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Bobo Shanti & Singhs


Freed
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***Disclaimer - This post was the result of one of those stupid late night discussions - It is meant to be tongue-in-cheek and lighthearted.It is not intended to insult or offend - If it does please accept my sincere apologies. Oh and before anyone jumps to any conclusions NO the discussion was not fuelled by 'THC' or any other stimulant - unless of course you count milky tea with lots of toast covered in strawberry jam and topped with slabs of cheese - as a stimulant !! ****

If you've been to Ladbroke Grove, other parts of West London or parts of South London (Or of course Jamaica or Trinidad) you may of seen Bobo Shanti Rastafarians - I don't know a Single Sikh who hasn't had to do a double Take and look again to see if they've just seen a Black Singh !

Bobo Shanti Rastafarians - unlike other branches of Rastafari who tend to wear woolen or leather 'Tams' to cover their Dreadlocks - wear tightly wound headwraps or turbans to cover their dreadlocks. They wear special robes and turbans - usually white on the Sabbath - but many wear brightly coloured high turbans on other days - They believe their hair contains the 'Power of Self' - it is only shown to partners and family - Many resemble Nihangs and their High Dumallas. This got me thinking and led to a big discussion - and here are some of the similarities between Nihangs and Bobo Shanti Rastafarians we found.

OK - we'll get the OBVIOUS one out of the way first - Bobo Shanti believe Marijuana is a sacrament - it is only taken in private, never in public and it's use is preceded by special prayers. sound familiar ?

Anyone who has spent time with Rastas, Nihangs or your common-or-garden imbiber of Marijuana - will know there are side effects - these are not just 'The Munchies' or 'Intense Paranoia' - but - how can I put it delicately for a 'polite' audience - um - a certain 'prostate on a rock' situation - this means there are a whole number of funny stories that are told .

Nihangs have loads of these funny stories - perhaps they are bragging - but those in the 'know' - will have heard the legendary tales of 'amour' !!! say no more ! Rastas are no different!

Rastafarians also use marijuana as a medicine - it is often applied onto wounds - mixed with a liquid or saliva.

Now we've got that out of the way - here are some interesting points

Language - Nihangs have their own way of talking ,never refering to themselves as one but as a 'fauj' and other special Bolas - Rastas also have special way of using language - there is no 'You' in their language - they use 'I' and 'I and I' - to show God is part of them - there is no 'you' - They say 'First there was 'I' then the Devil created 'You'

an example of their language is

' I and I must not understand but overstand, Seen ' note the changing of under to over - changing a negative into a positive .

Rastafarians believe they are living in Babylon - deprived of Zion (Ethiopia) by Slavers who stole them from their 'rightful place' , so they live in exile until the time they can gain their rightful place. Similar to 'Malech' SGPC stealing the 'rightful place' of the Dal Panth - the Akal Bunga ???

rastafarians observe strict Old Testament 'Jewish Mosaic Law' - they tend to be vegetarians - though some may eat fish but not shellfish. They are very particular and do not eat processed foods. - Not unlike 'Bibeck' ?

Rastafarians have a strong resistance to 'Structure' and 'Tyranny' and are fighters against all forms of 'Injustice' - They are vocal protesters against all forms of Violence.

Familiar yes ?

True rastafarians - speak of 'Fashion dreads' or 'Funky Dreads' - those who take on the appearance of Rastas but have not taken the vows or do not give the vows due respect ---- Not unlike' #N*a%n£g$s' ( The N word as used by Nihangs- not the US variety ! in case it doesnt show up ) - don't you think ?

What do you think ??? Yes I have got WAY too much time on my hands - yes I know and respect the fine and ancient traditions of Nihangs and know Rastas are an early 20th century phenomenon - but hey it cheered me up and filled a rather boring evening with some good discussion.

ONCE AGAIN - This IS lighthearted - please don't take offence - I fully respect ALL traditions of ALL world communities - I just think it shows how we are all God's Children and more similar than different.

Any way I'll get back to what I do best - and that's not inter- community comparison ! - But pictures - here they come

A group of Bob Shanti Men - a cursory glance and you would think they were Singhs

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Bob Shanti on the Sabbath - in white robes

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Bobo Shanti Musicians - Reggae artists like Capelton are 'Bobo Shanti' rastafarians - though purists would say he hasn't taken 'full vows'

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a Bobo Shanti young man - in his turban - not unlike the small dumalay UK youngsters wear

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A Bobo Shanti woman - they also cover their hair

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Oh I forgot - here is a video of what I think is a young 'Jattadhari' Udasi - an udasi with jatta - matted locks - covered with a turban - correct me if I'm wrong. The video is from Shaheedi Bagh , Anandpur - vaisakhi 1999

The 'Udasi' only makes a fleeting appearance

this is a still

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This is the film clip ;

http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=...43&hl=en-GB

MORE connections and similarities !!

There you go - should I be expecting a 'Late Night' visit or Cchittar Parade ??

I hope not !

Love and Peace

Freed !

:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:oops:

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Veer Ji,

This is really weird!!!

I don't mean the Rastafarians, I mean that you post this today, let me explain:

My dear Bhenji (A French/African 3HO), who kindly taught me and my wife yoga for a while, was having lunch with us just the other day.

She gave us some great news, that she is she is going to buy a large 16 acre plot near in North Jamaica overlooking the sea and surrounded by many, many types of plant, fruit and fauna (Banana, Avacado, Rasberry, Lemon etc...). She is going to (Vaheguru willing) open a Yoga retreat and hopefully Guru Ghar one day in the future, to serve the local deprived community by ways of simran, kirtan, yoga, health and spiritual discourse (Gurbani based), as well as run it as a business for eco-health tourists.

She was facinated by Rastafarians and they were by her also (as she wears keski). Many asked her about her faith and were hooked!!

She was similarly struck by many similarities in their outlook to life, to add to Freed Jis comments, as well as strict vegetarians "rehitvaan" Rastas are also tee-total, they do not drink alchohol (as she was told).

They have a very loving, open minded, oneness, universal attitude towards others, and are very charitable, some really poor Rasta lok, even gave her many bags of fresh fruit and veg, as she was new to the area and they wanted her to eat good food, she was obviously taken a back by their kindness (they like to help strangers/new people).

Obviously their hair is very spiritual to them also.

Bhenji told me their is a world of difference between Rastas in the UK (esp London) and those rehitvaan ones in Jamaica (although you get a few fakers there also).

Irrelevent of what one thinks of King Selesi and his prophecies, real Rastas are very nice and moralistic people, and you never know, in a few years time when Sikhs start visiting the beautiful sea, mountains and forest retreats of North Jamaica for memorable Puratan Kirtan smagams, who knows what how many Jamaican brothers will be hypnotised by Guru Ji's divine words and sounds of their divine saaj.....

On another note I am trying to find out the name of the Udassi, Sadhu or maybe normal Indian man who struck a close friendship with King Selesi, and from whom the King discovered bhang and it's apparent use as a meditational substance, this Sadhu may have also influenced the King in other matters such as meat and drink....

If anyone has a thread or knows any resource re this person, I would be much obliged if you could share!

Vaheguru

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Rastafarians also believe in Avatar's too.

"Rastafarians have also adopted a form of the Hindu belief in Avatars, holding that Heile Selassie was the last of four incarnations of God which includes Moses, the Hebrew Prophet Elija, and Jesus."

http://altreligion.about.com/library/bl_rastafarianism.htm

But I believe that Avatar's are not just a Hindu Belief, I believe its universal to all.

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I have to say from my own experience, the whole dhari bright coloured pagh thing means you're somehow elected to the 'outsider's knowing nod' brigade.

Any wierd-beardo, biker, wayward metaller, eccentric, orthodox christian, and ALWAYS from my experiences in London, Rastas I pass in the street give you a knowing respectful nod and smile or 'y'alright'. In fact I've even made friendships this way! One white middle-aged rasta I know, first started from a curious smile at a parent's evening and without having had a conversation two years down the line has become a beep the horn and wave at each other in the morning thing! Another bloke I know whose permanently stoned, we bump into each other, he rants for a bit, I admirringly comment or touch his dreads, he admirringly strokes my beard (obviously I have a shower and do 10 sukhmani paths afterwards).

Anybody else come across the outsider/freak club thing?

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I think we've all been there !

My mates at college would call it the 'Staring Problem' or SP for short - 'look Ranj you're getting the old SP there'

they were convinced I attract nutters - - be they the 'outsider' type or the 'manic street preacher' type - They would always make a bee- line for me - One of my mates would get quite irate ( I think he didnt like having to share the limelight) at people just coming up and saying - 'you look interesting I have to speak to you' or talking like they've known me for years -

but as someone once said - it may have even been here on SA - If youre a Singh/Singhni and no one is staring at you or cant see you coming from a mile away - Youre NOt doing your job properly!

tSingh I got the book today ! I must concur with your Rasta Mate - I've got a severe case of 'Beard Envy' - having finally seen what you look like - (your picture in the book today)

I would stroke your beard as well - My beard is a bit patchy so I am always jealous of those that flow especially that 'flow in the wind' style some Singhs have.

I bet you'll be deadlocking the door tonight !! - I aint a stalker - honest Guvnor !

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Freed, i agree with you.

tsingh ginger beard is very sexy indeed.. no wonder people keep touching it..lol :LOL:

sorry back to the topic, these are amazing pictures from different parts of the world, shows diversity within spiritual traditions yet very similiar physical apperance- keshas, dastar very similiar to eastern religious traditions.

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  • 5 months later...

ALOT OF PEOPLE HAVE MADE SIMILAR ASSESMENTS ABOUT ME BEING SIKH WHEN IN FACT I AM BOBO. HERE IS THE THING MOST OF THEM DONT KNOW. MY PATERNAL GRANDFATHER WAS OF INDIAN ACSENT. SO I PERSONALLY FEEL AS THOUGH EVEN GIVEN THAT MY FATHER WAS BORN IN JAMAICA, THIS LIFE IS A VERY NATURAL PROGRESSION FOR I.

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  • 1 month later...

Freed, a couple of random bits of information that I have picked up over the years that need some verification but point to some historical links between Ethiopia/Rasta and Sikhs.

HAille Sallasie's close friend and personal photographer was a Sikh man . This Singh took some of the most iconic pictures of the emperor and died a few years ago. I remember reading an obituary but didn’t keep it.

Sant Singh Chattwal (NY hotelier, friend of Hillary Clinton and father of Vikram Chattwal) was Sellasie's bridge partner !

The Maharaja of Faridkot had Sikh troops stationed in Ethiopia as part of the British Indian Army during the second world war (presumably as part of the force that kicked out the Italians). As a result Sellassie was sufficiently impressed by the Sikh troops for the Ethiopian Emperor to offer the Maharaja a Sikh homeland within Ethiopia

Does anyone have any information on these stories, I hate to post things unless they are verifiable and these are somewhat soft.

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Freed, a couple of random bits of information that I have picked up over the years that need some verification but point to some historical links between Ethiopia/Rasta and Sikhs.

HAille Sallasie's close friend and personal photographer was a Sikh man . This Singh took some of the most iconic pictures of the emperor and died a few years ago. I remember reading an obituary but didn’t keep it.

Mohinder Dhillon.

The Maharaja of Faridkot had Sikh troops stationed in Ethiopia as part of the British Indian Army during the second world war (presumably as part of the force that kicked out the Italians). As a result Sellassie was sufficiently impressed by the Sikh troops for the Ethiopian Emperor to offer the Maharaja a Sikh homeland within Ethiopia.

It would have been a characteristically generous gesture. I don't know whether it's true though. I think I've seen a photograph of them shaking hands.

...

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Here is an interesting article about Mohinder Dhillon from The Kenyan paper 'Daily Nation'

http://www.nationaudio.com/News/DailyNatio...2001/story1.htm

Mohinder Dhillon shot the 'Biblical Famine' film that accompanied Michael Buerk's BBC news report about the Ethiopian Famine of 1984 - which highlighted the Famine and led to a huge appeal and the set up of Band-Aid and Live -Aid

A picture of Mohinder Dhillon and Jon Snow of Channel Four News

mohinderdhillonfpaz6.jpg

Hope that is of some use Amandeep.

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Haile Selassie I wasn't Rasta or Bobo - read about him. He was just 'adopted' by the Rastafarians and was in fact an Orthodox Christian and had no dreadlocks.

The only Rastafarians in Ethiopia are Jamaican immigrants....check out wikipedia to get an idea.

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Haile Selassie I wasn't Rasta or Bobo - read about him. He was just 'adopted' by the Rastafarians and was in fact an Orthodox Christian and had no dreadlocks.

Jah is THE Ras Tafari, for that is His name. His followers are called Rastafarians after him (although they're really Garveyites).

And who say Jah no dread??

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  • 4 weeks later...

i met a rasta who i thought was a Sikh, unitl he spoke. then me ask him about his appearance, and him tell me that when the rasta faith was being formed there was alot of influence from the indian/eastern religions, and thats why rasta wear turban.or wrap.

Mi bredren any Rasta that told you that is uneducated, I and I is always misrepresented.

First of Ethiopia is the first nation, first civilisation, all Ethiopians wear turbans, maybe not everyday but all religions and civilsation come from there, all muslims, buddhist, all religions learns from there.

It is ethiopian tradition to wear turbans but because black people have been taken so far from their culture it is only Rastafari that have looked back and brought back our ancient tradtions

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