I see many Sikhs in Europe mostly in places like metro stations. And when I see them, I feel pity for them. They are never seen smiling. Always has a serious look on their faces. Add a turban to their bearded face and they completely stand apart from the crowd. Okay, people don’t smile wide on subways but are Sikhs truly happy in western world?
This blog is inspired by this video about a Sikh in New Zealand.
In my childhood, I saw Sikhs as brave men guarding my country. In all the pictures I saw on newspaper and all, most army men were Sikhs. Western world did not exist to most Indian children back then. It was just India, China and Pakistan. Joining Indian army was my dream and Sikhs were our heroes!
During my college days though that perception started to change. There were ‘sardarji jokes’ (cartoons of a man with a pot-belly wearing turban). Doesn’t matter how bad the joke is, you have to laugh! But I also happened to see some Sikh youngsters during NCC camps(National Cadet Corps, college students youth army). Boy! they were well-built, tall and extremely handsome male species. Guess what? there were female cadets in the camp, Punjabi girls! You have no idea how you feel when you see a Punjabi girl after living your life with south Indian girls! They were so beautiful that I still remember their faces even after 10 years!
Somehow I haven’t seen much of those huge handsome Sikhs in Europe(I haven’t been much to the UK though). One reason is that many just remove their turban and blend in. “How come?”, “Aren’t they religious?”, “Isn’t it prohibited?”, you might ask. The quick answer is, unlike western perception, many Indians don’t care about religion. Religion to them is just a way to socialise and have loads of fun. There is nothing more wonderful than a mid-night temple festival in my home town!
However, like the rest of the world assumes, almost all Indians are religious at some point. Yes, during marriage most Indians are reminded of their caste and religion even today. And there are many very religious people throughout the country(any percentage about Indian population could shoot up to millions). But they do not get noticed in the name of religion when they go abroad. Not at least the way the Sikhs do. And I am here to tell you that Sikhs are different from other religious Indians. Sikhs are better than most of us. Sikhs have a more beautiful mind!
Their religious concepts are very down-to-earth and embracing humility. They do not go about preaching religion to everyone. They just live in their world enjoying the essence of their religion. And loves everyone regardless of ..anything. Really, they do!
But still, I do not take much initiative to be-friend a Sikh. I like to have western-oriented friends. Friends who could get a nice bar conversation going. But this video about the Sikh made me pause for a while… a pause to reflect upon one of the purest forms of humanity. A pause that made me realise just how beautiful humility is!