C'mon Inner Peace… I Don't Have All Damn Day
The ladies on my island gather for a monthly Majong game; on occasion I join in. Normally I keep my personal life about Manny and I private, but on this particular occasion they seemed curious about my relationship.
I explained that I would be going back to India in a few months to marry Manpreet there as opposed to here in Florida; the original plan. Like a group of Meercats, their curiosity was peaked.
The ladies asked all of the “normal” questions I have become accumstomed to, you know, “Isn’t that dangerous?” or “How do you know you won’t be stoned to death?”
I got pats on the back with a deep-stare into my eyes before informing me “You do know they consider women to be second class citizens,” and “What if they kidnap you?”
I explained that Sikh people are a peaceful people who believe in serving the needy and self-sacrifice. They consider women to be equal to men. In fact, their founder Guru Nanak first proclaimed equality of men and women in the year 1499.
But this falls on deaf ears.
Instead they mention a movie from 1991 “Not Without my Daughter” where a woman marries an Iranian man who takes the family to the Middle East on vacation, but the husband ends up trying to keep the daughter in Iran.
There is so much wrong with this line of thinking that I wish I didn’t have to justify it with an actual answer.
I would like to respond with my normal blend of Jersey-sarcasm, but instead I opt for living peacefully in my neighborhood with as little enemies as possible.
I explain calmly “The movie was set in the Middle East and India is in Asia; Sikh people wear turbans but they are not Muslim.” I have many Muslim friends whom I adore, but Sikh people are not Muslim. Plain and simple.
I further explain, “Manny was raised wearing a turban, but he does not any longer; he has cut his hair and trims his beard.” When one sweet-lady responds loudly “Well that’s good news, I don’t want any turbans in THIS neighborhood!”
More often than not Sikh people are confused with Muslims here in the United States.
In 2012 a gunman opened fire at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin shooting ten people then committing suicide. He was a known white-supremacist who thought he was fighting a “holy war” with Muslims, but he did not do his homework prior to creating havoc; naturally he assumed anyone wearing a turban was the “enemy.” The Sikh community deals with this racism constantly, and now, so do I.
In recent news a Sikh man was beaten in a road-rage incident outside of Chicago, simply because he wore a turban. Chicago-area police took their sweet time defining this as a “hate crime” even though the person who committed the crime was calling the Sikh taxi driver “Bin Laden” as he bashed his face unrecognizable.
I do not condone any attack, but without education the ignorant shall remain ignorant.
A Sikh person wears a turban as a symbol which shows the world who they are. They believe in keeping the body that “God” gave them as natural as possible, so most won’t cut their hair or shave their beards… but some do.
The religion believes in “one God” much like Christianity and they do not follow Mohammed in any way. They marry one wife, do not believe in the caste system and do not believe being a martyr will send them directly to heaven with seventy-virgins. In fact, Sikh people do many charitable things such as feed millions of people every single day at their temples without asking for anything in return.
You can identify a Sikh man by the way the turban is brought to a point in front. There is a difference between the head wrap of a Muslim-extremist and the turbans Sikh people wear.
I have taken the time to get to know Indian culture, even more-so Sikh people and I could not be more proud that I will say “my husband is a Sikh man.” They are funny, warm and giving… but sadly most Americans do not open their minds past seeing the turban.
After explaining all of this one of the ladies asks “so he is a Sheik?”
“Nope. Guess again. He is Sikh…” I reply.
Subscribe to Buddhaful Britt –>HERE
For more stories in the Gori and the Sikh category, click—> HERE
Read about “My Indian Boyfriend “—>HERE
My Big Fat Sikh Wedding: Indian Astrology —> HERE
My Big Fat Sikh Wedding: The Dress —> HERE
Surviving Long Distance Love—> HERE
Open Letter to my Husband—> HERE
Our Honeymoon, Rishikesh India—> HERE
Fiance Visa Process—> HERE
Cr1 Marriage Visa Timeline—> HERE
US Embassy Interview—> HERE
Journey to New Delhi—> HERE
First Trip to Jaipur India —> HERE
Our First Diwali—> HERE
Giving Thanks, Shukryia —> HERE
Being Sikh in America—> HERE
The Indian Grocery—> HERE
A Path to Happiness—> HERE
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