“He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.” Marcus Aurelius
Today, I walked through the rain and it was that annoying one again but this time I didn’t use an umbrella and for once I didn’t come out of it soaked. I was slightly wet as you would expect but not drenched as I have been in the past. It’s funny as I processed this, it is a depiction of how I now feel about marriage, not completely consumed by it but it’s still something I think about.
Not being married no longer defines who I am or what I aspire to achieve, if it happens, so be it and I won’t doubt that that I will be happy but I am completely besotted in making my own life good enough for me.
I recently also decided to break through the last few ‘restrictions’ placed upon me by my culture and fear of ‘what others may say’. For those who know the Sikh religion you will know that we are inclusive of all faiths and walks of life. However culturally this is not adhered to, we were not meant to have a caste system yet this is all we live by. We have separate gurdwaras for separate ‘castes’ and when I was younger we drove past one that wasn’t for my ‘caste’ and I innocently asked ‘Why don’t we go to this one?’ it was closer than the one we go to. And this was met with ‘We don’t go to that one’. And that was how it was left as I knew better to question the answer, I only found out the reason why a few years later.
Currently, I am in turmoil about my own religion, we teach peace and harmony. Sikhism was built on pillars on inclusivity and derived from a time in which Hindus and Muslims were consumed by superstitions and dictating the way of life. Sikhism was born to be rid of these types of restrictions. Sikhism bore fruits of a simple way of life, understanding each other and being there for your neighbour. Langar was something Sikhism thrives for, this is a service (seva) that we provided to all of society. Langar is a ‘free kitchen’ where anyone is welcome to come and eat and drink without feeling like an outcast. This is the religion I grew up learning about and loving. I didn’t need to consider whether the religion I was born into was the one I wanted to live by because this was the kind of person I wanted to be. But then when you consider the Punjabi culture you realise that none of the fundamental structures are observed. We now live in a society in which people from different castes are not ‘allowed’ to marry in the segregated temples.
It’s become so bad people put up names of any couples that do manage to find a gurdwara that will marry the different castes on forums. I have heard stories of people turning up in coaches to wedding they don’t ‘agree’ with and in some cases stopping the weddings or having stones chucked at them when walking into the temple and even people’s houses being burned down. It makes me sick to the pit of my stomach, who do these people think they are? And using the name of Sikhism for their cause, do they think they are doing some good deed but not letting two human beings spend the rest of their lives together?
What gives them the right to dictate what people should be doing with their lives. And why do they think their alleged ‘interpretation’ of the Guru Granth Sahib is correct? Even though Sikhs are known as warriors we were not bred to fight against innocent people but to triumph over evil and tranny.
I have even seen people who have decided to marry out of religion and then become a more devout Sikh (which to I have absolutely no issue with) then turn around and put up posts about people who marry out of religion but in the Gurdwara are not doing it for the ‘right reasons’. Again where does this audacity come from? You, yourself married outside of religion and now you stand in front of others preaching about marrying out of religion. I do wonder what happens to people, are you all of a sudden blind to what you do and don’t know the word hypocrite exists?
It’s the same principle in this concept, people are trying to tell people what to do. Establish this ‘norm’ and lose their minds. However in this situation they have the power of religion and somehow manage to brain wash others. The same way cults work, you take one person for what they say and in most cases are in awe of them and don’t even use your own brain and your integrity is lost.
So, if you think my first barrier is trying to escape the fact I need to get married to someone in the same caste and also doesn’t have the same surname as my mothers and grandmothers maiden name. Imagine me when I was younger considering anything that wasn’t Sikh, and as most of you probably know unfortunately the forbidden territory was a Muslim or black person. I spent a really long time thinking to myself that I wouldn’t even consider looking for this and making sure I stayed well away. Because honestly I wouldn’t be able to deal with the aftermath and the grief that this would bring. And ultimately I am here to make sure my elders are happy right?
However, this does not fit with my own morals and ideals, me staying away is going against the person I am. How can I understand myself to be someone who embraces all cultures and religions and then if I come across someone who is ‘forbidden’ I then decide it cannot go any further? This makes no sense, a person is a person. We are all built the same even if some cells may be different. Its ridiculous that the colour of skin or someone’s faith then provides a platform for which prejudice exists. Even for someone who knows this is not ok.
Recently I have had many conversations with elders in my family who still want us to follow the rule of no Muslim or black. And to this I now say, how can you judge someone by this, when in reality you can get the most disgusting Sikh person but because they are Sikh that’s ok? And yet a Muslim or black person could be the person you have always waited for, their morals align with yours and your outlook on life is the same. We have been brought up in a multicultural society, we need to stop letting race and religion being a barrier. I am no longer a young woman living in a pind (village) in India with only one way of thinking, the only outlook in life is for me to get married and breed. I live in a world when the world is more than my oyster, I don’t need a man to provide for me, I don’t want a man to provide for me. I want a man that is able to encourage growth, teach me something new and the only thing they need to provide is support. You can’t find this in a culture that tries to stay back in a place where women were only around for cooking, children and being at the beck and call for their husband. I am not one of those women and I will remain single until someone is on the same wave length because a man without drive and motivation is not something I need.