I Sikh them here, I Sikh them there…

At the start of the year I had to research an article on religious jewellery. I discovered that this country is swamped with crucifixes, scapular medallions, St Christopher pendants and about a million other jangly Christian icons (67% of our population is Christian, do not say I never impart anything educational on this blogge), and not much else. I also found that much of my other fascinating research on Islamic, Judaic and Masonic jewellery was completely overlooked by the editors. Pfft.

Anyway. While in the midst of my unusable research, I had a thoroughly enjoyable look into the Sikh religion. How I love the Sikh! The beard! The turban! The robes! The pointy symbol! Is that the wrongest thing ever said on this site?? I care not.

I also confirmed in my very hasty overview of world religions (“summarise the five main religions of Australia, in 300 words or less” – that took me yonks) that everyone is pretty much following the same path: do unto others as you’d do yourself, help the poor, be honest, cultivate wacky theories about the afterlife, remove the mighty log from thine own eye blah blah blah. This interests me not at all. That’s just about learning to be a decent human being (apart from the afterlife thing which I can only attribute to boredom, dehydration, Purple Hearts or watching too many old episodes of Monkey). There’s no need to make such a song and dance about it.

What really interests me about religion is the ritual. The symbolic artefacts. The unusual food. The cool holidays. And the special underpants. Oh yes, particularly the special underpants. In my journeys through Sikhism I found that there are 5 ‘visible items of faith’ that Sikhs are supposed to keep on their person at all times:

KESH – The uncut hair. You have to let your hair grow naturally as a representation of the perfection of God’s creation. Constant grooming is a big deal in Sikhism, and you have to comb your immense locks twice a day with the kanga (below), knot it and wrap it up with a turban.

KANGA – The wooden comb. Used for untangling, obvs. Kept inside the turban, and also to represent the importance of cleanliness and discipline.

KACCHA – The special dacks. Loose, drawstring undies made of cotton. Supposed to give a feeling of dignity, modesty and honour to the wearer. The kaccha also refers to feelings of lust: the drawstring is another reminder that when one is untying it one is given time to think about what one is about to do. And from the Sikh Net website: “The kaccha also reminds the Sikh of his freedom, that he is not bound by any worldly government.”

KARA – The iron bangle. A visual marker that whatever you do with your hands, you must be reminded of the Sikh teachings. To deter the Sikh from committing any kind of sin. The iron symbolises strength and courage.

KIRPAN – The ceremonial dagger. As a 2nd-rate jewellery journalist, this one interests me the most. The Kirpan reminds the Sikh of their constant battle against sin, and the readiness to defend the weak or oppressed. Plenty of Sikhs have been hauled up by airlines lately for keeping the kirpan about their person (it’s a central part of their faith), and some people have had smaller versions made as pendants, to be on the safe side. Ah, the world we live in. It’s actually a bit insulting to Sikhs to equate it with an actual weapon, as it represents courage and self-defence.

There must be a modest Sikh population living along my train line, as there’s always at least one or two groups of young lads in turbans chatting, texting and dangling their arms around each other’s shoulders. Thus adding fuel to my secret Sikh obsession.

They’re dressed like any other group of young Indian students, except for this one chap. He is always garbed in blinding white from top to toe. A long billowing shift, loose pants and leather slippers. Orange turban, golden skin, thick beard and molten chocolate eyes with long, thick lashes. He is gorgeous. Every time I see this lad I swoon. And he would be 18 if he’s a day.

Shit. I am a sick, sick woman. Fortunately I am a godless spinster, because if I believed in Hell, I would surely be headed in that direction.


11 thoughts on “I Sikh them here, I Sikh them there…

  1. “you have to comb your immense locks twice a day with the kanga (below), knot it and wrap it up with a turban” … so that pretty much rules out Morning Tea break and Afternoon Tea break in the Workplace.I do LOVE the idea of underpants which remind the wearer they are “not bound by any worldly government”.When your dreams of Mr Chocolate In White come true – I am wondering if he unwinds it all first, while you pant impatiently.

  2. I couldn’t let this post pass without comment.Yes, our men are definitely very masculine and attractive. Like any other group, there are good ones and bad ones, but most all of them are true eye candy, and the Sikher they look the better. I had the good fortune to be married to one who was as good as a person as he was handsome. And all that hair. (Unfortunately, he got killed.)A Christian friend of mine recently looked at a picture of him and said, ‘He’s gorgeous. Where can I get one?’ To which I replied, ‘You can’t. And if you could, you wouldn’t have the slightest idea what to do with him anyway.’Kaccha are comfortable, too, but look pretty strange with a bikini.If Sikh things on a personal level interest you, might I invite you to my personal blog, http://mai-sometimes.blogspot.com.While a kirpan is, as you call it, a religious artifact, there was a time a few years ago, when my family and I were called upon to use ours as weapons. So the whole thing is more complicated than it might at first appear.And to GoAwayPlease, I guess you’ll never know. lol.

  3. Ah, Brownie, Mai is right – we shall never know – probably where the intrigue and curiosity comes in for me I think!Thank you Mai! I was worried I’d be pelted with comments by irate Sikh women saying ‘stop perving on our fine specimens!!’ I like the idea of ‘true eye candy!!’The Kirpan is a curious one – every website I read had a slightly different take on it – a bit indefinable for a non-Sikh. And the hair! Do women grow theirs as well? The special dacks worn by ladies too? So many questions… I must check out your blog…

  4. Most likely I am the one who will be pelted with comments by irate Sikh women.Basically, anything the men do the women do, too. That includes growing unshorn hairs and wearing kaccha. The turban is, unfortunately, optional for women. We also never go to bed without our kirpan and kara.The Five K’s are compulsory only for amritdhari Sikhs, the Khalsa. They call this baptised, but I personally object to the use of the Christian term.Sikhism is one of the few religions, maybe the only one, that teaches absolute equality between the sexes. Unfortunately, this teaching is usually not followed.I left out the last character on my URL. It needs to be:http://mai-sometimes.blogspot.com/.Now that should work.And I think Robert the Christian has a disrespectful attitude toward women!

  5. Robert, you do realise the irony of your statement “I’m a Christian and know what to do with any dame, having rooted them all over the world”, given that not committing adultery is one of the ten commandments, the central tenets of the religion you claim to belong to, and last time I checked adultery was having sex with anyone to whom you are not married?So if you’re not actually following the teachings of Christianity, on what grounds do you call yourself a Christian??

  6. Bek my dear,do not waste a moment of your time trying to engage ‘Robert’ in any kind of reasoned debate. In comparison to some of the unpleasant rubbish he posts on other people’s blogs, his comments on mine are quite mild, indeed vaguely sane.’Robert’: please stop intimidating my readers with your aggressive, confused, sometimes misogynistic crap. I don’t like reading it on other blogs, and I don’t like reading it on mine.If you can’t contribute to discussion or comment in any kind of useful, positive or respectful way then you’ll find your comments moderated/deleted.Or you can just vamoose. Up to you.

  7. Do you realise this was post was the first time I read your blog. The day after my birthday.And meeting you was a great birthday present.Thank for being a friend.And you can perve our fine specimens to your heart’s content. Just keepa yo hands off.

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