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Battle To Be Wed

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Interesting article :)

Battle To Be Wed

By Amarjit Singh

Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 02:40 PM EST

Ever since a Gursikh brother was married according to Reht Maryada, I had a desire to follow my brother's footsteps.

My parents and I have chakoed amrit, my older brother has not. Most of my other relatives also, except for Chacha and Chachi, have not taken amrit and non-vegetarians and drink alcohol. I was concerned that there would be problems.

This fear came true. Opposition started from the day I began my search for a life partner. My relatives were looking either for a girl who had not taken amrit or one whom they favored. But I wanted a pind de kuri, who had chosen to take amrit and whose parents too had taken amrit.

By the glory of Vaheguru, my 'munn di ichha' was fulfilled and I found a girl of my choice. We had an official engagement in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

Though in her house the engagement was a simple ceremony, my relatives couldn't later resist going out for a 'peg sheg'. This was bound to happen but what upset me is that they cfame back drunk, set-up a hi-fi system with two 18-inch blaster speakers and proceeded to dance and holler. Only a few hours earlier it had been a solemn, peaceful, respectful and religious occasion at my partner-to-be's home.

From that moment, I knew that I had to resort to a lot of fighting and jidd as I didn't want my marriage to be spoilt by a culture that I do not particularly care for. My inner voice was saying, "Damn be the Punjabi culture, filth in the nectar ocean of Sikhi."

But, "Nowhere in Sri Guru Granth Sahib is it mentioned that we cannot cut our hair, eat meat, drink alcohol and dance," said my Mamaji's son when I arrived home in the United Kingdom.

By now I had had it. "You did what you wanted at your wedding," I retorted, "I'll do what I want at mine." This had an instant impact and, to my utter relief, the pestering eased up.

Only one problem remained, though - to convince my Tayaji in India. I have been a virtual son to him. Dad wanted to keep Tayaji happy and organize a private hotel party for him and his police friends. When he learnt how I felt he was not interested in such a party. Brilliant!

My mum willingly implemented my wedding according to Gursikh tradition and organized an Akhand Path three days before the actual wedding. Instead of any non-Sikh activities, like at the Bhog and Shagan, we had an overnight open-air Keertan darbar at our home.

Over the loudspeakers, the whole mohalla heard the Keertania praise the family for the akhand paath and for having keertan the night before the wedding, which he pointed out is when most people get involved in meat, drink and dance.

For Baraat I strictly told my mum, "No surma and no sehra," but, unfortunately, a fake surma ceremony was done with my Bhabi holding surma near my eyes for a photograph. Ugh!

The Baraat left at Indian Standard Time (it was supposed to leave at 8:30 but left at 10:00), with me on horseback and a gatka team in front with a dhol player and a fake dancing horse.

Naturally, the Anand Karaj started late. During lavaan, my brother-in-law instructed us to keep standing at the completion of each lanv. It was not the time to argue, as this feature was introduced to speed up the process.

Speaking after the wedding, my Mamaji said that he heard people asking one another, "Which mahapursh is this that has come for darshan?" I felt, if more people wore Bana, there would be a lot more 'mahapursh' in Punjab.

At the time of Doli (when the bridegroom leaves the home), I insisted to my mother and Tayee that under no circumstances should money be thrown at the poor as it disgraces them in front of everybody, rather it should be handed over to them. My request was forwarded and no money throwing was done.

Fortunately, after the marriage, gidda and bhangra didn't happen at my home.

At last, after so many hiccups, my wish was fulfilled, though with partial success. At every stage I had to fight against Punjabi culture and custom. My wife said that her family too had to face problems with relatives. So much so, that she couldn't wear a full kesri dastar for the wedding, but had to do with a putka.

The day before the 'shagun', my brother had asked why I was moping around. I explained that, it was more of a battle than a wedding. So, can I look back at having acheived my objective? I guess I can partially, though ignorance stopped it from being a full Gursikh wedding. The overall war may or may not have been won, but each battle had an impact.

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I think its about time where we make it clear that there is a difference between punjabi culture and sikhi culture!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :twisted: :twisted:

i agree with you, but heres another question;

is 'tradition' neccesarily a bad thing to go along with IF it doesn't contradict teachings of Gurbani?

just a thought...

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No it doesnt at all. But people should be aware of the differences between punjabi culture and sikh culture.

Seriously, if i was him(author) of that article. I wouldnt have any problem with punjabi culture as in gettin married stuff accept for drinking, and eating meat. But i m defo up for some bhangra and gidda And i wouldnt mind some surma either.. :LOL::LOL::D

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