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Sikhs during the Blitz


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And you thought the only Sikh Eastenders were the old - now long departed postman and the 'regular' at The Vic !!

I once read an interview with Bishen Singh Bedi - the famous cricketer - he said that Sikhs are like potatoes , scratch the surface anywhere in the world and you will find Sikhs and potatoes ! - this picture confirms that.

I am posting it to commemorate 60 years since the end of the Second World War - it is a photograph taken by Bill Brandt ( part of a series of WW2 photos) showing a Sikh Family sheltering in the crypt of Christchurch Spitalfields London 1942- during a German Air-Raid or 'The Blitz' (from the German codename for the bombings - Blitzkrieg which means "lightening war".)

- the look on the woman's face is haunting -- it must of been frightening - not only were Hitler's bombs falling on London but the only safe place was a crypt in a 18th century church surrounded by graves and 'ghosts' !

The Sardar Ji's face just shines Chardi Kala - or as EastEnders say the Blitz Spirit !


*from Bill Brandt Archive Ltd. -- published in "Symbols of Identity : Photographs of a People." - Divia Patel - Marg Vol 54 No. 4 June 2003 pp113

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I love this picture its the kind of imagery that sikhs in the uk shoudl have in their homes rather than those sickly sobha sikhs or those ghastly kirapl singh paintings or this new trend of having garish village scenes such as a women spinnig cotton or making lasi - yuck. Having said that I have always wanted a painting of one of those classic fleshy beauties from the front cover of Des Pardes above my desk in my office at work !

In case anyone hasnt spotted the 2nd child in this picture - there is a littel white rummaled joora just to the lef of the father's arm - he's just like me . . . .able to sleep through an air raid !


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