Mixed marriages: We can’t stop them anymore

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| Opinion | Malaysia | 11 Aug 2017 | Asia Samachar |

By Dr Balwant Singh Bains

What Darshan has put up here is an opinion matching with two generations that has passed.

Obviously many of us are failing to accept that the world is getting globalised and human mixture is rampant and is getting inevitable. We cannot anymore stop someone to like or love another from a different ethnic.

Some one in Perlis (a state in the north of Peninsular Malaysia) told me many years ago, after I had performed a kirtan and a discourse session, that it’s a shame to see people today avoiding the use of the surfix “Singh” and “Kaurs” after their name and are drifting away from Sikhi. My answer: The wisdom of Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) does not confine to us a small bunch of people.

SEE ALSO: Mixed marriages in gurduaras

Perhaps we are going through a phase to play a role of “keepers” and in actual fact the wisdom in SGGS is for the generations to come. This wisdom is suited for the mass who will have no cultural identity. The genetic study of these people would have many roots and ethnicity and that coming time is not for us to see. So why worry.

I added: “Just do what needs to be done, read and assimilate the wisdom to suit the purpose of your life.”

He was in denial. I did not want to say more.

Yes, today it is getting apparent that the wisdom of SGGS need not be confined to the gurdwara or the bunch of the so-called keepers only. It’s time for globalisation. In the coming of years the next generation is going to tear apart the details and logics of all religious books. They are going to condemn ideologies of fear and condone to logical view to attain “inner religion” and the state of inner meditation and spirituality.

This wisdom is what SGGS is focusing about. It speaks of no Lawful living, speaks about no future uncertainty, speaks about no return of messiah, no past people speaking to God. Not xenophobic in nature, etc. It purely speaks of NOW and the INNER and to see this same INNER in everyone we meet. It is also a book authenticated by the Gurus to say that any ordinary person, from any ethnic society, can raise to the epitome of spirituality, that the thought process in that state is consistent to nature and love. In that state caste, religion, mix-marriage worries are diminished.

We are surely making a mess by spreading this sort of fear as that of many alike Darshan. It’s time for us to readily accept mixture of ethnicity. We seem to make the same mistake again and again like the outcry of recent years to condemn celebrations like Holi, Lodi, Diwali, Rakhi, and many more, which is so much linked to culture not religion.

Like I wrote recently (it’s important I write these views here that is quite akin with this topic). Rakhi is a symbolic tie between a sister and a brother. It’s culture, not religion. Today many so called cultural matters has been linked to religion and many religious matters are being linked to culture. Today things are changing dramatically and at a high speed in front of our eyes. We should allow culture to be an independent entity and be out of religion. The Hindus may have their way. Why not let the Sikhs have it celebrated in their own way? Why not make it a Punjabi Culture to dedicate it to the Punjabi ethnic root?

We should take off the element of religion or pooja out of Rakhi celebration. Then take this day to be dedicated for an auspicious get together between a sister and a brother to further strengthen their ties between each other. A day to get blessings; a day to forgive and be forgiven of any omissions in life.

If this is how we the Sikhs are going to be in our forward outlook by restricting and abandoning cultural and social values, then we should stop celebrating father’s; mother’s; friendship and Valentine celebrations also. Confine to only “Gurpurab” and “Joti Jot”. Sikh faith believers will become a boring, stereotype bunch soon. Taking off any cultural joy can make life stale and sick. Religion alone is getting very boring for the next generation. It is going to be the system of the past generation soon.

I know many are going to bombard me for this. But let it be. Let’s make life joyful and rich in culture. We tend to link everything to religion like literature, language, and even music. Very unfortunate indeed.

Stupidly we seem to accept “Gatka” — an old fashion martial art. They wear armours, etc, which does not hold water in front of a gunshot. We seem to accept acrobats in the baana to break glasses and tubes on our head. All these can take place or be allowed in gurdwara compound. But “Lodi” or “Rakhi” cannot be celebrated at the gurdwara compounds. Why not take Lodi as a campfire get together at the gurdwara compound? Are we supposed to be only serious in gurdwara? Our Creator is not going to be pleased if we laugh and enjoy?

Years ago, in early 1990s, my wife and I developed ladybird books in Gurmukhi script, Meri Pehli Pustak, for children as a playbook here in Malaysia. I was condemned by many quarters. The language script was linked with religion. I was told not to let these books on floor and kids should not play in toilets, etc. I was disappointed. I stopped producing with a thought:”What a forward outlook this bunch of society have?”

Dato Dr Balwant Singh Bains runs Malaysia’s largest standalone physiotherapist centre and a physiotherapy college. He is a kirtan and Gurbani discourse enthusiast via Satsangi Malaysia. The views were first shared as a comment at the Asia Samachar website in response to Mixed Marriage Dilemma article by Darshan Singh

 

* This is the opinion of the writer, organisation or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Asia Samachar.

 

[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE. Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com]

 

RELATED STORIES:

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)

 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. i”m in agreement with the views of dr bains. religion and culture are different. losing one’s culture will lead to the decaying of one’s identity.

  2. I read the first article on this and was very hurt by what was said. My husband is Punjabi Sikh and I am not. In the course of our relationship and before marriage, we did talk about how our children would be brought up. My then husband-to-be explained that once I learnt about Sikhism I would understand why our children should be Sikh.

    I have learnt, and from the time they were born, our children have been brought up as Punjabi Sikhs but with exposure to other religions as well – in order to understand better the differences, and to value each religious insight. They are also part of the Punjabi community although they may not be ‘pure’ Punjabi.

    For me, your opinion provides a balance and an insight into the need to value what and who Punjabi Sikhs are without belittling other races and religions.

    It has taken me more than 20 years to stop being ‘the outsider’ to the larger Punjabi Sikh community but by the Grace of Waheguru, I have been very blessed to be part of a loving Punjabi Sikh family whom our children are proud to call their own.

    Thank you for providing this perspective. It helps me feel less rejected.

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