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Siropa Question

Harkiran Kaur

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Jul 21, 2012
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To say that I am speechless is an understatement! But yesterday, my sangat bestowed siropa on me for the legwork I did in having the Royal Canadian Navy accept Sikh females with turbans and the 5 k's. Previously it had been only Sikh males were allowed. Consequently, I then became the first female in the Royal Canadian Navy to tie a dastar in uniform. World SIkh Organization of Canada had assisted me, and when they published a news release on their website about it, from there it went international, eventually showing up even in print in India. The story was carried in jagbani, and even Times of India newspapers, putting little old Halifax, Canada on the Map. My sangat thought this was worthy of acknowledgement, though I feel I have not done enough to receive this honor. For me, it was fairly simple because I just wanted to be myself both in and out of uniform, though I have to admit it wasn't easy in the first week or so as I got many many strange looks, and some higher rank members tried to 'pick me up' (a military term meaning giving you trouble for your uniform not being in specifications) but once they noticed it was a turban and not a hat as they had thought, they very awkwardly went away. (They had thought I was wearing the winter toque hat out of dress - that is to say I was not wearing the winter parka jacket which is required if you are wearing the toque. I guess from a distance, a dastar looks like a toque in shape). I have had quite a few stares, and comments under people's breaths. But those things are minor. I always thought siropa was for acknowledgement of Sikhs who did things directly for the Sikh panth or extrodinary seva etc. (someone like Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Ji) Not for personal struggles or minor things... Anyway, needless to say I was in tears when they gave it to me.

Now my question is what do I do with the actual cloth? I don't want to do anything to disrespect it, so want to make sure I am caring for it properly etc. Should I keep it with my nitnem etc.? Some people say you can use it as keski under your turban... the cloth is thicker than I am used to though, so I am not sure if it would be malleable enough to use as one. For now I have my nitnem wrapped in it...
 

ActsOfGod

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Aug 14, 2012
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I always thought siropa was for acknowledgement of Sikhs who did things directly for the Sikh panth or extrodinary seva etc. (someone like Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Ji) Not for personal struggles or minor things... Anyway, needless to say I was in tears when they gave it to me.
In paving the way for Sikh women to serve in the Royal Canadian Navy, you have directly served the Panth. You never know how many Sikh women will follow after you in the years and decades to come, but you were the first, you opened the door. It was a struggle, and you did your part. Your service is not diminished or trivial. You gave what you had to give. Bhai Gurbaksh Singh is giving what he has to give. In the end, what matters is that you served.

AoG
 

Harkiran Kaur

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Jul 21, 2012
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Thank you for your kind words ActsofGod. I guess I just feel like there are more deserving Sikhs... but now that my sangat has given me this honor I hope I live up to their views of me.

And what about the actual cloth? Whay do people do with it? I have read that some use it as a keski but this material is very thick and stiff, so I don't think it would work well in that capacity. Right now I have my nitnem gutka wrapped in it... I figure keeping it with my other religious articles was best place to put it for now till I figure out what people usually do, and I don't want to do anything direspectful either.
 

testtest

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Aug 25, 2004
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ActsofGod ji has beautifully expressed it... wrapping nitnem gutka sounds like a great thing to do...
 

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