Postcards from the Road: Delhi for Dastarbandhi

Dya Singh shares the wonderful news of the four young Sikhs kids taking part in Dastarbandi

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The Chadha kids at their Dastarbandhi
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.

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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 dyasingh@khalsa.com

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

 

RELATED STORY:

Dya Singh jatha in Delhi for multiple ‘Dastar bandhi’ (Asia Samachar, 10 Feb 2019)

 

ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs / Punjabis in Southeast Asia and beyond. Facebook | WhatsApp +6017-335-1399 | Email: editor@asiasamachar.com | Twitter | Instagram | Obituary announcements, click here |

2 COMMENTS

  1. About Janam Sanskar: CHAPTER XI of Sikh Reht Maryada:
    Article XVII – Ceremonies pertaining to Birth and Naming of Child
    a) In a Sikh’s household, as soon after the birth of a child as the mother becomes capable of moving about and taking bath (irrespective of the number of days which that takes), the family and relatives should go to a Gurdwara with Karhah Prashad (sacred pudding) or get Karhah Prashad made in the Gurdwara and recite in the holy presence of the Guru Granth Sahib such hymns as “Parmeshar dita bana” {Sorath M. 5} (The Almighty Lord has granted support. [Sorath M. 5, Guru Granth Sahib P. 628]), “Satguru sache dia bhej” {Asa M. 5} (The true Lord has sent this gift. [Asa M. 5, Guru Granth Sahib P. 396]) that are expressive of joy and thankfulness. Thereafter if a reading of the holy Guru Granth Sahib had been taken up, that should be concluded. Then the holy Hukam (command) should be taken. A name starting with the first letter of the Shabad of the Hukam (command) should he proposed by the Granthi (man in attendance of Guru Granth Sahib) and, after its acceptance by the congregation, the name should be announced by him. The boy’s name must have the suffix “Singh” and the girl’s, the suffix “Kaur”.
    After that the Anand Sahib (short version comprising six stanzas) should be recited and the Ardas in appropriate terms expressing joy over the naming ceremony be offered and the Karhah Prashad distributed.
    b) The superstition as to the pollution of food and water in consequence of birth (There is a wide-spread belief among certain sections of Indian people that a birth in a household causes pollution (sutak) which is removed by the thorough bathing of the mother, the baby and persons attending on her as also by a thorough cleaning of the house, the utensils and the clothes, after prescribed periods of ten, twenty one and forty days.) must not be subscribed to, for the holy writ is : “The birth and death are by His ordinance; coming and going is by His will. All food and water are, in principle, clean, for these life-sustaining substances are provided by Him.”
    c) Making shirts or frocks for children out of the Holy Book’s draperies is a sacrilege.

  2. Good initiatives shud be practised by the Sikh diaspora, it gives the child a sense of belonging and to be proud of being a Sikh.

    Teh tarik, welcome to Sant Baba’s ashram, just gooGirl, Santji, 😀

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