Thursday, October 27, 2005

Guru Gaddee Day

These are the pictures I took at the jaloose that we had last weekend.


Khalsa Warrior said...

Nice to see Sikh women doing Seva of carrying Guru Maharaaj Jee's Palikee Sahib. Hopefully one day it will be a Universal thi

Sikhi Seeker said...

i'm looking for words...until then just one word description: b e a u t i f u l !

Anonymous said...

Bhaji, the word 'Jaloose' in punjabi means protest...

We know its Gur Gaddi Divas that is being celebrated so the word thats most appropriate to use is 'Nagar Kirtan'...

i remember when i was young, i too used to say Jaloose until i said it infront of an uncle... (i didnt know it could be taken offensively...)lets just put it this way , since that day i've always called it a 'Nagara Kirtan':-)

Anonymous said...

I use to think that Jaloose means parade actually it does means protest. This word is also used when we someone was being punished in a village (india) and then that person who comitted crime was paraded through streets with a necklace made of shoes...

So, Jaloose word is used by people who are NOT educated in india. therefore, Nigar kirtan is the proper name. Because we are doing kirtan through the Nigar (streets of city)

nj_singh said...

Prabhu Singh - anonymous comments are right. Jaloos does mean protest or degrading something at a gathering. The correct word in this regard is Nagar Kirtan. Only illeterate people in Punjab use the word Jaloos.
No offense - I had to correct my cousin last year couple of times as he kept using the word Jaloos.

Bhul Chuk Maaf !

Laddu Singh Jalebi Kaur said...

I think people have changed the meaning of jaloose in due course of time. 'I think' jaloose means to shows somebdy 'something'. Or let people know about something. People started using this term while degrading some bad person in the village.

Anonymous said...

ok...after all those comments above this blogger didnt consider changing the word "jaloose"
see this is my point about white sikhs...they cant let go of that white ego..i dont know if you guys experienced this but white ppl hardly like admitting to their mistakes...they never really feel sorry or regret doing something wrong..they will always comeback with some sort of logical..or minor detail to debate on..but never just humbly say "maaf karana my mistake and i ask for your forgivness" they cant do i guess they are white at the end of the 80 year old grandma...a doctor in her day, a strong believer of SGGS, amritdhari, raised in the west has more humlity in her pinky than these white sikh who became sikhs no more than the past few decades. i think one day they are gonna start saying the Gurus were white. lol..well their picture of the Gurus jis alreadly makes them look whats up with that?

Prabhu Singh said...

Why are you coming to my blog and insulting me?
I didn't change the word because the same person who told me that the word 'jaloose' was wrong, wrote me an email later saying that a gyani ji told him that the word jaloose is just fine.
Believe me, being white never helped me with anything. The only thing I'm proud of is being a Sikh, the rest is just how God made me.

Anonymous said...

OK, since I consider myself to be humble, I will say that I am sorry if I offended you. As far as your blog, it is obviously open to everybody. Secondly, I don't know who this Gyani is, but ask ANY Gyani in Punjab or at Harmandir Sahib or any Punjabi Gyani in america who is educated in the matter will tell you that Nagar Kirtan is the right phrase.

In fact, ask any educated religious Punjabi, who has knowledge of the norms of Punjabi Sikh society.

Despite this, and despite the people above, you STILL chose to keep the word 'Jaloose' and I THINK most of these people have more of an idea of the norms of the Punjabi language.

No disrespect, man... but let's face it... after 9/11, most if not all the Sikh victims of hate crimes and murder were brown.

One last thing... why not associate yourself with enough Punjabi Sikhs, so you can become familiar with the religion that they are obviously more familiar with.

Just a question.

Prabhu Singh said...

Why don't you tell me who you are and we can talk like civilized people?
Like most people who read my blog, it was a Punjabi man who wrote the comment and it was a Punjabi Gyani that spoke about the word changing. It is a dear Punjabi friend of mine who wrote "I think people have changed the meaning of jaloose in due course of time."
I don't speak Punjabi I learned the word Jaloose from Punjabi Sikhs who were of a very high caliber. People who never insulted me, people who saw everybody, including white people, as equals.
You asked me the following question:
"why not associate yourself with enough Punjabi Sikhs, so you can become familiar with the religion that they are obviously more familiar with?"
Look through my blog and I think you'll probably find more Punjabi people than non-Punjabis. That shows something considering there are only around 4 or 5 Punjabi people that live in my town. Being Punjabi doesn't make somebody more familiar with Sikh Dharma automatically. I've had more Punjabi people than white people ask me questions about Sikhi.
You consider yourself humble, but you've done nothing but make racist comments about white people and insult my understanding of Sikhi. The Guru says:
ਸਭਨਾ ਮਨ ਮਾਣਿਕ ਠਾਹਣੁ ਮੂਲਿ ਮਚਾਂਗਵਾ ॥
The minds of all are like precious jewels; to harm them is not good at all.
ਜੇ ਤਉ ਪਿਰੀਆ ਦੀ ਸਿਕ ਹਿਆਉ ਨ ਠਾਹੇ ਕਹੀ ਦਾ ॥੧੩੦॥
If you desire your Beloved, then hurt not anyone's heart.

I felt like your comments were very hurtful. All I've done with this blog is try to share the nice things in my life. I don't insult any one. I know a few very incredible Sikhs who use the word jaloose, they taught this word to me, so I say jaloose or nagar kirtan. I don't think it is any thing worth arguing about. If I wrote the same things about Punjabi people that you have written about white people on my blog people would clearly label me as a racist. Coming to my blog and finding fault and assuming ego (because I didn't change an old post) does nothing good for anybody. Just look again, I'm trying to share nice things, when people come here and insult me (and insult other people - in your case 'white' Sikhs) I find it hurtful.
I don't know who you are (I think you may be from the Toronto area), but if I did I wouldn't come to your home and start listing the problems I've witnessed amongst Punjabis and then blame you for those problems and look for ways to fit you into those stereotypes. If you invited me to learn something of your life, I would try to be humble and appreciate any thing that you have to share.
I'm sorry that you have been offended by white people before, but I don't know who they are or who you are. I'm sorry if you feel like things that I've shared here are offensive. I assure you none of what is on my blog is meant to hurt any body including you. I'd rather be known as your brother than some know-nothing arrogant 'white' Sikh, which seems to be your current opinion of me.

Anonymous said...

Hey Prabhu...again I did not intend to hurt your feelings at all...I respect all those who are trying to become closer to Sikhi. I myself am not a practicing Sikh and I am not from the Toronto area. I'm a Punjabi "Sikh" female from Cali. Although I am not a practicing Sikh, I do have enough knowledge about Punjabi/Sikh culture to tell you that the word "jaloose" has or has developed a negative connotation for atleast the past 50-100 years. I can not provide you with the etymology of the word but I can assure you without a doubt that the word is not correct in its usage in the context of Sikhi. Again I am not sure who the ppl with whom you discussed the word with are, but I recommend, humbly, from one Sikh to another, that you ask around more, especially in Punjabi Sikh Gurdwaras.

My opinion of white Sikhs is not an over night phenomenon, it is something I have experienced, and many of my fellow Punjabi practicing Sikhs have also. We can't understand why White Sikh who have access to Punjabi Sikh Gurdwaras still choose to have their seperate programs? What I don't understand is why white Sikhs follow a Yogi who has a criminal history for fraud, rape, harrasment. Also, why is yoga being associated with Sikhism? I cant recall a single Sikh doing yoga in our history? I guess my issues with the white Sikh community are much deeper than the point I am trying to make here. I just hope that you can take my humble request into account, and also the humble requests and opinions of your fellow friends above and reconsider and do further research on the word.

Again I think you can ask any Punjabi Sikh community, Toranto ones, AKJ, Akalis, and any others that know true Sikhi as Punjabi Sikhs and I am 100% sure that they will also agree that jaloose is not the right word. I would like to know who these Sikhs of high caliber are? Who are these incredible Sikhs who think jaloose is perfectly acceptable to use in the context of Sikhi? Please introduce them.

Again, Sikhi is color blind. However in order to understand Sikhi in its most purest form one must look through Punjabi lenses. I really have yet to meet one single white Sikh who has the same humility as a Gursikh from Punjab. I personally have seen Punjabi Sikhs get ignored by white Sikhs. I wonder if the white Sikhs are practicing the "fake it till you make" ideology of your Yogi?

I understand your blog is not meant to hurt anyone, nor did I think it was. I think it is great that I am able to communicate with you (even though you may not desire it), something I and many other Punjabi Sikhs were unable to do in person with White Sikhs. Punjabi people, and I think most brown people, really it is only brown people that welcome other people from all walks of life to their homes, their celebrations, their religion. I just see what whites have done with Buddhism and Hinduism, also being done to Sikhism. I feel whites have taken the religion of the Punjabis but have not accpeted the Punjabis. I do understand that Sikhi is not the property of any one race, but lets face it that whites have a history of taking other peoples "stuff" and changing it around and giving it a new shape and form with the western brush.

I just would like to see more white Sikhs attending Gurdwaras with the Punjabi Sikhs and the white Sikhs to stop pretending like they are better Sikhs than the Punjabis, cuz they really act like they think that. The other day I saw a video, you can find it on youtube...type in BBC2/white sikhs or something, of a white Sikh woman reading from the SGGS with a sleevless shirt. This may not seem like a great tragedy to you but it is to many Sikh women who feel that Sikh women should be modestly dressed when at the Gurdwara or anywhere where there is SGGS, and especially when reading from SGGS. Why this should be so is best understood through the Punjabi lens, the SGGS is our father, and when we are around our father our bodies should be covered to show respect for ourselves and for him. Ofcourse one can say...Guru ji doesnt care how one dresses...but He does care. I can give you examples of Sikh history where it shows Gurus did care, but this post is getting really long and I still have studying to do.

Please accept my apology if I offended you or disrespected you in anyway, it was not my intention, truly.

By they way...anyword that is used in the context of Sikhi is worth discussing. This is the kind of sensitivity that has kept Sikhism from being completely absorbed into Hindusim and from becomng extinct.

Prabhu Singh said...

My email address is provided, if you would like to discuss things further.
You are still making huge generalizations about 'white' Sikhs. I usually consider myself a Sikh and I go to many many Sikh Gurdwaray. The only women I've ever seen in a Gurdwara with a sleeveless shirt were Punjabi women, but I wouldn't assume that's what all Punjabi women do. Further I've never walked a mile in their shoes, so I wouldn't judge who they are or what they do. Do you think the Guru has never seen somebody's arm? 9 of the 10 Gurus had children so I'm sure they saw a lot more than women's arms. The human body is nothing to be ashamed of. Nothing is bad if it is done for God. A Hindu might say 'we bow to a statue, you bow to a book, what's the difference?' The difference is the intention. One woman might dress wearing something sleeveless to look sexy, the other woman might wear the same thing so that she can feel comfortable in the heat. What if that woman is having hot flashes but has a real desire to see the Guru? What you consider inappropriate should be guidlines for your own life, the way we Sikhs should treat others is with compassion and respect.
I don't think racism is an overnight phenomena, but there's absolutely no excuse for it. You came to my blog looking for fault, you wanted to pin on me the problems you've had with 'white' people generally and 'white Sikhs' specifically. Those problems don't belong to me. When we are upset the first step we should take is to look inside ourselves. Is there an inadequacy that is causing you to want to put down white people?
If white Sikhs hated Punjabis why would most of them send their kids to school in India? If Yogi ji really committed the crimes he was accused of don't you think the people closest to him would know? He had people with him or near him for 24 hours a day for many years. One of the organizations of 'true Sikhs' that you have mentioned was responsible for sponsoring one of Yogi ji's main accusers.
Just because you've never heard of a Sikh doing yoga doesn't mean it hasn't happened. Everything in the Sikh dharma is a form of yoga. Yoga means union with God and that is the whole purpose of the Sikh life. You will have to learn a lot about yoga (by praciticing it) before you can tell where it's place is in Sikhi. If you were a practicing Sikh you might know that a Sikh who receives amrit sits in 'bir asan' while receiving the amrit. Bir asan is a yogic posture.
What really surpises me is that you are in America, a land where people are generally acutely aware of racism and you have no problem generalizing a whole race on the actions of a few. Further you admit to not being a practicing Sikh and you are lecturing me. My whole life is about being a Sikh. Every single day I spend hours meditating and reciting the Guru's bani. I also study and sing raag kirtan. I spend almost every spare moment I have thinking about the Guru and this beautiful dharma. When I go to Gurdwara I see white people, black people, hispanic people, and of course Punjabi people. At Gurdwara they all get along and sing the Guru's words.
I may have offended you with my recent posts, but before I was aware of your existence you came to my blog and offended me. I have been insulted and offended by other Punjabi people in the same way and in ways that are much worse. If you and these other Punjabis were the only Punjabis I had ever met, I still wouldn't generalize all Punjabis, but I may not feel welcome in certain Gurdwaray. If a new Sikh go to a Gurdwara and finds all the Sikhs inside with cut hair, people talking loudly, people staring at and judging them, people giving political speaches in a language they don't understand and then geting lectured by a mona on what 'true Sikhi' is, do think this new Sikh is going to come back?
I've met some really arrogant white people, including those claiming to be Sikh. I've also met some really arrogant Punjabi people, indcluding those claiming to be Sikh. Everybody has a lesson to learn in this life. If you really want to understand who we are come and visit us here in Española. Since you are a woman and I live by myself I cannot house you, but I can find another Sikhs home for you to stay. You can see what we do, you can see who we are and what we stand for. You may not believe it, but I could introduce you to a few 'white' Sikhs who live here that are so humble and so inspirational. There are a few Sikhs that live here that have done so much seva throughout there whole lives. There's one man here, who used to live in a small room near the kitchen of the Gurdwara. He spends every single day cleaning the Gurdwara's kitchen and making langar and keeping the Gurdwara and the grounds in good shape. He makes so little money and has no wife or children. He serves more than anybody I've ever met in my whole life. He is kind to everybody and thoughtful and loves being a Sikh. Watching him do the seva that he does is such an inspiration to me and to others. He could be considered 'white,' but it changes nothing about his humility, service, and love for the Guru. I've met people like him in every color.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I may have made generalizations but they are based on actual experiences that I and many of the people I know have been through. As far as any woman wearing sleeveless shirts in a Gurdwara or any place where SGGS is present is plain unacceptable. I never said that Guru Ji never saw anyone’s arm ; all I said was that a woman reading from SGGS, with a turban on and wearing sleeveless shirt is wrong. I am not trying to excuse Punjabi women who also do the same, but I know those Punjabi women who wear such clothing do not read from the SGGS. They usually don’t even know how to read is Gurmukhi. I am in no way excusing ANY Punjabi from actions that are “un-Sikh”, however when I see White Sikhs who have seem to have adopted the Sikh lifestyle, at least physically, I think their un-Sikh actions stand out more. I think you have manipulated my comments from the previous post based on exceptional or irrelevant information. First of all Guru Ji having seen all parts of human body doesn’t mean we should go the Gurdwara Naked right? What didn’t or doesn’t the Guru Ji see? I never said the human body is something to be ashamed of, I was speaking of modesty, which may be a Punjabi Sikh thing, but I know it existed during the times of the Gurus and every true Sikh practiced it and some continue to do so. When you gave exceptions to woman wearing sleeveless clothing; hot flashes, their intentions, etc., I think these are exactly what they are…exceptions. See this is what I noticed with all western people, Whites or Indians, they love to debate about the exceptions when no one really cares about the exceptions. A crazy person could come running into a Gurdwara naked but am I gonna sit and ponder over this? Of course I’m not because I am intelligent enough to know the difference between things that matter and things that don’t. Between what matters and what is the extreme exception. You get me?

Going back to the “intentions” part, a persons true intentions can never completely be obvious to anyone other than Guru ji Himself. We both agree on this I’m sure. However, guidelines, Sikh code of Conduct, modesty within in Gurdwara all have strict guidelines since the times of Guru Ji and these are obvious, and any Sikh knowing their religion and history is able to differentiate between what matters and what doesn’t, what is the exception and what is not.

I didn’t come to your blog looking for a fault, but I did find one. This whole discussion started with my response to seeing that you had not removed the word “jaloose”. Which I think still hasn’t been resolved.

There is not excuse for racism, but my comments were never about racism, it just so happens that you guys are white, If Chinese people were behaving in a fashion that I thought was offensive to Sikhi, I would do the same. Also, I assure you that my inquiries do not stem from any inadequacies; in fact they are motivated by something exactly the opposite. I have a superiority complex. It’s not something I necessarily asked for but I felt immediately when I learned a little about Sikhism. I believe there is nothing more surperior than being born a Sikh, specifically a Punjabi Sikh.

“If white Sikhs hated Punjabis why would most of them send their kids to school in India?”

Again I never said that you guys hated Punjabi Sikhs. I did question why White Sikhs have not made serious attempts to mingle or unite with Punjabi Sikhs, specifically why do they not attend Punjabi Sikh Gurdwaras? Just because I go to Africa to learn about Egypt, doesn’t mean I’m gonna hang out with Africans. I think this may indirectly answer the above question. I have seen white Sikhs in Punjab, but I haven’t seen them really becoming one with the local Sikhs, the whites keep to themselves, perhaps so their practice methods may not become open to question? I hope you are aware that Punjabi Sikhs don’t give a damn about white people, they are happy to see their religion thriving in other communities. However, my issue, and the issue for many practicing Sikhs who are Punjabi is that why have you guys created such a separatism between the communities. Simply, when there are 4 Gurdwaras with in a 50 miles range in my area, why do the white Sikhs have to create a separate time and place for worship?

Moving on, Yogi was your leader and I understand your great affinity towards him. But his crimes are true, I understand this will always be difficult for you accept. That is just the truth. I am not sure who was responsible for sponsoring who…but more detail would be appreciated. Besides, you seem like a rational fellow, have you ever thought why NO Punjabi Sikh religious community likes your Yogi? I think you should start by doing some simple research online and after that I could recommend you other references.

Ok… now for Yoga. Not only have I never heard of Sikhs doing Yoga, it HAS NEVER happened and it is not happening anywhere by Punjabi Sikhs. Yoga was strategy to lure whites into Yogis world of deception. Fortunately Sikhi is so Great that it put some of you on a spiritual path, even though it was founded on something that is not related to Sikhism. I can look back into my personal history and say that when my cat was trying to reach for a ball of yarn that it was also in a yogic position. Point being anyone can be claimed to be in a yogic position or having done yoga. But please refer me to any Sikh scripture, Sakhi, history book where it mentions that Sikhs doing yoga.

“If you were a practicing Sikh you might know that a Sikh who receives amrit sits in 'bir asan' while receiving the amrit. Bir asan is a yogic posture.”

Yes I am not a practicing Sikh. You got one right. But I know at least 4 people in my immediate circle who are TRUE Sikhs, amritdhari Sikhs and their ages and backgrounds vary. The oldest one being 60, youngest 19. Each is educated, Punjabi, knows Gurmukhi, has Gyan about Gurbani, knows Sikh history like the back of their hand….basically they are remarkable Punjabi American Sikhs. They have never mentioned any Yogic position when they took amrit. Nor has any Punjabi Sikh who has taken Amrit in history, and that’s a lotta people!

Again, as I sit here typing this message to you (when I should be studying), I could easily claim that I am in a yogic position. Get my drift?

“Further you admit to not being a practicing Sikh and you are lecturing me. My whole life is about being a Sikh. Every single day I spend hours meditating and reciting the Guru's bani. I also study and sing raag kirtan.”

You are right, I am not a practicing Sikh as you are. But remember you are the one who said that intentions matter, and my true intentions compared to yours may be very different and vice versa. But I will say, that you being white and chosing Sikhi is a very personal practice. For me being a Sikh means carrying not only the burden of living a better life for myself as a Sikh but all the struggles my Punjabi Sikh people face back home. These are the political, historical, social issues which I am aware white Sikhs have no interest in. That’s why it is our personal struggle, because we are Punjabis we need a homeland and unlike white people we can not call the Universe our home. Undoubtedly we have our own problems in our Gurdwaras, but instead of pointing them out to me in your response why don’t you come to our Gurdwaras and help make a difference? If you don’t understand what people are saying in their political speeches, then how can you tell if the speeches are political? Regardless if you don’t understand the language you are not gonna get any better by running away from the Punjabi Sikh Gurdwara and the Punjabis. Again, your frustrations with the Punjabis Gurdwaras are very well understood and accepted by me and by MANY other Punjabis, but we are all still Sikhs, we can’t make things better through dividing ourselves. Right…wrong?

It is nice to hear about the humble Sikh in your area…but come to any Sikh Punjabi Gurdwara, I can introduce you to atleast 30 Sikhs who have a lifetime of seva on their shoulders, who lost sons, daughters, were beaten, raped all because they were Sikhs and they still kept faith. How many White Sikhs have this history? But hey there is no competition.

Again, color doesn’t matter, it never did, not to us at least. But when you take Sikhi and do not make an attempt to integrate yourself into the general Punjabi Sikh community, you are showing that your concerns, your issues, your struggles, your path is different from ours. And this will almost only be understood within the basis of color line.

Prabhu Singh said...

This is a really pointless discussion.
You are generalizing and assigning things to me that are untrue.
Further you are showing your ignorance to a high degree. Again ask any Sikh who has received Amrit they will show you that they sat in Bir Asan when receiving the Amrit.
You say you know the truth about Yogi Ji, but you are foolishly claiming that Sikh leaders didn't accept him. Why then did the Akal Takht give him the title "Siri Singh Sahib?" Why then do I have pictures on this blog of Jethadar of the Akal Takht Joginder Singh Vedanti at my hometown Gurdwara on the anniversary of Yogi Ji's death?
I don't want to carry on this useless discussion. You seem to have a lot of anger, you seem to think that being born a certain race means something. What you don't know is quite apparent.
Anybody who would make a statement such as:
"I believe there is nothing more surperior than being born a Sikh, specifically a Punjabi Sikh"
is not somebody I think I can speak with on a reasonable level. Hitler thought that his race was superior also.
I still don't understand how you could think I stay separate from Punjabis when I have so many pictures of Punjabi people who are friends of mine. I have so many pictures of Gurdwaray that are run by Punjabis that I visit. All my family and friends assume that I will marry a Punjabi and they're all fine with that. I don't know what will happen, but my family and my friends are multi-racial. It is how I live, I don't discriminate based on any dividing lines. If you want to see white people integrating with Punabis in Punjab, again look at my blog. I went to India in December because my dear friend and Khalsa brother Balwinder Singh was getting married in his hometown of Chandighar. Further you'll see pictures of my dear friend Vicky Singh, who I met in the Taksali shop in Amritsar. And you will also find a picture of my great friend, another teacher of mine, a Gursikh filled with gyan named Parvinder Singh, who is from Amritsar.
If you want to carry this conversation any further just email me. I will be disabling comments on this post.