By BBC | UK |
At 27, Minreet Kaur married a man she had met through a Sikh temple in west London. It turned out to be a disaster, and within a year she was back home with her parents. For 10 years now she has been hoping to find another husband, but has reached a bitter conclusion: most Sikh men don’t want to marry a divorcee.
“If you divorce me, you will never marry again,” my husband shouted at me before I left him. He said it to hurt me, but he knew it could turn out to be true. And so did I.
Divorce is shameful in the Sikh community, especially for women.
To begin with I was ashamed myself. I felt dirty and used. How could I look at another man when I knew he would regard me as used goods?
Other people reinforced this feeling.
My grandma in London told me I should have worked at my marriage, even though she knew what I had been through. My dad’s family in India said they were disappointed that I was home; I was a disgrace to them. My parents supported me 100% but I felt I had let them down.
For five years I hardly went out, but in 2013 I started to look again for a partner.
When I asked people to look out for a suitable man for me they would often be happy to help. They would start asking questions – how old I was, where I lived, where I worked – but as soon as told them I was divorced, their facial expression changed. It was a look that said, “we can’t help you”.
“I’ll let you know,” they told me.
Minreet Kaur is a henna artist and a freelance journalist who works for the BBC. She also contributes to Asia Samachar. Read the full story here.
Independent and positive women rock, says freelance journo Min Kaur (Asia Samachar, 13 May 2019)