Punjab Research Group

A Ritual Slowly Unravels In India By Rama Lakshmi

Posted in Articles by Pippa on April 3, 2009

Alarm Grows as More Sikh Youths Give Up Turbans

Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, March 29, 2009; A11

 

CHANDIGARH, India — Text messaging with one hand and holding a cup of milky tea in the other, spiky-haired Amandeep Singh Saini, 27, recalled the year-long battle he waged against his traditional Sikh parents to cut his hair.

The act was blasphemous to his father, who tied his long hair in a turban, the most visible marker of Sikh identity.

“I was 14 then. I wanted to jump into the village pool and play in mud. The long hair and the turban were always in the way. It took half an hour to tie the turban every morning,” said Saini, a student pursuing a doctorate in Punjabi literature.

After he cut his hair and discarded the turban, his two brothers followed suit. “My mother wept, my father was angry, but I was stubborn,” he said. “At that age, you don’t think about right and wrong. I look around the campus today, and there are so few turbaned Sikhs.”

Read further: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/28/AR2009032801901.html?referrer=emailarticle

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