Tag Archives: sikh

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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The world right now, let me tell ya. #NorthWaziristan ft. #Palestine

First of all, Falasteen Zindabad.

Apartheid is happening in Palestine right now. To me, arguing about it doesn’t even make sense at this point. It’s a fact that hospitals, schools, children, and elderly people in Palestine have been targeted in huge numbers, to the point that this “conflict” is completely one-sided. I don’t have a whole lot of patience for any arguments against this anymore. If you still feel like this is a two-sided conflict, all I can tell you is to get a new, less-biased news source in your life. Obviously, #IStandWithPalestine.

Moving on to something that has been in the news literally never.

Okay not literally, thanks to Al Jazeera.

But almost never.

North Waziristan, Pakistan.

The Pakistani government has launched a huge air and ground offensive in north western Pakistan, particularly the North Waziristan province, in an attempt to eliminate the Pakistani Taliban. As proud as I want to be of the Pakistani government for doing this, some people have been questioning the motives behind this attack, with claims of various conspiracies. I mean, I would think the government is putting their genuine effort into this, especially after the attack on a major airport in Sindh province that happened recently. But as I don’t know a whole lot about the government aspect of this, what I will speak on is the sacrifice of the people of North Waziristan. Thousands have been forced to flee their homes, to avoid becoming casualties of this air strike, many into Afghanistan. And like, they’re not even mad, because they know it’s for a good cause. But it’s summer right now, and it was also just Ramadan. So conditions haven’t exactly been ideal. Not that conditions are ever ideal for fleeing your home. Some families have returned to find destroyed homes. And my thing is, why hasn’t this been in the news more? These people are leaving their homes for our safety. The Pakistani Taliban is not just a danger to them, but, when looking at it’s roots and long term effects, to the world. In Pakistan, these IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons), have gotten more attention. The Panjab government has pledged at least 2,000 new houses to the IDPs. Which is nice. Really really nice. Unfortunately, there are  more than 2,000 IDPs. There are actually more than 700,000 IDPs from this situation. That’s .7 million.

Al Jazeera has some stuff on this whole thing: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/2014/07/pictures-pakistan-offensive-co-2014714133154188322.html

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/2014/07/pictures-pakistan-troubled-tirah-20147114547630421.html <–This one mentions the Sikh community in the area 🙂

My heart is with Palestine and Pakistan ❤

-M

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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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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 Moonlit Market

In Old Delhi, there is a market. In this market, anything can happen.

chandnichowk1

Cricket victories can be celebrated.

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Muslim kids and Hindu kids can be BFFs.

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Shaadis are finalized!

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Rich people get afraid for their safety!

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Bhangra happens in the middle of the street!

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Shah Rukh Khan can pass through and enjoy the dancing!

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And trip!

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Rich people can realize they were right to be afraid!

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More Bhangra!

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Partays!!

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And if you run fast enough…

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You can suddenly be in Egypt.

M…you know that’s all from Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, right?

Yeah, so?

That movie is fictional…

Umm no, Voice of Reason. Kabhi Khushi Khabhi Gham is for real.

It’s really no–

k3g

…I think we know who won here.

Along with everything, Chandni Chowk is cool for a bunch of other reasons!

First of all, it means “Moonlit Market.” I mean if that’s not a cool enough meaning, it’s literally a rhetorical device as well. If I ever made a market, I would be lucky if it even had a name, much less a name that is an alliteration! Like really! Does it not sound like something out of Aladdin??

Pretty much Chandni Chowk

And okay. Get this. It was established in 1650. And it’s still functioning! That’s amazing! It’s like antique that still works perfectly! Emperor Shahjahan’s daughter, Princess Jahanara, designed it.

I think one of my favorite things about Chandni Chowk is the places of worship in it. It has masjids (mosques), Hindu temples/mandirs (are temples and mandirs the same thing? I’m not sure…), a church, and a gurdwara. So Muslims, Hindus, Christians, and Sikhs all come to Chandni Chowk to pray ❤

File:Sunehri Masjid in Delhi.jpg

Sunehri Masjid (Mosque)

File:Fatehpuri Masjid.jpg

Sunehri Masjid

File:Fatehpuri Masjid.jpg

Fatehpuri Masjid

Sri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir

Gauri Shankar Mandir

Christian Central Church

Gurdwara Sis Ganj 

Gurdwara Sis Ganj is actually one of the gurdwaras I’ll be visiting while in India. I think I mentioned this before, but it is where our 9th prophet was beheaded. I can’t believe I’m actually going to be at that place…

I don’t know how keen my grandparents will be on going to the shopping area of Chandni Chowk, but hopefully I’ll be able to convince someone to take me there! We’re going to be, like, right there. How can we not?! If no one wants to take me…I might have to slip away for a liiiiiiiiiitlee excursion when no one’s looking……..jk…….not really………jk………..or am i who knows

Alright guys, that’s all I got this week. In about 30 hours, imma be on a plane on my way to the mother land. It’s actually happening you guys. 🙂 Posts  will still drop on time during the coming Mondays, but I won’t be able to approve comments, unless I have wifi wherever I am. Also, just want to say that writing on here has been such a big part of me falling in love with South Asia. All of your questions and comments and likes and views have made it that more special. I’m so glad I’m going to get to share my first visit with you guys 🙂

Till next time,

M 🙂

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Give Thanks: Remembering a Sacrifice

You probably know that this Thursday is THANKSGIVING!!! You might also know that it is HANUKKHA as well!! Woo! And you probably DON’T know that Thursday is also Shaheedi Gurupurab!!

SAY WHAT M?! 

Basically, a Shaheedi Gurpurab in Sikhism is the martyrdom anniversary of someone significant in our religion. And for this particular one on Thursday, it’s pretty interesting that it falls on Thanksgiving. Let me tell you why.

This Shaheedi Gurpurab marks the death of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, the 9th prophet of Sikhism. To give some background, there are ten prophets in Sikhism. When Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji’s predecessor, Guru Har Krishan Ji, was dying, he said that the next prophet would be found in the village of Bakala. Predictably, TONS of dudes from Bakala were like I’m totally the next one. And so the man who’s task it was to find the next prophet was in quite a pickle. His name was Baba Makhan Shah Labana…we’ll call him Butter for short. Some time earlier, Butter had been on a boat that was sort of capsizing, and he prayed to God and said if he survived he would donate 500 mohars, the currency at the time. What he said was, and this is form Wikipedia so idk how accurate it is, “”Please save my ship and my men… I pledge the 500 gold mohars tied to the belt at my waist, which without your help will soon be at the bottom of the sea. Please accept this as my humble offering.” 

Fast forward back the the search for the next Guru. When he got to Bakala, he began handing out mohars. Tons of people were flocking him and telling him they were the prophet. He was like lol aight whatever you say people smh. A man named Tegh Bahadur, though, was just chilling in his house. When Butter eventually crossed paths with Tegh Bahadur, he handed him two mohars. The (not yet named) Guru took them and smiled. He asked, “Where are the other 498?” 

:O

GET IT? BECAUSE BUTTER HAD PRAYED TO GOD AND OFFERED 500. BUT GURU TEGH BAHADUR WASN’T ON THE SHIP WITH HIM OR ANYTHING. SO HOW DID HE KNOW. 

:OOOOOOOO

Needless to say, Butter freaked and went around yelling from the hilltops that he had found the prophet.

Okay. Background over. Back to the Thanksgiving-Shaheedi Gurpurab connection.

During the Mughal rule in India, many people converted to Islam. Some did so voluntarily, while others were forced. At one point, the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb was trying to get a certain group of Hindus to convert, and these Hindus went to the Sikh prophet Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji for help. He told them to tell the Mughal that if he could convince himself (Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji) to convert, then all of the Hindus would as well. And so the Hindus were like um ok lol if you’re sure and told this to Aurangzeb, who wasn’t to happy. In fact, he had Guru Ji arrested and tortured until he embraced Islam, which he never did. Finally, Aurangzeb told Guru Ji that he could either become a Muslim or be killed. And killed he was.

Guru Ji was not just standing up for Sikhs. He was defending Hindus, who practice a completely different faith than us and whose teachings contradict many of ours. Additionally, Hindus had, on occasion, betrayed Sikhs our to enemies. This didn’t stop him from giving his life for them. Furthermore, he was not trying to take a stand against Islam. The founders of Sikhism were known to be tight with some Hindus AND Muslims. What he was doing was standing up for everyones’ freedom to live his or her life the way she or he wants, as a Sikh, as a Muslim, a Hindu, anything. And this Thursday, I don’t know how much I’m going to be celebrating the beginning of the systematic removal of Native Americans from their land, but one of the things I am going to try to remember the sacrifice Guru Ji made. The fact that I am a Sikh can be directly traced to his sacrifice, and for this, I am thankful.

What about you guys? What’s going to be on your minds this Turkey Day? Comment below, I’d love to know. 🙂 Yes, I am a rapper.

-M

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BANDI CHOR DIVAS!

Okay first things first. I know I said I would do more on Khyber Pakhtunkhwa this week, but Bandi Chor Divas is this coming Sunday AND I WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT IT BEFORE IT ACTUALLY HAPPENS, YOU KNOW?
Also, I know I said I might post a little bit during the week about Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but then I thought about it, and I know it emails some of you everytime I post, and I don’t want you to get like multiple emails a week, right? Would that be annoying? Or would it be ok? Lemme know!

OKAY. BANDI CHOR DIVAS.

I have to start this post by taking a trip down memory lane. Last year around this time I was all

diwalipost2012

You don’t actually have to read all of that. I just put it  there for visual effect. if you already read it…I’m sorry. I should have put this before I put that whole thing. So you would know not to read it. …

kareena

Haha it’s all good, M.

kareena1

Nah, it’s okay! They probably didn’t even read the whole thing!

kareena2

…what?

kareena3

M…what are you sayi-

kareena4

M CALM DOWN! IT’S OK! NOBODY READ IT!

kareena5

WHERE ARE WE TRAPPED??

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NEITHER DOES ANYONE ELSE!

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shahid2

kareena8

What, Voice of Reason?

shahid4

Get on with the post.

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ok.

Ok. SO last year around Diwali time I told you guys about Diwali! I told you that it is a Hindu holiday with significance in Sikhism as well, right? WELL GUESS WHAT? IT TURNS OUT WE ACTUALLY HAVE OUR OWN HOLIDAY COMPLETELY SEPARATE FROM DIWALI, WHICH CELEBRATES WHAT I THOUGHT WE CELEBRATE DIWALI FOR. BY WE I MEAN SIKHS. DOES THIS…DOES IT MAKE SENSE? NO? LET ME EXPLAIN THEN.

Okay, so last year I told you guys that Diwali is significant for us Sikhs because one of our Gurus, Guru Hargobind Ji, was released from jail. This is him, btw:

And he didn’t leave jail just like that. There were 52 Hindu prisoners who were wrongfully imprisoned, and when Guru Ji was told he could leave, he said that he wouldn’t leave unless the 52 Hindus were also freed. Emperor Jahangir, who was the one in charge here, was basically like lol.

“this guy wants me to release everyone else, smh”

And so Jahangir said “Aight, as many prisoners can hold on to the hem of your shirt, that’s how many can go free.” And so he probably thought it would be like one or two prisoners. Buuuut Guru Har Gobind Ji had something up his sleeve (that’s almost a pun but not quite 😥 )

Let’s just say, he had a special shirt made…

And so all the prisoners who were just imprisoned for their religion were freed. And this happened right before Diwali, so thanks to Guru Hargobind Ji, all of the Hindu prisoners got to celebrate their holiday as free men. And us Sikhs, we gained a holiday ourselves, known as Bandi Chor Divas, or Day of Liberation. 

To me, this holiday is pretty special. It’s all about justice. Guru Ji was free to go and everything, and he didn’t have to risk his freedom by making demands of his own. But he did. Also, what kind of prisoner makes demands for his own release? Like, that’s pretty boss. 

Anyways, Bandi Chor Divas is this Sunday. Whether or not you celebrate it, enjoy the holiday! And remember the value of justice, and how much even just one person can make a difference. 

Happy Bandi Chor Divas 🙂

-M

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Stuff You Didn’t Know About The Golden Temple

 (or maybe you did, idk. I don’t know you. I don’t know what you do or don’t know. But I mean there’s probably a fact or two in here you don’t know so I would  just stay on the safe side and read it ; )

So I started watching this documentary on Netflix called Himalaya where BBC’s Michael Palin goes all over South Asia saying wonderfully British and sometimes wonderfully corny things about all the places he visits.

It’s the greatest thing.

Anyways, at one point, he visits Harmandar Sahib, or the Golden Temple.

Golden Temple, Amritsar 2013-05-21 01-35.jpg

This is the most well-known gurdwara, or place of worship, for Sikhs, but it’s also amazing from a secular viewpoint. And as I was watching the documentary, I realized I’ve never really told you guys why the Golden Temple is so great. Let me go ahead and…I’m going to…that’s what I’m going to do now…

*Ahem*

REASONS WHY HARMANDAR SAHIB IS DA BOMB (NOT LITERALLY OK LET’S JUST NOT EVEN GO THERE)

1) Everyone is welcome.

Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, atheists, white people, black people, brown people, all the people! This might not sound so unique in 2013, but the kicker is that it’s been this way since its founding in 1604. Like a lot of places, India is a place where discrimination based on religion,etc. has been somewhat prominent in its history. But in 1604, the Golden temple was one of the only places to be blind to trivial bhaqwaas. (Yes, I changed my spelling of backwass to this classier looking version I saw Zayn Malik tweet, idk which one I like better yet.)

2) Free food for anyone who wants it.

Harmandar Sahib’s kitchen is run by volunteers–doctors work alongside rickshaw drivers to provide free meals to the tens of thousands of people who show up there everyday.

source: http://banwait.tumblr.com

If you want to see this in action:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/video/Kitchen-of-the-Golden-Temple.html#ooid=NkbWhkMjqqiVQdKhUlG3FjYYh2z70DTS

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRwQ7n9431s

3) Including freaking Akbar. 

At one point, Mughal Emperor Akbar visited the gurdwara, and sat on the ground alongside all of the other visitors. 

4) Four doors. (I did not make this one #4 on purpose omg)

There are four doors into the Golden Temple, symbolizing that it is open to everyone in every direction. Including One Direction. 

“Thanks for looking out, Guru Ji mate!”

M why has One Direction been mentioned twice in your post about the Golden Temple. I’m just curious.

Voice of Reason don’t be so judgmental ok. This is a post about the Harmandar Sahib so why you gotta be like that?

BUT THAT’S WHAT I’M SAYI–

5) Solar energy

In a country not exactly known for its environmental awareness, Harmandar Sahib plans to switch to (if they haven’t already, I’m still trying to find out) solar-powered cooking facilities. 

6) Also, steel plates.

I just really have  thing for steel plates idk. Just something about them not going in a landfill really gets me going. But yeah, Harmandar Sahib has those 🙂

7) It’s beautiful, inside and out.

golden temple inside carvings 466x700

golden temple inside people 550x366

source: travelindia123

source: sikhwallpapers

source: blogabond

8) It’s surrounded by the Amrit Sarovar (the water), which, paired with the white stone ground, gives the entire complex a peaceful, heaven on earth feeling (not that I’ve actually been there to really know but hey. I’ve heard ok??)

source:http://linnietraveler.tumblr.com

source:http://lakeside-amusement-park.tumblr.com

source: http://yeh-hai-meri-kahaani.tumblr.com

http://crushabledotcom.tumblr.com/

…M?

…Um. M??

….HELLO?!?!?

Sorry! It’s just so beautiful that it hypnotizes me okay?

So yeah. That’s Harmandar Sahib. Writing this felt like describing some prized possession or something, that is so nice I can’t actually believe it’s mine. But the thing is, Harmandar Sahib isn’t only mine. It’s yours too.

As you guys know, I haven’t visited it yet. But from what I’ve heard, it’s an out of body experience. My grandma remembers visiting it, and tells me that she felt like she was actually in heaven when she saw it. I can’t wait for that feeling, and I can’t wait to tell you guys about it : ) If you’ve been to Harmandar Sahib, let me know what it was like! Same if you haven’t–I’d love to hear your thoughts as well!

Have an amazing week guys! : )

-M

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Happy Birthday, Guru Granth Sahib Ji!

Hey guys! 🙂 How y’all doing? How are we liking the whale background? I’m really feeling it, idk. 

This week, the Gurprub for the Guru Granth Sahib Ji is being celebrated. Basically what that means is Sikhs around the world are celebrating the officiation (not actually a word but it sounds nice so just roll with it pls) of our holy book. So to honor this, I thought I would share some of the coolest parts (in my opinion) of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji with you!

BUT before I do, I wanted to tell you guys about going to gurdwara last night because OMG. It was actually kind of magical. ( M I didn’t come here to hear about your weird life. I totally feel you. Feel free to skip this–the quotes from the Guru Granth Sahib Ji are in bold down below :). )

So for the past month or so, I’ve been taking this class that lasts from 2-5 or sometimes 2-6 on Saturdays and Sundays, so I haven’t been able to go to Gurdwara for a while. Which, I mean, I don’t go that regularly, so it wasn’t that big of a deal. But I was getting kind of…gurdwara sick? Gurdwara sick. I was getting a tad gurdwara sick. (Part of me wonders how much of this was just me missing the food there… ) But this past Saturday, the teacher of the class I’m taking just didn’t show up lol. (It was actually kind of scary. Pencils started flying…multiple selfies were taken…) So we all just left after an hour of waiting. My grandparents were  going to Gurdwara that night, so I was like yo. Take me wit chu. 

Before I left, I was on the phone with a friend of mine, and I was telling her I was pretty excited to go, because of how magical it would be at night. And as I started to describe this, I realized that it really was truly magical. Like magical at the Aladdin level.

Yeah. 

In my gurdwara, the entire upper floor is carpeted with blue carpet and there’s a huge chandelier in the middle, along with big windows along the walls, and string lights on the outside of the building. 

So when my grandparents, me, and my friend who I was on the phone with (she actually asked to come along! Shout out to Swathilama! (Katey, I will definitely take you sometime too, if you still want to go!)) and I got to the gurdwara, there were 3 Ragis there. Ragis are like people who travel, usually from India, to do Kirtan, or prayer, for different congregations, instead of the normal Gyani ji, who usually does the kirtan. When I’ve seen Ragis in the past, they were usually dressed in white and navy blue or black. However, while the ones at gurdwara last night were wearing white kurtas, all three of them were also wearing these beautiful bright yellow paghs. And there was just something about that paired with the blue carpet (not to mention the blue ramala) that looked so amazing.

yellowpughs

my creeper pic…at least I censored faces ok?

AND THEN, when I went downstairs, I was super suprised: people were setting up steel plates, spoons, and cups. Ever since it’s founding, my gurdwara has used Styrofoam and plastic plates and utensils. EPA loved us for it. But I guess we’ve ditched that tradition, and I just haven’t been to gurdwara in THAT LONG lol that I didn’t even know it.  I was like “omg metal” and everyone else was like “chill out you’re so behind.” So, as corny as it sounds, seeing the shiny steel plates just added to the magic of the night. 

Okay, that’s the end of my awkardly personal rant. 

So below are some of my favorite quotes from the Sikh holy book. I promise I’m not trying to push my religion on you guys, lol. But I know that not a whole ton of people know about Sikhs, much less what we’re all about. So I thought I’d share a little bit of that. 

Enjoy!!

“Recognize the Lord’s Light (Spirit) within all, and do not consider social class or status; there are no classes or castes in the world hereafter.”

“Man is born from a woman; within woman, man is conceived; to a woman he is engaged and married. Man is friends with woman; through woman, the future generations exist. When his woman passes away, he seeks another woman; to a woman a man is bound. So why call her bad? From her, kings are born. From a woman, woman is born; without woman there would be no one at all.”

“While you are alive, conquer death, and you shall have no regrets in the end.”

“By falsehood and deception, none have found Him. Whatever you plant, you shall eat.”

“Without selfless service, no one ever receives the fruits of their rewards.”

“True wealth does not burn; it cannot be stolen by a thief.”

“As she has planted, so does she harvest; such is the field of karma.”

“For the sake of it, you journey to sacred shrines and holy rivers; but this priceless jewel is within your own heart.”

“Even Kings and emperors with heaps of wealth and vast dominion cannot compare with an ant filled with the love of God.” -Guru Nanak Dev Ji. 

“tru.”

Have a happy Gurpurab 🙂

-M

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