By Dya Singh | OPINION |
It is not often that my musical colleagues and I go on a Gurbani sangeet trip to India. We made one recently.
It was to celebrate the Dastarbandhi of four ‘sahibjaday’ of one family. The scene was already set for a memorable visit. The four young men are the third generation of the Chadha family who own and operate the Sigma Corporation of India based in Delhi.
A momentous celebration and a showcase for all Sikhs because it is one Sikh ceremony which is of great significance and importance. It is a ‘coming of age’ ceremony for a young Sikh extolling the lofty status Sikhs and Sikhism place on the donning of a dastar (resplendent turban).
Sadly, like a Janam Sanskar (First Rites Ceremony), the Dastarbandhi, too, is not clarified in the Sikh Rehat Maryadha (SRM). A big oversight by our forefathers I believe.
Rehmat, Sehaj, Aveer and Ruhan aged 14 to 7, travelled with family and friends to Anandpur Sahib and amongst them celebrated by first reciting JapJi Sahib together and then with help from family and each other tied saffron coloured dastars followed by Ardaas. The celebrations were held in Singh Sabha Defence Colony and in Rajouri Gardens in Delhi with kirtan by our full jatha.
Where we celebrate Indian traditional and cultural ceremonies like Lodi, Dussehra, Puran Masi, Raakhi, Divali and so on, we as Sikhs must be conscious of our own ceremonies especially those associated with Sikhi, like Janam Sanskar, Dastarbandhi, Amrit Sanchar, Anand Karaj (properly carried out as a sacred ceremony),Khalsa Day, our Gurpurabs, Shahidhi days and so on. This is our distinct global identity as a Quom, a nation without borders.
I would also recommend a special occasion for our young girls when they reach puberty, come of age so to speak, like, say, Chuni Ceremony. We did that with my granddaughter Saahiel when she turned 13. The chuni will be saved for her Anand Karaj when, with Guru Ji’s Grace, that happens.
Blessings of the Sangat and Guru Ji must be invoked as often as possible because our younger generation is our pride and joy and our future.
I invoke the Blessings of Guru Ji and the Sangat upon Rehmat, Sahaj, Aveer and Rohan. May they bring great pride and joy to their parents, grandparents, relatives, and the Sikh Quom.
Besides kirtan at various homes and gurdwaras (we celebrated Basant Panchami) in Delhi, we were also invited to conduct ‘Inspirational’ and ‘Motivational’ sessions especially with Sikh teenagers in schools. It was most exciting, creating awareness of what we Sikhs do for special programs with our youth especially in Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia.
My observation generally was that Sikhi is taken for granted in Delhi with gurdwaras almost around every corner and schools predominantly filled with Sikh kids. I will suggest it is the same in Punjab, while Sikhs in the diaspora have to be proactive in educating and inspiring the younger generation about our wonderful life philosophy.
Delhi Sikhs certainly got a taste of that and appreciated that. We expect to be doing more of the same especially in Delhi, into the future.
Now for some Malaysian delicacies. Any Kuala Lumpur friend happy to shout me a teh tarik, roti telur or nasi lemak? Or a rawa tosay with teh susu lembu? I am passing through KL till 23rd February.
Malaysian-born Dya Singh, who now resides in Australia, is an accomplished musician and a roving Sikh preacher. The Dya Singh World Music Group performs full scale concerts on ‘music for the soul’ based on North Indian classical and semi-classical styles of music with hymns from mainly the Sikh, Hindu and Sufi ‘faiths’. He is also the author of SIKH-ING: Success and Happiness. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
* This is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Asia Samachar.
Dya Singh jatha in Delhi for multiple ‘Dastar bandhi’ (Asia Samachar, 10 Feb 2019)
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