Tag Archives: panjabi

Breaking: College Is a Pretty Time Consuming

…but I still find time to miss blogging 😦

Today is Gurpurab! It’s the birthday of the first prophet of Sikhism, who was quite the feminist:

gurpurab

So happy happy gurpurab to all!

Other than that, I’m not sure if I have nothing to talk about, or so much to talk about that I don’t know where to begin.

Oh OMG.

I’m doing a talk on Sikhism in my World Religions class :O

WTH SHOULD I SAY EVEN. HELLO, I AM SIKH, HOW ARE YOU. BOLLYWOOD PORTRAYS US BADLY. NICE TO MEET U???

Jk, I have a pretty solid outline. I’m just afraid I’m going to bore people. Also I want to bring in Sikhi-related snacks?? Like I’ve been googling “Khanda Shaped Cookies,” and “Sikh treats??” All to no avail. I would make some but A) Idk if you’re allowed to bring in homemade things, and B) this one time I pranked my brother by making him think I was giving him a glass of carnation milk, but really it was a glass of water and salt. And I feel like whatever I make would probably taste something like that.

ALSO

I have been so into South Asian high fashion lately.

Some of my favorite stuff:

Neeta Lulla

Neeta Lulla

Beige embroidered anarkali set with studded waist belt

Malasa

Obviously these things would cost roughly my first child. But it’s fun to window shop! Also, I realized what I like about high fashion things compared to…not-high fashion things? is that they’re kind of more understated. But I’ve discovered that I can make knockoffs by pairing dresses from Forever 21 and salwars I have laying around 😀

Anyways, I have to write a paper :/ I have Microsoft Word open and it’s literally glowing like “why aren’t you writing me you procrastinating failure” so imma go. BUT I’LL TRY TO BE BACK SOON, OK!?

I love u

M

PS- Thoughts on the new theme? I love the concept but is it too cold? Ok bi

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1984

Guys. I live in North Carolina, right? The most Panjabi thing here is…me. We RARELY get Panjabi movies down here on dvd. We don’t even have Disco Singh yet. BUT TOMORROW. GUESS WHO’S DRIVING (5 hours) TO GO SEE 1984…IN AN ACTUAL THEATER????

 

YA GIRL. YA GIRL AND HER MOM. :DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

 

That’s right. Diljit’s new movie 1984 is playing a few towns over, and me and my momma, who has become a huge Diljit fan, btw, are going to go see it. I can’t believe we’re actually able to see a Panjabi movie in theaters. AHHHHHHHHHH.

Okay, so real quick, 1984 is a film based on the true events of the Sikh genocide of the 1980s and 90s. Thousands of Sikhs were killed, robbed, and raped during this time, mainly at the hands of the Indian government. For the past 30 years, we’ve been silenced about it. At the time, India banned foreign journalists from entering the country, to prevent the rest of the world from seeing the atrocities India was committing. Even today, Sikhs are denied visas into India for speaking up about the genocide. Only recently has there been some aknowlegement of what happened to us at the time, while we have been reeling from it for decades. The fact that movies like this one are starting to come out is huge. It’s long past time for our story to be told.

So if you live in a random place like me, hope is not lost! If there’s a showing near me, there’s definetly a possiblity there’s one near you too. I encourage EVERYONE to go see it, Sikh or not, Panjabi or not, brown or not.

To see if it’s available near you:

http://www.fandango.com/punjab1984_174015/movieoverview

 

-M

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Gandhi tho :/

Ya girl ain’t got a whole lot of love for “the father of India.”

 

 

I’ve had this post in mind for a long time, literally years, but I know a lot of people look up to Gandhi, and if you’re one of those people, reading this won’t be that fun of a time. But so much about Gandhi that really irks me is never talked about, and I feel like it really should be. So here goes.

For one thing, he was racist.

Which makes it particularly annoying when people compare him to Nelson Mandela.

Gandhi regularly used the term “Kaffirs” when referring to black people, which is essentially as disrespectful as using the n-word. Additionally, on the status of Indians in South Africa, he is quoted as saying,”the Indian is being dragged down to the position of the raw Kaffir(…)whose occupation is hunting and whose sole ambition is to collect a number of cattle to buy a wife, and then pass his life in indolence and nakedness.” Also, “We could understand not being classed with whites, but to be placed on the same level as the Natives seemed too much to put up with. Kaffirs are as a rule uncivilized — the convicts even more so. They are troublesome, very dirty and live like animals.”

…..

……..

so….yeah. There’s that.

And I know a lot of people society tends to look up to are nowhere near perfect, but for someone put on SUCH an incredibly high pedestal, we certainly don’t talk about how racist Gandhi was enough. Like, it’s not like he committed arson as a kid, or had a drug addiction, or anything like that. He had a deep-seated, inexpiable hatred of black people. This wasn’t a mistake he made, or anything in the realm of things that could be forgiven, you know? Like Michael Jackson. Did he get plastic surgery? Yeah. Did he get more than he admitted? It’s possible. But does that discredit everything he did? Not at all. But Gandhi is known for his advocacy of nonviolence, which implies an appreciation for life. And so his racism is in complete contradiction of what he stands for in society’s eyes.

 

 

 

And the second reason I don’t look up to Gandhi is because of his view of Sikhs.

 

If you look, you can find positive statements Gandhi made about Sikhs. However, many people of prominence during Gandhi’s time were making positive statements about Sikhs, because, like how Muslims were given Pakistan when the British left India, the Sikhs were very close to being given their own state, Khalistan. Seeing this, and fearing the loss of land, Indian officials spoke favorably of Sikhs, to convince them that they did not need Khalistan. Promises were made to Sikhs, and ultimately, we decided we did not need a Khalistan. However, after we turned down the offer and decided to stay in India, the promises made to us were broken. You can gather Gandhi’s true opinion of Sikhs in statements he made more privately–

 

For one thing, he tried to devalue the Sikh identity–

“I read your Granth Sahib. But I do not do so to please you. Nor shall I seek your permission to do so. But the Guru has not said anywhere that you must grow your beards, carry kirpans (swords) and so on”

It is very clear to Sikhs that we have been commanded to maintain our identity, which includes unshorn hair and carrying kirpans. Like, we have a whole holiday dedicated to the anniversary of the day that our prophet made this commandment. If Gandhi felt that we do so unnecessarily, fine. That’s not what bothers me so much. It’s his almost hostile tone in the above quote that really gets me, when he feels the need to state he read the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, but not to please Sikhs. Like why you gotta add that last part? C’mon. Gandhi has also been recorded as saying that he does not acknowledge Sikhism as a religion. Which, as a Sikh myself, is pretty insulting. The man who people refer to as the father of India did not acknowledge Sikhs. He would not have acknowledge me.

I think Sikhs in general don’t have a whole lot of love for Gandhi, given the above paragraph. Growing up, I was never taught about Gandhi by adults in my community. The only thing I ever heard about him was that he called Sikhism’s 10th prophet a mountain rat. I haven’t been able to find this quote, but I wouldn’t really be surprised if I did.

 

I did learn about Shaheed Bhagat Singh, though. He was an atheist who was born into a Sikh family. Like Gandhi, he was pro-independence, and he made contributions to the independence movement. He even fasted in protest of the British government, just like Gandhi did. But it seems no one remembers Shaheed Bhagat Singh, at least not to the extent that they remember Gandhi. Shaheed Bhagat Singh was eventually killed in his fight for independence, and yet he is not seen the way Gandhi is seen, not by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe it’s because he was not against the use of violence, the way Gandhi was. Or maybe it’s because of his family line linking him to Sikhism, and what people like Gandhi have done to make sure that people in this category are seen in a different light in India.

 

 

So…I didn’t write this post to offend anyone. I just wanted to offer a fuller picture of Gandhi’s beliefs to those who might not know about all of them. Whether or not this has changed your view of him, if you ever come across someone who does not appreciate Gandhi as much as most people seem to, perhaps you will have a little more understanding as to where he/she is coming from.

Thoughts?

-M

 

 

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HELLO

Listen, it’s been a week. I’m sure it’s been some form of a week for you too. So let’s do something fun this post. Let’s just chat. No. Even Better. Let’s chaat.

File:Dahi Puri (cropped).JPG

Anyone? Anyone? (K DO ME A QUICK FAVOR AND PLS TYPE “ANYONE” AND SEE IF YOU SPELL IT “ANYWONE” BC I DID IT LIKE 5 TIMES.)

 

Speaking of chaat…I miss food in India. And I miss how often people eat in India. When we were there, skipping meals was totally out of the question. In fact it was more acceptable to have 2 dinners in one night than no dinner. And I’m a 2 dinner type of girl NOMSAYN.

 

 

Oooh has anyone seen Disco Singh?

 

 

 

 

 

For those who don’t know, its a Panjabi movie that was just released and it’s said to be REALLY good, as it has a super talented cast and crew. I can’t wait to watch it, but until then I will be patiently waiting. Here in America…in the Bible Belt. Yeah it might be a while.

 

OH YEAH AND ALSO

HAPPY VAISAKHI GURPURAB EVERYONE!

Vaisakhi is a festival marking the beginning of the harvest season in Northern areas of the Indian subcontinent, celebrated by many religions–

 

 

 

But for Sikhs it’s also a religious holiday, because on Vaisakhi of 1699, our tenth prophet, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, gave Sikhs their identity (uncut hair, karas, kirpans, etc.) and established the warrior-mentality that Sikhs would use to fight injustice and violations of human rights. Jusreign explains it pretty well–

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHvZeo057jc

 

ANYWAYS. Yeah. That’s about…all I got? Idk. Listen guys. I have a lot of stuff I want to post about. Like deep stuff you know. BUT I JUST DON’T KNOW. I DON’T KNOW HOW IT’S GON GO. But obviously I have to because the posts tend to be dull these days, because I’m not talking about what’s on my mind–which is always when the interesting posts happen. So okay. This is my promise to you. Next Monday, I’m going to talk about something big. Something that’s been irking me. I don’t know what it’ll be, but it’ll be good.

 

See you then?

-M 🙂

 

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AM I ACTUALLY INDIAN THO?

( I accidentally published this earlier in the day before it was finished, my B.)

Anyways, hey guys. I’ve been wondering. Am I actually “Indian?”

Because I think the answer is no.

Tom Hanks – Really?

 

Yes, Voice of Reason, really.

 

Well then you might have some revisions to make there, M.

 

Revisions? What do you mean revi-

 

 

 

indulging

Oh. Right. I’ll fix that. 

 

Also, what the heck, M?! What do you mean you’re not Indian??

 

It’s actually not as crazy as it sounds, I promise. I’ve just kind of realized that nothing about me is actually Indian. Let me explain myself in three nice and organized main points.

*AHEM*

REASON 1

Technically, I’m not Indian. Like, in technical ways. 

Think about it. My nationality is American, because I’m a citizen of the United States.

And my ethnicity is Panjabi.

listofmodernethnicgroups

So even technically, nothing about me is actually Indian. It’s not my nationality, and it’s not my ethnic group. It’s no one’s ethnic group, really. “Indian” is a nationality. Panjabis who live in India are Panjabi by ethnicity and Indian by nationality, Panjabis who live in Pakistan are Panjabi and Pakistani the same way, and Panjabis who live in the U.S are Panjabi and American. I’m a Panjabi-American.

So there’s that.

ALSO

  Reason 2:

Culture Confusion

I’ve always been friends with the brown kids in my school, most of them of ethnicity originating in India (see what I did there). And while I was always able to be pretty tight with them, and we’re always able to have a laugh, I noticed pretty early on that, whenever we talked about our cultures, there was always some confusion. They wouldn’t know what I meant when I said there’s a new bottle of Rooh Afza in my house. I wouldn’t know what they meant when they said they had a Bharata Natyam class to get too. I noticed my friends were able to connect over their cultures in a way I wasn’t. In fact, even after knowing some of them for a while, they would ask me if I was Indian, or, lol, just ask me what I was. Not in a rude way at all–they were sincerely unsure, because I didn’t do any of the “Indian” things that they did. There were occasions where they labeled parts of my culture, like Bhangra, as strictly Pakistani, and not Indian. Which is fine. I love Pakistan and I love that my grandparents were born in such a beautiful place. And it’s true, a lot of the traditions and customs my family is familiar with–like Rooh Afza, for example–are familiar to Pakistanis as well. But my friends saying this  just kind of showed how unfamiliar my Panjabi culture was to theirs, that they did not consider it Indian.

And they were kind of right. Panjabi culture is different from that of a lot of India. We speak a language specific to our region,we eat unique foods, we have different traditions, and most Panjabis in the world are either Muslim or Sikh, not Hindu, like the majority of India (even though there are some Hindu-Panjabis).

I know that India is pretty diverse, and many regions have traditions and cultures that are pretty unique. But there are a couple of factors that make Panjabi culture even more different, I think. For one thing, more than half of the Panjab region is in Pakistan.

File:Punjab region 2.png

This has allowed our culture to have some Pakistani influences, even for those of us who don’t live in Pakistan.

Additionally, because most Panjabis in India are of a different religion than the rest of India, religion has had a different influence on our culture. For example, Panjabis are famous for many meat dishes, including some with beef. Because Sikhism doesn’t ban meat, at least not as explicitly as Hinduism, Panjabis have developed a unique cuisine to reflect this.

 

 

And lastly,

 

Reason 3:

Politics and Stuff

India has always oppressed Panjabis, it’s just a fact. Sikhs and Panjabis have always fought valiantly for India, and they continue to do so today:

sikhsinmilitary

And yet, today, the Indian government channels over half of Panjab’s water supply to other parts of the country–an act which is prohibited in the Indian constitution.

Also, 30 years ago,  the Indian government attempted to wipe out the Sikh population of India, killing and displacing over 50,000 Sikhs and Panjabis.

India still denies visas to Sikh refugees who fled to different countries during the genocide 30 years ago, and to those who speak out against the government’s actions against Sikhs.

Additionally, over 73.5% of Panjab’s youth are drug addicts–not just users, but addicts. The Indian government has barely acknowledged this tragic and strange statistic, nonetheless done anything about it.

Not to mention Bollywood, India’s major movie industy, which almost never fails to portray both Sikhs and Panjabis as unintelligent, drunk, and irrational. (There are quite a few good articles on this, so the link is just to the google search. You can take your pick from there.)

There’s also the fact that Mahatma Gandhi, who is hailed as the Father of India, refused to acknowledge Sikhism as a religion.

As I learned about them, all of these unfortunate facts kind of made it harder and harder for me to identify as an Indian. And I’ve learned that this is actually not uncommon. Some Sikhs, particularly after the Sikh genocide,  find it hard to even identify as Panjabi, nonetheless Indian. And not just the crazy rebellious youths such as myself. 

 

So…with these three reasons, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not really Indian in any way. The last reason is kind of the kicker for me. Even if the first two reasons were still there, I might not have a problem calling myself Indian if it weren’t for the last reason, which is the lack of respect and fair treatment Panjabis and Sikhs get in India. I’m not trying be dramatic or anything here, really. Like, am I going to start correcting people when they call me Indian from now on? I don’t really know. I just know that this feels right. ” Panjabi-American” feels so right. It’s what I am, you know? I listen to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan while eating hot dogs. I go to Starbucks in my Patiala salwar kameezes. I’m a blend of these two cultures, and I think they’re really all I need to describe myself when it comes to the culture that has surrounded me my whole life.

Let me know your thoughts?

See you next week 🙂
-M

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I’M HERE. I’M HERE WITH A POST. SNOW QAWAALIS ETC.

Day 21 of M’s absence. Blog takeover is almost complete. Last step remains: remove whale background. Why is it still–

VOICE OF REASON!! BUDDY!!

M! WHAT…WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?

 

What do you mean what am I doing here!? I’m back! We got the laptop fixed!

Oh…well, I meant…why HAVEN’T you been here?? I’ve…missed you!

 

Really?

Yeah…of course…why wouldn’t I. 

I don’t know, V, I’m sensing some sarcasm…

Sarcastic, who me? NO. *slams door*

……

…………

………………

…………

……

 

neeru2

It’s good to be back 🙂

We got a new keyboard for our laptop! 😀 We spilled cha on the old one, lol. Silly brown people. 

And oh! Happy belated Valentines Day!! I was bummed that I didn’t get to post the week before Valentines Day. Ever since the V-Day post last year I’ve been kind of nervous as to how I was going to live up to it this year, since so many people seemed to like it. But now I think not being able to post was actually a good thing HEAR ME OUT. It kind of made me realize that I shouldn’t try to outdo myself like that on the blog. I wrote that post because I had had the idea in my head for a super long time to talk about Panjabi love stories, and I just thought Valentines Day would be a good day to do it. I didn’t know it was going to become my most-loved post. And so I think I should just stick to that mindset, and write posts that I really want to write because I really want to write them. Is that gucci with everyone?

Alright, speaking of posts and whatnot, I don’t have anything planned right now lol. So let’s just talk! Everyone grab some cha. And keep it away from your keyboard.

It snowed so much in North Carolina where I am omg. And when it snows here we don’t know what to do. This was literally us this past week.  AND ALSO. It snowed in Panjab this week! I’ve always been under the impression that snow in Panjab is rare, but I’m starting to suspect it’s just not recorded officially every time that it happens. Like, in 2012 it snowed in Panjab and it got a lot of media coverage, with claims that it was the first snowfall in Panjab, India in decades. But I’ve been checking out some videos on Youtube, and it seems like people have been uploading videos of snow and hail in Panjab every year for a few years back, including this year, 2014:

And of course it snows in Kashmir quite a bit:

As well as Himachal Pradesh, which is part of the Panjab region, and used to be part of Panjab state as well:

*Sigh* Snow in India, man. I can’t imagine anything more beautiful. When it snows here I pretend like I’m in Kashmir. 

Alrighttttttttttt. What else is new. Hmmm. Oh okay omg I stumbled on this AMAZING song on Tumblr:

http://www.tumblr.com/search/heeriye+faqeeriye

IT’S SO GOOD. YES, IT’S IN PANJABI. BUT I FOUND AN ENGLISH TRANSLATION: http://zouve.com/punjabi/heeriye-faqeeriye-satinder-sartaaj-lyrics-english-traslation/

Some parts are lost in translation, of course, but I mean hey. Even if you don’t know Panjabi, you can still enjoy this flippin’ song. Play it. Play it now. And turn it up loud. Annnnd close your eyes. You. Are. Welcome.

It’s by Satinder Sartaaj, who’s a pretty big Panjabi singer right now. I’ve always known he was pretty off the chain, but after hearing this I looked him up a bit more and it turns out he’s studied music in college, and has a Ph. D in Sufi music! That’s so insane to me! Like I didn’t even know you could get a Ph.D in Sufi music!! Sufi music, by the way, is like a type of music that’s popular in South Asia and I think some Muslim countries outside of South Asia as well. I’ve been listening to Sufi music foreveeeer, thanks to my mom. It’s just such a beautiful form of music. When I think of Sufi singers, I think of a bunch of dudes, and these days some awesome ladies, sitting on the ground playing various instruments and singing with all their heart.

A Sartaaj example:

A classic example:

A bollywood-ified example if you fast forward to 3:10:

And a parody rap/hip-hop version 🙂

  So there ya go. Those were all qawaalis, which is the more romantic branch of Sufi music. The other types are mainly religious, and just as beautiful 🙂

So yeah. I guess that’s it, guys. Idk what else to talk about. Actually I kind of do. But it’s late and this post is already long….man, I feel like there are so many things I’ve been wanting to blog about that I *still* haven’t blogged about. I need to get on dis. .Anyways, you should comment things! Down there! Do it. Do it now. Do it please. Also follow me on twitter if you want, idk

https://twitter.com/emkayjay

 

Aight, well see you guys next week 🙂 I promise I will be less all over the place 🙂

-M

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THE SWAGGY SARDARS OF PANJAB

Aight. So while I was in Patiala, Panjab, I saw. SO MANY. Fashionable sardars. A sardar is a Sikh who wears a turban. Like, Patiala in general is so stylish. I got two of my suits from there and some shoes and everyone’s dress was soo on point. But at one point I just saw this guy with a plaid shirt and a sweater vest and a red pagh riding a bike and it was like the swaggiest thing I’ve every seen and I was like yo. I have to start documenting this. And so the pictures you see I took over the course of about an hour during which I resolved to take a picture of every swaggy sardar I could capture. It only lasted an hour because I soon realized that there was no way I could get them all. But here are a small fraction of the sardars of Panjab. Some of them had style, others had swag, and each of them had it going on in one way or another. Annnnd some of these pictures have no sardar in them at all, but the internet is being funky and I can’t delete them. Okay, enough of my technical woes. Enjoy the swag!!! 🙂

-M

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