| Opinion | Malaysia | 10 Aug 2017 | Asia Samachar |
By Samlaleo Singh
Really sad to read an article so skewed. I am married to a Chinese + Bidayu lady and have two kids all following Sikhi, never got the privilege to have an anand karaj because we were told both needed to be baptised. We were told to change the name of female spouse to Sikh, only then we will be allowed to do so.
I never did. We just registered in the legal form and went to gurdawara and got Guru Ji’s blessings. Here I am 18 years later, kids all grown. They do nitnem, path (recitation of Gurbani) and listen to kirtan daily. We go to gurdawara, we do sewa as a family like any other Sikh family. My only regret is that the Sikh community is more concerned about one’s race than spreading the love of Guru Ji…
Folks like the writer of the article ‘Mixed Marriage Dilemma’ forgot that every Sikh should also be baptised (amarit shak or partaking amrit), only then are they allowed to get married. But it seems he too, forgot that after marriage of these Sikhs, most do not follow the Sikhi way. Buts it’s ok because they are Sikh. Sad reality.
Here is my advice. Stop the politics in gurdawara, create an environment for youth to be closer to Sikhism. Stop spreading hate. Sikhi doesn’t belong to Punjabis only. It’s a universal religion.
* This is the opinion of the writer, organisation or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Asia Samachar.
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Sikhi doesn’t belong to Punjabis only (Asia Samachar, 10 Aug 2017)
Mixed marriage dilemma (Asia Samachar, 8 Aug 2017)
Gurdwaras must adopt changes, marriage counselling badly needed, Ipoh Sikh seminar told (Asia Samachar, 23 July 2017)
Mixed faith marriages should be banned in UK gurdwaras (Asia Samachar, 16 Sept 2016)
Mixed marriages in gurduaras (Asia Samachar, 31 Aug 2015)
I was truly dishearthened when I read the views of Darshan Singh in his original article. His facts were clearly distorted and no less than racist. The problem with most Punjabi Sikhs is that Sikhism can only be inherited, i.e. by being born to Punjabi Sikh parents. That view has turned many Sikhs away from the religion and coming from a mixed marriage (inter religious) background myself, I was always treated an outcast. If not because of the Sikhi values embeded in me by my mother who came from a Rajastani Hindu family, I would certainly not be the proud Sikh I am today.
My parents were married in Kampar Gurdwara in the early 1920’s. I have an uncle who married a Malayalee woman in Parit Buntar Gurdwara in the 1930’s and another who married a chinese in the Taiping Gurdwara in the same era. That certainly disproves Darshan Singh’s claim that Gurdwaras previously disallowed marriages between non-sikhs. My mother and both my aunts became staunch Sikhs and I, my siblings and most of my cousins are Amritdhari Sikhs.
I had married a Ceylonese Buddhist who is now a staunch Sikh, one who does her nitnem without fail, and who goes to the local Gurdwara to do seva a few times a week. Her problem with being a Sikh, is the same as mine, where she is often told she is not a true Sikh because she is not Punjabi. That would be a strange form of inheritance indeed. Wonder why the Sikhs of Punjab did not stand up in Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s darbar to protest the non-punjabi’s being given the honour of being accepted as Sikhs by our beloved pita ji.
I am a Tamil; fell in love with a Punjabi girl 50 years ago and finally got married 43 years ago. The Punjabi community was against us; although I embraced Sikhism 43 years ago and am a baptised Sikh, we were not allowed to get married in the Sikh Temple in Singapore (Wilkie Road?). We married for a selfish reason which was ‘love’. We knew not the treacherous and discriminative path that lay ahead. But we defied opposition and made a promise to be united in this lifetime or in death. Alternate arrangements were made for our wedding to be conducted at the Waterloo Street Hindu Temple. Post-marriage, my wife paid a huge price for marrying me; excluded from her family functions and generally, looked down upon by her family as well as the Punjabis for marrying a Tamil.
We have 3 lovely children who are good Sikhs. Although I try very hard to be a good Sikh, my Tamil ethnicity does not go well with Punjabis; I am always at the fringes of any Punjabi function nowadays! I want my children (50% Punjabi) to return to the Punjabi mainstream genetic make-up. 2 of my children are now married to Punjabis and their offsprings will, no doubt, be 75% Punjabi.
I realise that it is important to have an unaltered racial, cultural and traditional identity; mixed parentage dilutes this. The children of mixed Punjabi-non Punjabi parents experience discrimination at school and socially. The language, culture and tradition of both parents are not passed down to the children as English becomes the lingua franca. It is these sad realities that prompt me to advise the Punjabi youth to selfishly guard their language, culture and traditions by aggressively promoting Punjabi-Punjabi marriages.
Having had said that, I would like to conclude by saying that I love my Punjabi wife very much and I will marry her again and again and again in all my future births ……………