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Sikh women and hair - Past Vs Present
Posted by: kulbir singh (IP Logged)
Date: September 24, 2008 11:22AM

Many years ago, when I was new to Sikhi, I read a small pamphlet called ‘Gursikh Rehni’, written by Professor Amarjit Kaur. It had cast a profound effect on me. In particular this tract contained very strong arguments in favour of keeping Dastar for men and women. Today after perhaps 17-18 years, I came across this pamphlet and re-read it. I still found the write-up relevant and very positively strong in favour of Sikhi. Below is a translation of a small extract from this pamphlet. Remember that this tract was written in the era when majority of Indian (non Sikhs also) women used to keep uncut hair.

**************Translation Begins*********************
The thing to consider is - why does a Sikh woman keep kesh? Is it because majority of women in her country keep kesh (unshorned hair)? Now a days the non-Sikh women of Hind (India), due to influence of foreign countries, are cutting their hair and doing various kinds of fashion. God forbidden (Rabb na kare), if this disease spreads to this extent that like non-Sikh men of India, majority women also become victim to this disease (of cutting hair), then what will be the duty or action of Sikh women? The answer is clear. The Sikh amritdhari women like their Khalsa brothers will obey the the hukam of Guru Sahib and this way become accepted by Guru Sahib.

The Kesh of Sikh women, like other women, are not there for the purpose of expressing worldly beauty or for the sake of fashion statement. The Kesh of Sikh women are unshorned for the sake of a principle and as per hukam. Fashions change but principles don’t. Then if Sikh women can take a separate path (from other women) as far as keeping unshorned hair is concerned, then why does she need to imitate other women when it comes to how to keep care of the hair? For a Sikh woman, the reason for keeping unshorned hair is not same as that for a non-Sikh woman. In the eyes of a Sikh woman, unshorned hair are not only one of the main parts of the body but also the root of Sikhi. They have to keep kesh till their last breath.

The relation of Keeping kesh is directly with spiritual power and with Dasam Duaar. To alter or to remove this source of spiritual power for the sake of world or fashion is a big mistake. To remove the kesh considering them to be unimportant part of the body or to go to barbers to make different designs of hair, or to add artificial hair in case natural hair are not many, or to use kesh for other such fashion reasons is despicable and manmatt. What is Gurmat? Sabat Soorat Dastar Sira (keep body unaltered and wear Dastar on the head).
**************Translation Ends*********************

It’s amazing how much has changed today. Today if Bibi jee were to write this tract she would not have written the above. Today, what to talk about non-Sikh Indian women, even majority of women from Sikh households don’t keep uncut hair. It’s hard to find a women from Sikh background that does not desecrate her hair by cutting, plucking or colouring them. What is the ilaaj of this bimaari? Only Guru Sahib knows. Will the tide ever turn in our favour or is it a loosing battle we are fighting? I don’t know.

During the time this pamphlet was written, the issue was not whether Sikh women should keep hair or not. It was a given that Sikh women (and even non-Sikh Indian women) don't cut hair. Hair were considered beauty. If I am not wrong, in the Hindu society, widows were forced to cut hair in order to make them ugly. Today, the standards of beauty seem to have changed and hair are being cut in order to enhance beauty. In any case, the issue in those days was whether Sikh women should keep dastar in order to take care of the hair. So much has changed in the last 30 years or so. What's going to happen in the next 30 years, is beyond imagination.

If anyone knows who this Bibi jee was or is, please post the information here for the benefit of others.

Daas,
Kulbir Singh



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/24/2008 11:27AM by admin.

 



Re: Sikh women and hair - Past Vs Present
Posted by: Khalsaspirit (IP Logged)
Date: November 14, 2008 08:45AM

Waheguru ji ka khalsa
Waheguru ji ki fateh

Bhai Sahib jio,

Quote:
If anyone knows who this Bibi jee was or is, please post the information here for the benefit of others.

As we heard, bibi ji was much disciplined Sikh. She lived and taught in Delhi most of her life time. Bibi ji spent last years of her age in USA with her daughter and she went to Gurpuri couple of years ago. May Guru Sahib sent more of roohs like her to continue Guru's mission. This tract 'GURSIKH REHNI' of her about Dastaar is one of the best logically argued tract we have ever seen after Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh ji and few other writers. We highly recommend everyone to read it regardless of one believe in or not that Dastaar is to be kept as a Rehat by both male and female Sikh.

Guru Mehar Karay

Waheguru ji ka khalsa
Waheguru ji fateh

 



Re: Sikh women and hair - Past Vs Present
Posted by: Jarnail Singh "Arshi" Gyani (IP Logged)
Date: January 04, 2009 01:29AM

Its my fervent belief that the "Hand that rocks the cradle...." holds the sikhee for her family.
I remember my late mum used to advise neighbouring ladies not to "curse" the hair even mildly...what usually happened was this. The ladies would say loudly to their sons or daughters..."lia kanghi..tera sir wahvaan..and then if tangles were met they would curse the hair..jee kardeh kanchi lakeh faha hee muka thian...etc etc..roz roz da klesh hee mukeh....lia tera JHATTA puttan..was another favourite curse..
From young the kesh of the son/daughter are in the loving hands of the mother...the more she loves the kesh..the more love for his/her kesh is ingrained in the aulaad..as for me i am now nearly 60...but sometimes when combing my kesh i can feel the loving hands of my mum..thats how much love she imbibed in me about my kesh.
Now a days modern mums have no time...to either comb their sons kesh..make joorras...or even take care of their own kesh...they have so much to do...watch TV serials..go shopping...gossipping on the mobile phone..yack on Yahoo.chat...it hurts when such a mum yells at her son..jah faha wadh...see your cousin cut his hair and how handsome he looks....no problems..he gets ready so fast..tera joorra..teri paggh..kajia mukda hee nahin...
This is one of the main reasons for decline of kesh among modern sikhs....one of my students whose parents both cut hair....struggled all on his own to comb his long hair (his joorrra weighed almost 4 kilos - thick hair until his knees at age 12)..began to tie his own dastaar...etc..at last succumbed to almost daily wearing down/dressing down of his mum for making them late to work while tying his joorra/dastaar...She cut his hair at age 14 and has not kept it now age 25...maybe Guru Ji will bring him back...
Alternativel I am also glad to notice many ghona parents insist on keeping hair of their children...maybe they realsied their mistake...at least six of those in my class have mona parents..and they absolutley forbid any talk of cutting hair of their children...

Guru Ji Mehr Karan
Jarnail Singh

jrnYl isMG igAwnI "ArSI"





 





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