , becoz thr is no one in my family keeping them ....but when you left on the other side of the river and you look at your Singh brothers and sister you will feel regret ...i thought thr ll b call from guru but i kept waiting for that call ..then i realized the regret in my heart is a call ,guru is calling me back he wants me to his Sikh , so its was very hard but i turned out to be the Real Singh ..
so brother ... if u having a feel not to cut, that's Guru's call don't miss it ...:blueturban:
 
Nov 15, 2004
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Openminded ji,


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.

I think that this should be your *only* concern.
But I wonder if this is the direction that you were taking, why did you then post the YouTube video above? Or is it in fact because you found the explanations there so silly, that it served to highlight the fact that there is really no good reason for keeping hair?

For me, apart from considering the wishes of my parents, the only good reason for not cutting hair is that it is a bother having to do so regularly. This however does not translate into encouraging “keeping” the hair long. Vanity is there whether we have short or long hair. It is present when we look at the mirror, be this into the face of someone with the hair cut or someone with a joora, while making sure that the hair falls correctly or the pagri not go out of shape. Short hair or no hair at all however, have the advantage of being easier to stay clean and avoidance of unnecessary heat, which of course is not such a big concern.

But except for our parents, should you be concerned about what other people think? I don't think so. If some Sikh criticizes you for cutting your hair and you feel concerned about it, what about those who criticize you for keeping it and looking different and out of place? Being independent does not mean that you are not influenced by the views of one group of people but end up being so by another group. It is when you "know" what is good and right.

To take into account your parents' wishes is good and right. This is because without them you wouldn't be what you are and where you are. You may not agree with their views, and keeping your hair is not proof that you do. But it does show that you respect them and this is a good quality which they would be happy with. And with respect you may also express your wishes on this matter to them. Indeed it may turn out that because you take their feelings into consideration, they take your feelings into consideration and allow you to do what you want. And if they don't, this is not such a big loss.

Like I said, the question of hygiene etc. is not so big. If it is a matter of what “others” think, then you should learn to be more independent. And the only way this can be achieved is by developing more understanding about what is in fact good and right, which brings me to the fact that keeping hair has nothing to do with developing good qualities.

Some talk about standing out and being proud, but are these really good qualities? Some try to make you feel guilty for cutting your hair, but we know that guilt itself is not a good thing and the reasonings on either side of it are not guides for good conduct. I leave you to ponder over this. And I would like to encourage you not to dwell too much on such kind of matters, be it now or later on. If upon making your decision you later regret it, I say, don't. Every moment is a new beginning, an opportunity to do what is right.
 

Navdeep88

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Dec 23, 2009
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Honestly,

If you're not doing your path and stuff, how Sikh are you anyways? 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., it may in the eyes of others, but what is that judgement worth anyways, everyone has their own path, at the end of the day it's God leading us this way and that anyways... so don't fret so much. Chill a little bit, think about what bothers you sooo much about your dhari, b/c it seems thats where the negative perception is coming from. What makes you think you're not handsome or beautiful otherwise?

There will always always be something about yourself that you don't like, and more so, there will be PLENTY that other people don't like about you! It's never gonna stop, there's always gonna be that something, or that hating aunty or someone that's always gonna have something to say, the question is what do you take into consideration???

Imo, you need to learn to love yourself. First and foremost, go look into that mirror and see something nice for a change. Next, go through all your relationships (son, brother, friend, student etc) and list how you are good at that. How are you a good son? What makes you a good friend? Don't forget to remind yourself of your positive attributes too, not just dwell or get consumed in petty negative things eh?
 
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TigerStyleZ

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Mar 31, 2011
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Bro, read the message of Bhein ji Navdeep she told you everything.

I tell you a story from a friend i met. My friend was born in Germany, his real parents were deported in his early age. Actually he should be deported as well, but some christian church members helped him out. So he was a "Orphan" and raised in a orphanage. One day he asked the church members where he and his parents were from and they told him the whole Story. He was very upset but decided to keep to his roots. So he started learning about "Sikhi" with help of the orphanage and the church members. He was so impressed from Sikhi he decided to keep hair in age of 9 !!! So he was only child with long hair in city of Monas. He was bullied very hard by other children- so his grades started suffering as well. You know kids are horrible. He said to me that he came to a crossroad in his live. In which he would decide to keep his hair or not, is it worth it to keep Hair and stick to my roots? Is it worth it? I am living here in a other country, I don´t know where my real parents are , why should I follow a different Religion ? What does it change if I cut it or not? Will it make my live easier? Will they accept me ? Will i get another person? (Chruch memberes influenced him as well) He came to the conclusion that nothing will change people will hate/love him like he is. Can you imagine in this small age??!? So he started to show it all and hisself. EVERY DAY he woke up on 5 AM did his sports and path( englisch translations :S) He started to do sewa and was involved in every charity etc.. And slowly people started to like him and he got friends. He build an huge personality , and people started to respect him and bullying stopped. Do you see the message? He was HE and people started to accept him and his personality. ( Think of your friends they like you the way you are!)Since begininng he know he was different, so he doesn´t start to change hisself , even for irrational reasons.



People fighting for their Sikhi and you are giving up , with this illogical reasons. You are old enough to decide . But imagine WHY you are doing this and will it change anything, besides your looks?

Accept the way you ARE or deny yourself like others do
You are OPENminded aren´t you?
Do it for yourself, not for others!
 

Harry Haller

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Jan 31, 2011
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OpenmindedSinghji

I think a summing up would be a good idea.

I do not detect an ounce of spirituality in you, although I could be wrong, I think that you are not prepared to follow the life that has been mapped out for you by your parents, I sense a streak of rebellion, a need to go and discover life, and all its pleasures and pains without the baggage of your turban, but what difference does a turban make? It watches you, it is there, like a beacon of squareness shining out to all and sundry that you are a complete square, a follower, a worshipper, someone that believes in a God, You can't drink whilst wearing it, nor chat up women with any seriousness, and as for snorting drugs, well, bit hard with a full moustache, in short, the turban for a young man like yourself is the most unglamorous thing to wear on your head you could think off. Yeah sure all the talk about history and sacrifice, it touches a nerve in you, but it doesn't really put you off the idea, your young, and hip and fashionable, you want to look good, smell good, so a few old men died, but that was them, you have no point to make, you just want to have some fun dammit!

Now I am not judging you, if thats how you feel, its understandable, I felt like that once, but let us take a more mature look at the problem here, because frankly none of this, do it for Guruji, or remember the shaheeds is that important to you, no, what is hugely important to you is the community, your parents, your aunties, your uncles, in one fell swoop you are about to plunge your dear family from community leaders to nobodies, ah the shame, the responsibility, why does everything seem to hinge on your turban, unfair isnt it, you can see it in your minds eye can't you, mum crying, dad shouting, being herded away from younger members of the family in case you corrupt them, you will be forever known as 'that lulu' and theres nothing you can do about it, and all over a bit of hair, and a turban, ludicrous isnt it.

Yes, it is ludicrous, but that is the life decision you must make, run with it, get married, have kids, respect your parents, get involved with charity work, turn into your dad, or, reject it, run wild, run free, feed every sensory need, no turban to scare people off anymore, you can be normal, you can shave, maybe grow a goatee, maybe an emo haircut (dont go to baghdad!), and let me tell you something, when its the middle of the night, and you cant sleep, because all you can hear are your mothers tears, and you look at the woman you barely know sleeping next to you, the stale smell of booze, pot, the traces of lines on the glass table, the money you owe, the people you mix with, you will be just as lost as you feel now, and just as miserable.

So what is the solution to the way you feel? understanding is the solution, you must understand yourself, you must understand what it is you want, and you must be honest with yourself as to how much you want it, and whether you are willing to bet other peoples happiness on it, to achieve an end result that could even make you unhappier.

If I am miles off the truth, I apologise, If I am close to the truth, do reply, and maybe between us all we can help you find that understanding, because without you could end up making a lot of people very unhappy, and still being as miserable yourself

Your Brother

Harry
 
Mar 6, 2012
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TigerstyleZ ji,

Thanks for sharing that story. This issue is, that I no longer feel comfortable with my identity. It's not that others don't.

Harry ji,

Thank you. I don't ever see myself doing any of the things you mentioned, twenty years down the road, but I don't see the point in keeping my identity if I feel depressed and miserable doing so. I don't see myself as being able to live as a Sardar with a trimmed dhari. Just think about what kind of image that sends?

Navdeep ji,

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."

I agree completely.
 

Ambarsaria

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Dec 21, 2010
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OpenmindedSingh ji thanks for first seeking opinions and then sharing in pretty upfront manner your thoughts. I have couple of comments.
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.

  • That is absolutely true.
Likewise, lack of hair doesn't make one totally un-Sikh either."

  • 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.
You need to work with your family, parents, friends and usually it is the love and respect for each other which sustains.

So do what you want as there are millions who have gone from Kesh to "non-Kesh" and vice versa.

Sat Sri Akal. mundahug
 

Harry Haller

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Thank you. I don't ever see myself doing any of the things you mentioned, twenty years down the road, but I don't see the point in keeping my identity if I feel depressed and miserable doing so. I don't see myself as being able to live as a Sardar with a trimmed dhari. Just think about what kind of image that sends?


Veerji,

Im confused, you want to live the same life you have right now, just without a turban?

could you clarify brother, thank you
 

Luckysingh

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Dec 4, 2011
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Open minded Singh ji

After seeing the responses, I do get the idea that you do feel it's OK for you to go ahead and become mona, as you already trim your beard.- What I mean by this is that your own personal decision is fine with you, BUT it's just the reaction of others that seems to be your main concern and worry.
You seek good reasoning on how to explain this to your parents etc...etc.
Sadly, you will never get any convincing justification, no matter how hard you try.
THE DECISION IS YOURS AND YOURS ONLY.
This is part of life, growing up and getting wiser- you learn as you walk your chosen path.

If it's a hindrance to you in one way or the other and you feel you would be better off without the khes- then be it.-You will only know if you action.
How you feel, is something that can only be affected by your own actions.

Good luck.-whatever you choose.

Someone loses their khes and someone else gains......Someone loses something one place and someone gains elsewhere.....These are events occuring simultaneously all over the world- it keeps the earth spinning, the clocks ticking, the days going.
So, if you lose your khes, somewhere someone will be gaining their's.

Waheguru
Lucky Singh
 

TigerStyleZ

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Mar 31, 2011
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Lucky ji, that is exactly what I meant with my post!

@OpenmindedSingh
No answer will satisfy your parents , because they want you like a "Sardar". But you have to live with it, and like LuckySingh ji said, it is only YOUR decision. No one can take you this decision. But Oneday maybe you will find back to Sikhi! Better then ever! We can only learn by what we do! So it is up to you!

Kesh or not hope, you will never loose Sikhi!

Good luck in future, bro!

Roots of Love! A video I found browsing on Youtube.
Roots of Love (Trailer) - YouTube
 
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