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Tying Dastar All The Time Now. My Experiences

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Tying Dastar All The Time Now. My Experiences

Harkiran Kaur

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Okay so my city is small, and we have a small Punjabi / Sikh community here. Only one other girl ties a dastar, and occasionally we have one or two others from Toronto etc come to the Gurdwara.

So obviously I stand out... and I mean I REALLY stand out, being not only gori now but also tying a dastar. The first time I went to the Gurdwara with it on, was during Samagam last month. Mostly there were people from away when I arrived (at 4 am to help my good friend with breakfast langar) There were a few women there with dastars... funny story is one aunty has a home between here and Toronto and also knows a mutual friend in Toronto who had talked about me before, so she surprised to get to meet me... but anyway, back to the point.

It's been amazing! Sure some older aunties look at me funny, and a few have tried to tell me that I don't 'need' to tie one, even after I do Amrit. That's ok. I wasn't going to push my belief that turban is for ALL Sikhs on to them. "Let your total awareness be the turban on your head" that was not meant for just men. Not only men were meant to be in Guru Gobind Singh Ji's 'roop'.

Most regulars at the gurdwara have gotten used to me in it now as I have been tying it every weekend. For the last week however, I transitioned to all the time... except for when in military uniform, and that's only because I have to challenge the current dress regs. Apparently Sikh men can wear turbans in the Canadian Forces but not women.

Anyway, so I have been in public with it on, and have run into various Sikhs numerous times... some who don't go to the Gurdwara very often and think I surprised them. Others didn't know I was wearing it outside of the Gurdwara. I have gotten looks from the general public but nobody... not a single person has even asked me about it. I thought it would be a bigger 'thing' than it actually is... nobody even takes notice!! I guess in general, my city is very accepting and multicultural anyway.

I never thought I'd get the courage to even show up at the gurdwara... look where I am now!

I also have the trick down pat now with gol dastar! Twist the keski round my hair then coil loosely and more low on top of my head and then keep going around same as dumalla style to fill it out. It always turns out nice and round on top now!
 

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Harkiran Kaur

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Okay so the biggest hurdle was today... It was civvy day (meaning we can wear our normal clothes instead of uniform, and pay 2.00 for charity) So I used this opportunity to show up wearing my dastar (since I am tying all the time outside of work anyway now)

I thought I'd get much more 'razzinng' from people than I did... a couple of the guys I work with in good humour made a couple jokes just in fun (and they amde sure I knew there was no mal intent or thought - more about my height than the turban. I am short... only 5'2" and apparently with dastar, I am taller and people can see me among the cubicles better haha)

Anyway I also spoke today with one of the padres on the base. They are the experts with theology and regulations regarding this stuff. He said there is no way they can stop me in the end because if men are allowed, women should be allowed as well. However knowing how Navy Chiefs are very black and white, he suggested speaking with the Base Chief with one of the chaplains present if needed... and bring up the issue. The aim is to change the wording in the dress regulations to allow women as well and hopefully make it easier for other dastar tying girls who wish to join the Canadian Forces.

All in all... this ENTIRE transformation has been HUGELY rewarding:

1) When I look in the mirror now, I see the image of Guru Gobind Singh Ji... There is no way I would have without dastar.

2) Also it feels just 'right' I can't explain... and it's a constant awareness of the area of dasam dwar.

3) I think more before I do things, because I am much more visible now as a Sikh. Therefore I think more about what I am about to do if it's the right thing.... moreso than any other kakkar or article (some do consider keski as 5th kakkar and not kesh).

4) An unexpected benefit - I used to get lots of headaches related to a prior neck injury. They originate from right at the base of my skull in the back. The even pressure that the dastar always puts in that spot now, is preventing those headaches alltogether!!!!! Seriously! I am pain free as far as headaches now (at least headaches related to this injury!!!!!!!)

Lastly... not that looks matter at all... but.... I think I look good in it :)

Most Sikhs in the sangat here though, probably think I am nuts for wanting to do this. When my friend moves soon, I will be the only girl who ties one here at all.
 

Tejwant Singh

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Akasha ji,

Guru Fateh.

Just to say,"I am very proud of you" would be an insult for this beautiful journey of self discovery of yours. You look amazing in the dastaar because of the glow that you have been able to light from the within with the help of perseverance, determination,grit.
Congratulations!

Regards

Tejwant Singh
 

Harkiran Kaur

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Thank you both... truth is though, I am just a normal girl, driven by..... 'something' I can't quite explain... haha. I don't even feel like I am the one doing things anymore, it's like I am being guided in everything I do. So everything now just feels right. Maybe I am just a little bit odd hahaah!!
 

Harkiran Kaur

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Do you ever have the problem that the very same piece of fabric one day ties perfectly and the next day refuses behave?
I had to laugh when I saw this because yes... sometimes it takes me 15 mins flat to do gol dastar PERFECTLY! The next day, I might have to undo it 10 times before it looks right because I have a stubborn buldge making one side look lumpy or the turns were not even, or at the top the cloth came loose, or its too loose on the bottom, or too tight on my ears, or... I could go on and on. haha

I think if I didn't worry so much about it being perfectly symmetrical and having perfectly aligned 'lines' it would be successfull most times. But I am OCD I think with it! But the one that irritate me most are luimpy looking dastars because of one part being thicker while above it turned out thinner so it makes a 'lump' in the fabric.

In reality though, its probably nowhere near as noticible as I think it is...
 

aristotle

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I think if I didn't worry so much about it being perfectly symmetrical and having perfectly aligned 'lines' it would be successfull most times. But I am OCD I think with it!
I don't want to sound patronising, but do you use the baaj/salayi (a thin metal spoke-like thingy) for correcting the wayward layers of cloth?
 

Tejwant Singh

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I don't want to sound patronising, but do you use the baaj/salayi (a thin metal spoke-like thingy) for correcting the wayward layers of cloth?
One can also use knitting needle for that. I always use water spray bottle when I tie my pug. Thin spray helps a lot for me.
 

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