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It's Back ! - Sikh Cyber Museum


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Gurfateh !

After a long unexplained break the 'Sikh Cyber Museum' is back online.

This is a wonderful resource - it has 100s of photographs , biographies and lists many interesting places to visit.

Click to visit this excellent site ;

http://www.sikhcybermuseum.org.uk/index.htm

The site has loads of interesting pictures - one of my favourites is this one

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It shows Colonial troops gathered at Alexandra Park , for the Coronation festivities in 1902.

I love the central Sikh Soldier - looking extremely dapper in his great-coat ,Large smart Turban and tied military beard. You can tell he is in all his finery, probably on his first trip abroad to England - the 'finery' includes a wonderful 'Kentha' around his neck and elaborate pocket watch and chains.

I love this picture as it reminds me of my own Baba Ji and Nana Ji - and probably everyones grandparents - they were textbook 'Jatt Babey' - My Baba is in his late 90s and still going strong - in his youth when he was 'going out' say to a wedding, mela or as he was 'Sarpanch' of the village , on official business - he would wear his 'Finery' this included a gold 'Kentha' (a large gold necklace made of heavy gold beads on a silk cord - the only ornament Punjabi males wore - as worn by 'Bhangra' Dancers and traditionally worn by the Groom at his wedding ) and as he was a proper Pendu Jatt a large white turban with a tall Turla (Fan) at the top and a long tail at the back - he also wore a starched 'Tamba' or chadara and carried a heavy 'Daang' studded with brass nails. A sight to behold.

My Nana Ji was more 'sophisticated' he was the 'Lumbardar' (numberdar) and 'Sardaar' of the village - His Finery included a tight fitted 'Aichan' (frock coat) and churidar pajama and a pocket watch with chains

and he kept his beard tied military style. - also a fine sight to behold.

My parents gift to me on my wedding day was a vintage gold 'Kentha' - they know I have a passion for all things associated with Punjabi Heritage - it was the best gift ever - I wore it proudly on my wedding day.

When my Baba Ji saw it - his face lit up - despite being in his 90s and unable to read or write He has memorized large amounts of Gurbani - The Influence of Nirmala Sants who stayed at our village - when he saw me wearing the Kentha he said ;

ਬਾਬਾਣੀਆ ਕਹਾਣੀਆ ਪੁਤ ਸਪੁਤ ਕਰੇਨਿ ॥

baabaanee-aa kahaanee-aa put saput karayn. (M 3 ang 951)

Which just made my day even more special !

Do visit the site - apologies if I've bored you with my 'Raam Kahani ' !!

Ranjit Singh 'Freed'

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Gurfateh Dynamic ji !

I'm glad you asked, most people think I'm a little bit mad with my obsession with all things Punjabi - especially my relatives in India.

I'm always telling them to look after the wealth of heritage they have - I'm scared they might just sell it all and buy a 'Kothi' in the city - I do have grounds to worry as one time I went I asked them to keep the old Sandooks (Dowry Chests ) kept in the 'Dalaan' off the floor and dry - they said who wants those old things, last winter we were going chop them up for firewood ! - they've already knocked down the old haveli - where my Dad was born and sold off all the 'pital de Bhandey' - I only managed to save my Mum's Gagar she got in her 'Daaj' because I brought it to England for my Mami to do the 'Jaago' at my wedding !!

I'm rambling now, back to the topic here are some pictures of the Kentha - modern ones don't have the triangular stops that you see at the ends. The one my Baba wore had a central pendant an 'Enaam' on it - but thats been lost (probably reset ) - an interesting note is that when my Mum's chacha got married in the 1950s his in laws gave him a choice of gift - either a Ghori (horse) or a Kentha or a radio - he chose a radio !

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The stopper at the end

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In these pictures Pammi Bai is wearing a modern copy - with a central 'enaam'

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In this picture the sufi dhadhi - Des Raj Lachkane - is wearing one without the enaam

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Here are some more ornaments given to me by my Baba Ji

A Taveet and a pair of 'Nattian' - flat earrings

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A silver taveet with compartment to put something - usually religious in

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In this picture of the 'Lahore Lifeguards' - you can one Singh is wearing an elaborate 'Taveet'

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In this mural of an Akaali - you can see he is wearing what could be a Kentha - but is probably a Taveet with gold 'Tavey'

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All this talk of Taveets has got me thinking about a Sakhi from the 'Bijai Mukht Granth' - and you Dynamic Ji are probably the best person to ask about it !

This sakhi , number 42, relates a Bachan of Guru Gobind Singh ji - on how Singhs can become invincible on the battle field against 'turks' when greatly outnumbered -- I know many will find this offensive or inauthentic, but each to his own. The sakhi gives a particular 'yudh jantar' to wear as a taveet and the Singh will be invincible and equal to a 'Lakh' and as the last section says Invincible and Invisible !! -

Waheguru !!! Waheguru !!!

Have you ever read or heard of this sakhi among the Dals Dynamic ji ? - if you dont want to make it public PM me I would love to know !

I have posted the sakhi below ( * taken from Sau Sakhi - Bijai Mukht - CSJS 2002 edition - pg 107-8 'Sakhi Batalisavi')

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Sorry for the long winded post - when I get started I don't know when to stop !!

Gurfateh !

Ranjit Singh 'Freed'

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Intresting, it seems in the old days punjabis and sikhs wore jewelry including piercings for earings !

Yet nowadays body modification is regarded as non sikhi, and wearing of gold ornaments is seen as anti panthic too.

Wonder what was the turning point ? why did we stop when did we stop.. ??

ps. Bit bogged down today however Freed I will pm you regarding the other stuff.

There is no jantar or mantar more powerful then naam, thats my opinion.. akaal

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Actually I dont think that people stopped wearing Kenttha because of Singh Sabhiya influence. Up until our grand parent’s generation people did wear traditional Punjabi dress such as Chadhra, Kenttha, Turlawali pagh etc. But with the influence of western culture our parent’s generation (baby boomers) stopped wearing these things, perhaps because it was no longer considered cool by them. It would be cool to see more people wearing these things other than the Bhangra dancers.

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You're right Malwe da Sher Bai Ji !

I love that album especially - the 'Heer' track -- my only complaint with Pammi Bai is that he doesnt use enough traditional instruments - he always has the classic instruments used in Malvai Giddha - the galarh/kato, the garhva, algozey ,chikka sap etc. - but he tends to use them just as 'props' only rarely do you hear them played on his tracks.

I love Malvai Giddha - just to see all those elders have a great old time singing funny bolian - makes your heart glad !

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