By Autar Singh | OPINION | SHINING TURBAN |
I was 6 years old when my father tied a turban on my head for Vaisakhi at the Gurdwara Sahib Changkat, Batu Gajah. This is the one I remember, although there may have been earlier turban moments. It gave me a grown up feeling, for all my respected elders had distinguished turbans on their heads. I felt like them. This was my #TurbanOfHappiness.
I started wearing turban daily when I was 12 years old in Bidor. From then on there was no looking back. I wore my turban with pride. This was my #TurbanOfPride.
While doing my Professional Accountancy studies in UK, I was blessed with Khande dhi Pahul at Leeds. My turban took on a new meaning, as it now became my #TurbanOfBlessings.
On my return I joined the Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia as an active member. My turban now became my #TurbanOfDuty. It continues as such as my involvement in various organisations, nationally and internationally, grew.
Then my father passed on. The family care and responsibility of my siblings, and my immediate family later, opened up another new role for my turban. It now became my #TurbanOfResponsibility.
As I grew in my role as an academician in UiTM, I used to be called Tuan Haji/Ustaz (probably due to my turban and flowing beard) by some of my Malay colleagues. My turban brought tremendous respect, not only in UiTM but everywhere. It now became my #TurbanOfRespect.
On being appointed to the 63 member worldwide Religious Advisory Committee of Sri Akaal Takht Sahib in 1995, I sat with the brains of the community. All my seniors. Being here taught me humility and my turban became my #TurbanOfHumility.
While pursuing a postgraduate course in the UK, I was first appointed to and after a year unanimously elected as the President of the World Sikh Council (WSC), European Zone made up of some illustrious Sikhs of Europe. In this capacity I spoke at the 1st AGM of the WSC at Anandpur Sahib in 1997 to an audience of dignitaries from all over the world. My turban now became my #TurbanOfService.
Over the years I have met and known many distinguished turban wearing gentlemen doing excellent work. One such is in the picture with me, Ravi Singh of Khalsa Aid. Their company makes me feel distinguished, making my turban my #TurbanOfDistinction.
When the call came for me to be a part of the Panj Pyare to initiate Sikhs into the Khalsa Panth, my turban became my #TurbanOfHonour.
Thus my #ShiningTurban has brought me feelings of Happiness, Pride, Blessings, a sense of Duty and Responsibility, Respect, Humility, Service, Distinction and Honour. I am truly blessed to wear this crown of a dastar on my head everyday.
GURU NANAK 550
This year we are celebrating the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak ji. Guru ji gave us a spiritual treasure that liberates. It enlightens the mind and expels the darkness of ignorance. It sets the practitioner free. It gives spiritual and temporal sovereignty to those who live it.
With this freedom, one needs to break free from self, or society, imposed limitations and boundaries. Amongst these limitations is the choise of colours in our dressing.
My inspiration to break free from the imposition of turban colours is my son, Saheb Singh, and my wife, Rajinder Kaur. Both inspired and encouraged me to enjoy life and embrace all of creation in its multitude of colours. I now have no hesitation to wear my turban in any colour I want. I hope others will break free as well.
The turban is the crown of sovereignty that I am blessed with. Hence I wear it with dignity and honour, and I wear it in all colours…
Taken from the Facebook posting of Autar Singh, an active Sikh volunteer who is based in Kuala Lumpur. He was the former Jathedar of Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia and Secretary-General of Coalition of Malaysian Sikh Organisation (CMSO). He composes the article at the request of Asia Samachar for the #ShiningTurban competition which ends on 30 Sept 2019. Join the challenge.
HOW TO JOIN THE COMPETITION:
1. Post a picture or a video of you in turban on your Facebook or Instagram page, with a caption or story (what turban means, something heartwarming incident involving the turban or anything that comes to mind).
2. Add these hashtags to your post:
3. You must tag 3 friends who might be interested in joining
4. Follow us @asiasamachar Facebook or Instagram & tag us
5. Like this post (at Facebook or Instagram)
6. For an extra chance, share Asia Samachar post on your Facebook or as story at Instagram
7. Make your Facebook and/or Instagram profile public
8. Competition open to MALAYSIANS only
9. Closing Date: 30 Sept 2019 (2359, Malaysian time)
ROUND ONE: We will choose the top 30 entries based on the number of ‘Likes’ you get. (If you join at both Fb and Insta, we will take the higher number)
ROUND TWO: Our panel of judges will pick the winners based on number of ‘Likes’, photo or video and your story/caption. Results will be announced in October 2019.
ALL THE BEST. TIME TO TURBAN UP!
- iPhone 11
- One return-ticket to Phu Quoc, Vietnam
- One return-ticket to Can Tho, Vietnam
- Malaysian Gurdwaras Council (MGC)
- Khalsa Diwan Malaysia (KDM)
- Malaysian Punjabi Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MPCCI)
- Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia (SNSM)
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I’m a Princess, says #ShiningTurban ambassador (Asia Samachar, 27 Sept 2019)
Win iPhone 11 at #ShiningTurban competition. Hurry, competition ends Sept 30 (Asia Samachar, 15 Sept 2019)