This one’s going out to my “bring a friend to Gurdwara” buddy who has the best pixie cut in town 🙂
Hey there! Okay, so I was thinking, I never take you guys anywhere. That’s just not cool. Today we goin out. And it’s a Sunday, so what better place to go then Gurdwara??
Let’s do this.
Alright, so we’re pulling up to Gurdwara. Cool. If it’s Vaisakhi or any Gurpurab, we’ll park anywhere from 2 to 57 blocks away. But it’s not, so we’re good! Alright, proceed inside the building. You’re doing great 🙂
Little did they know the worst was yet to come.
Voice of reason! Don’t be ridiculous. We’re going to have an awesome time, reader, don’t you worry 🙂
Perfect! You already know the drill. That’s right, take off your shoes and put them– oh—no, you’re going to want to put them on a higher shelf. Higher. Higher. One more. Theeere ya go. Unless you want people wearing them to the bathroom, or small children trying them on, you’re going to want to place your juthia at an altitude only accessible by latter.
Alright, now we’re going to proceed to the area where kirtan is being done. You’re going to want to cover your head with something, there ya go. Most Gurdwaras provide headcovers. We’re now proceeding to the kirtan hall. This is wear the congregation is sitting and listening to the Gyani Ji sing prayers. What you’re going to do is you’re going to walk up to the Guru Granth Sahib Ji and matha taike, or bow before it. Sounds simple enough, right?
Look. Your matha taike is where this could all go wrong. Firstly, there’s the chance that you’re going to step on your pants and fall down infront of everyone. Even if you make it to the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, when you bow down, your pants might slide down and bare your booty to kind, Gurdwara going people. Keep it together. Have your wits about you. We’re going in.
Alright, doing good team. Walk, nice and slow, almost there–
*My lipgloss is poppin’*
WHAT? IS THAT YOUR PHONE?? TURN BACK. REEL IT IN, TEAM. ABORT. ABORT.
*Outside kirtan hall*
Come on, man, your phone? Rookie mistake! Do you think this is some kind of game?! What do I have to do to get you to understand…
Alright. I guess I’m going to tell you why this is such a big deal. Once…I was in the Kirtan Hall. Prayer was being done, the entire congregation was silent. When…all of a sudden…the phone of the dude in front of me starts blaring. Blaring. He jumps and runs out of the hall. And…it wasn’t just anyone…It was Gyani Ji’s son.
That’s a true story.
I’m going to need a moment. I-I’ll be okay.
Okay, I’m okay. Do you see now?? Do you see what’s at stake here? I can’t see that happen to another, you hear me? I’m not going to let it happen. Turn that thing on silent and let’s go back in there and do what we came here to do.
Alright. Going good. No more mistakes since the Lil’ Kim incident. As you can see, the dudes are sitting on one side and the girls on the other. Basically, this is so that you can focus comfortably on the service. Since we’re all sitting on the ground, you don’t want to accidentally matha taike and, when standing back up, hit your head on someone’s butt and have that person be the opposite gender. I mean, it’s still awkward if they’re the same gender as you. But…okay I don’t really have a great explanation for the girl/guy sides thing. But I do know that I just kind of feel more comfortable with that set up, I think. But I’ve sat on the guy’s side before, it ain’t really a big deal.
Anyways, that’s our Gyani Ji up there doing kirtan, or prayer. If you look around, you’ll see some people are singing along. If you want to try to join in, go ahead. If you ever realize that you don’t know what line is coming next, simply say, “Wah…” and close your eyes like you need a spiritual moment to yourself. Nobody will suspect a thing.
Alright, so. We’ve been sitting here for awhile now. Gyani Ji is going to stop doing kirtan in a little while, and start doing paht. Basically, we’re all going to stand up, put our hands together like we were clapping and then froze, and matha taike when apropriate.
Alright! You seemed to get through that well! Now we’re going to sit back down, and someone is going to pass out prashad, which is an edible substance consumed for religious purposes. Well, first, little kids are going to go around passing napkins. Here comes one now. Alright, we got our–oh, okay here comes another little kid. Quick take the napkin he’s offering you! No! No, don’t tell him you already have a napkin! He’s going to–
Oh, okay. Well, there it is. He’s going to continue staring at us with sad, rejected eyes anywhere from 5-7 seconds. Now, we wait.
Okay. That was intense. It’s okay. Some kids are going to get there napkins rejected sometimes, you know? I guess they might as well learn now.
Alright, go ahead and eat your prashad. Good, huh? Just don’t touch your clothes afterward. Or your face. No, I don’t care if you have a napkin. The napkin is just for show. You’re going to need a bucket of water and a steel wool to get all the oil off of your hands.
Alright, now uncles are going to stand up and make announcements and stuff. Look’s like Mr. Atwal’s up first.
“Waheguru Ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji ki Fateh. Aj, meh kanne ke sare jawania ethei….”
Okay, you’re good to tune out now. He’s just going to talk about how Sikh kids in this area are the supreme children of the universe. Or he’s going to say that we don’t know enough Punjabi. One of the two.
*A few uncles later*
Okay, it’s now time to leave the kirtan hall to go to the langar hall, where we eat. A lot of Gurdwaras just have the langar hall right outside the kirtan hall. But you, my friend, are not that fortunate. We’re going down some stairs. And not just with anyone, oh no. We’re going to go down stairs with brown people. I will tell you now that you have never been in more danger in your life. The key is to walk behind an elderly person who walks slowly, because then everyone will keep a distance from you. Oh, there’s a sweet looking old lady. Let’s go stand behind her.
Alright, doing good team. Just keep walking, nice and slow. Hand on the rail, there we go. Oh. Okay, elderly auntie in front of us is now turning around…She’s made eye contact…oh God…red alert. I should have prepared you for this. We’re being thrusted into…
A CONVERSATION IN PUNJABI
Oh God. Okay. Leave it to me. We might just make it out of this.
That was…that was…I need to learn Punjabi, okay?
…Um…hmm…okay this is awkward…so my computer stopped working. I’m now writing this from my ma’s phone. So you know what that means….
Part two of our Gurdwara field trip coming soon!
It also means that there are probably a lot of grammar n spelling mistakes in this post since I can’t really edit effectively……… 😀
See ya next week!