Turban + Beard = No <3?

Last week, I wrote a post about ABC’s Notes From the Underbelly (which, btw, is on tonight at 9:30) and most of the comment thread was as fun and fluffy as I expected it to be. In light of that, I am half-willing to apologize for my bromidic attempt at virtually playing the right and left sides of the audience off each other, like it was an old skool rap concert or a pep rally, but most of you resisted my super-smack talk about Sunkrish vs Sendhil so all’s well that ends well…or is it?

One of the last comments on my post was left on Thursday, and it has bothered me since:

Punjabi Sikh kudis prefer clean-shaven men sans turban. They are quite vocal about that on all the Sikh dating and matrimonial sites. It has reached a crisis level in Canada and US with many Sikh men having to go to Desh to find a woman willing to take them with beard, turban and all. [link]

The handle this person chose (Broken Hearted Munda Looking for Kudi) made me extra sad. One of my closest friends is in this exact situation. He’s brilliant, hilarious, considerate and one of the sweetest people I have ever met—and he’s still single. And in his mid/late 30s. What would “normally” make a non-trivial number of girls gasp or pick out curtains— i.e. every attribute I listed in the last sentence PLUS two ivy degrees— seems to come second to the fact that he is a rather Orthodox Sikh. I don’t think the issue is his tee totaling/clean living; I think it’s his turban and beard.

Today, we received another pained comment, from a different person (Munda Still Looking for Kudi), on the same thread:

These women also cite 9/11 and subsequent discrimination against turbanned men as an excuse to avoid us like the plague. They say they don’t want to attract unneccessary attention and inconvenience and do not want to see their men and future children placed in possibly dangerous situations. Is this a cop out? [link]

Oh, 9/11. You changed everything. Now you consistently inspire nightmares like last week’s violence against an innocent Sikh cabdriver in Seattle, who was just trying to help an inebriated person get home, per the police’s request:

Trying to escape the attack, the 48-year-old victim stopped in a car pool lane Saturday night on Interstate 5, near Columbian Way, and scrambled out, state troopers said. His attacker had punched, choked and bitten him, calling him an “Iraqi terrorist,” according to police reports…
The suspect knocked off the victim’s turban and tore out clumps of his hair, according to reports. The beating continued as the victim fell onto the road. The victim briefly was hospitalized at Harborview Medical Center for injuries that included a concussion and bite marks on his head, according to police and acquaintances.
State troopers were called about 8 p.m. A Metro bus stopped next to the cab to block traffic after seeing the suspect attacking the victim in the road. Witnesses aboard the bus made dozens of calls to 911, Merrill said. [MSNBC]

The only comfort I take from that story is that the bus stopped while its riders frantically called 911…to report a crime which was inspired by those very numbers.I must say, I can’t see any of my Sikh female friends “copping” to the reason which Munda Still Looking for Kudi cites; while plenty of them will bashfully admit that they want a clean-shaven mate, it’s not because of “inconvenience” or fears over discrimination. My friends are fierce, and take exhortations to be brave seriously; don’t go looking for a fight or commit some injustice in front of them, they’ll get righteously medieval on your kundis. (See: SM kudi Camille). But these women are also human. The heart wants what it wants and that’s demoralizing for people like my friend, with the stellar professional and emotional resume.

I know Sikh men who were born and raised here, who have gone to India for a bride and I know Sikh men who were born and raised here, who can’t conceive of such an undertaking. In three years of mutinying, I’ve heard from hundreds of you about how some of you don’t think your vesternized-selves could marry someone from the other side of the world– and yes, before a few of you angrily flame, we’ve also heard from those who are more than happy to find love thither. Why should wearing a turban or not shaving alter such feelings of apprehension regarding one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make?

What I want to know is, what do you think of these two comments and by extension, this issue? Do those of you who wear a turban plan on raising your sons to wear them? Are we heading to a future where little boys don’t run around in patkas, whether for their own safety or their future success with the kudis? I’m sure this already has been discussed on Sikh-centric sites, but I can sense that some of you want to raise your concerns here. Well, I heard you– and now I’d love to read what you have to say.

467 thoughts on “Turban + Beard = No <3?

  1. :Wow. Really? I can count off plenty of Sikh men I know who have married outside their faith and decided not to carry on their religion with their kids. Is that not a “well known issue all over the world?” And as many women have mentioned on this thread, it’s just not Sikh turbaned men who have problems finding partners – plenty of women face issues as well. I think your comments are just a bit too sexist – maybe our backgrounds are just too different for us to have a decent conversation.

    Sonia its good that you have told me that plenty of sikh men are also not carrying their faith in US.That’s why i was saying that sikh women should participate in on sikh discussion forum’s more because it give us much better understanding of each other’s society.In india due to patriarchal society if a woman decide’s to marry outside religion it ,mean’s that there is hardly any chance of her practicing religion and kids always take father’s religion.

    And sonia this too is a online discussion forum.I have read plenty of discussion’s on this issue on many sikh site’s.i have no reason to immidiately beleive what sikh women are saying here and disbeleiving what i read on sikh site’s from past 3 years again and again.

  2. Which plays into that old nationalist narrative of women internally cultivating the foundational cultural pearls of a nascent nation.

    It’s generally true. I’m guessing you’ve had a different experience though?

  3. DP,

    Your comments are difficult to read because it’s impossible to tell when you are quoting someone and when you are responding. For the sake of clarity and courtesy to others, please format your comments properly.

    Also, you seem to not understand why I intervened earlier about your obnoxious comment regarding “short, dark” people. It doesn’t matter if you think it’s not a big deal or if fairness cream sales are high– this is a private site and we do think it’s a big deal. We are not obligated to entertain ignorance.

  4. DP at 433 said:

    the 10th teacher of sikhism, bestowed the surname of kaur on all women as her own name…and said that she did not belong to her father or her husband. See my thoughts at comment #446 on how those women really belong to me and my online buddies.

    DP at 446 said:

    If there are so many practising sikh women then why this issue of turabaned sikh men not finding sikhwives are coming again and again.Moreover sonia there is special blogspot on this issue is created with 100s of comments from sardar’s all over the world with shocking stories.Also sonia sikh women marrying outside their faith is well known issue all over the world.The worst thing is that after marrying outside they give up their religion and raise their children with husband’s faith

    DP at 438 said:

    indians are obessed with fair skin and it’s a fact.Advertisement of boys rejecting girls because of dark skin or vice versa are very popular in TV to promote fairness products.Are you also going to dispute that advertising IS reality?

    DP at 440 said:

    Cammille and fuerza why can’t you simply accept that majority of Punjabi sikh women are not interested in discussing community issue’s or gurbani’ discussion’s with me and my awesome, not-overbearing, good-listener, online friends?

    DP at 450 said:

    My opinion is based on my foregone conclusions.
  5. As a girl who comes from a Gursikh family, it’s a bit heartbreaking to hear that there are men out there who want to keep their beards and turbans, but in turn are having difficulty finding love. However, especially since I come from such a family, I can understand how some women would avoid it after 911. There isn’t a day that goes by where a flash of worry for my dad or cousins doesn’t cross my mind…yes, because of the turban and beard. Here’s the thing though – if they’re brave enough to continue to proudly display their faith, even after countless acts of violence, I’m brave enough support them, end of story. This isn’t new for Sikhs; we have always been discriminated against in one form or another…from the VERY inception of our religion.

    As to the other point made in this post, some women just aren’t attracted to men with turbans and beards. It’s like someone saying I’m discriminatory because I don’t find red-headed men attractive. I think now that both women and men have a bit more freedom in choosing a significant other, we’re seeing this trend of both women and men gravitating toward what they like versus what is expected. Before, you didn’t really have a choice. There IS a problem though, if it’s a more deeply underlying reason than that. Among my friends, however, I don’t see that happening. What I DO see, is that more and more Sikh men are marrying outside of the religion when there are plenty of amazing Gursikh girls out there, just like the women are doing with the men. It’s a two way street.

  6. I wear a turban and have long hair and a beard. I dated a beautiful white woman for a long time, and my Sikh identity wasn’t an issue for her. What ultimately did us in was our inability to stay in the same city. I am sick and tired of Sikh men crying about how some silly, superficial Punjabi girls break their hearts. In my experience, if you expand the gene pool to encompass non-Sikhs, you will find someone who will love you and want to raise your kids in your image. If a Punjabi woman wants a “clean-shaven” man with insufficient balls to keep faith with his heritage, that’s not my loss.

  7. I am a sikh boy. I tie turban and I also have long beared and most of the girls in my college are attracted towards me. It is not that the Gursikh boy doesent look good with turban & beared with this he look more attractive than any clean shven boy. I am proud to be sikh. And I am thankful to god that he made me sikh.

    SINGH IS KING.

    “Singh soormay rakhde ne aan Kade lorh payi te de denge jaan Raaje Maharaje vi karde si maan Rakhdi si pug uchi bande di shaan

    Jo Singhan ne keetiyan kurbaniyan ne Oh duniya te chhad gaye nishaniyan ne Duniya de ban gaye Singh badshah Par sab to ucha oh Sacha Paatshah.”

  8. heyya. imma punjabi boy aged 19 with turban and bierd livin in malaysia, kl. here in malaysia, sikhs are a minority, there are like only 20-30k of sikhs here. again, clean-shaven guys outnumber guys with turbans and beard here too. but, however, getting a gf has nvr been an issue fer me. i dated many girls frm all kinds of background, gujeratis, whites, chinese, malays, n punjabis ofcourse.

    however, it is really sad to say, tht the objection for the turban bierd mostly comes from our OWN Punjabi Sikh girls!! This is wht really pisses me off! my uncle had a similar problem like the guy u mentioned in ur blog, and he really got irritated but now he s happy with his chinese fiancee.

    so to all those guys out there, all i can say is tht sometimes is wht we think, how feel about ourselves, confidence level, how we potray ourselves, is tht matters when it comes to the matters of heart! :) and to all those turban and bierd haters out there, u gurls just feel guilty n ashamed to be around guys like us. its just the mentality i guess.

    and oh, btw, i came accross this blog cuz my gf googled – hot turbaned bierd guys :)

  9. Jat does not necessaily equal bearded turban man…bearded turban man does not necessarily equal a Sikh..

  10. I’m punjabi in a kuri n I love face hair. What I hate is the Mundas who support the goris who marry our ppl, or who pretend to follow our religions n crap – especially the freakin’ 3ho who have everyone gullible enough believing they r sacchi when they r really jhutha. I also can’t stand the Mundas who watch pornography or who had multiple gfs. But face hair, paghri, n good morals bring it on by the truck load!

  11. Oh look who has made it to SepiaMutiny! She disrepects her elders, has a weird fetish for brown girl + white guy couples, and hates on brown guy + white guy couples, calling them gori ch*ds – even her elders. Her words do not match the reality of the nastiness that she holds in her heart. Be aware of this person, SM mods.

  12. sorry – “Nirmal” hates on brown guy and white GIRL couples, not guy and guy, although she would probably not like that much either. Just sayin.

  13. having seen the entire cycle – growing up in the US, there was alot of talk about this growing up because alot of Sikh men who wear turbans and beards tend to feel sorry for themselves and blame their lack of success on lack of support from sikh women. i don’ t think this is true. confidence, appeal, attractiveness go alot further than just turbans and beards. people who blame the turban and beard just don’t like themselves. there are plenty of girls for them. there are not many girls of any variety who will not consider an appealing guy in a turban and beard who likes himself and is comfortable with himself. when you grow up and see society from a 360 perspective, you will see this is a non-issue. attractiveness is personal and individual – a turbn and bread don’t definitively define it.

  14. I actually had a very strong crush on a girl ..girl was punjabi ..I proposed her ..she rejected me i guess because of my beared..basically Sikhs are treated as fools …the last thing I knew about that girl..that she patched up with. A south Indian guy ..I was heart broken .. .after that my confidence was zero.. ..I guess it’s better to cut ur hairs ..as u don’t want to be treated as a fool ..even in Punjab it’s there as my dad is in army we move …so I am now will cut my hairs before goin to college..dint had a single girlfriend till now..I am also human ..I also need love ..how it feel to be with girl …I guess its a curse now a days for young male sikhs …seriously ..it Makes me look older too…I also have the right to enjoy my rising age..I asked my dad that I want to cut my hairs the straight answer was no with some typical fauji language …but I’ll go other way around ..will cut them ..

    • well miss Anna is either receiving money from Pakistan or Hindu outfits to tarnish other religon image .i am proud hindu name saahil sharma and brahmin too but i thanks sikhs i am hindu bcoz of u.now guys who want to know why just study history.why nothing is mentioned about hindu girl running away with muslim guys.i was in uk for studies and i have seen lot of this thing.Now i respect sikhs bcoz even if have a problem in uk or india these so called gujus ,mallus ,marathis ,even hindu will run away but my sikh friend always stood by me.These king of post just show the shallow mentality of indian living abroad who are always looking for an opportunity to insult other religon..FOR MY SIKH FRIEND DON’T GET CARRIED AWAY BY THIS KIND OF PEOPLE UR RELIGION IS BLOOMING IN THE HEAT OF CHRISTIANITY IE AMERICA JUST CHQ THE YOUTUBE LINK AND LOOK AT THESE WHITE SIKHS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73LBZAHK5mo. REGARDING SIKH GIRLS WELL THEY EASILY GET CARRIED AWAY BY GROUP EFFECT WHERE THERE EVERY DECISION IS INFLUENCED BY OTHER PEOPLE.SIKH GIRLS USUALLY ARE LESS EDUCATED HAVE AND GIVE LOOKS THE MORE WEIGHT AGE THAN QUALITIES OF INDIVIDUAL.NOW FOR GUYS WHO ARE CRYING THAT THEY ARE UNABLE TO FIND GIRLS ONLY ONE ADVICE FOR THEM GROW UP AND HAVE SOME CONFIDENCE IN YOURSELF.C MON GUYS I HAVE SEEN IN UK ITSELF SARDAR BANGING WHITE AND BROWN MOMS EVERY DAY AND SINDHIS AND MALLLUS IN DELHI..I AM NOT JOKING I WAS WITNESS OF ALL SUCH INCIDENT HAPPENING IN MY ROOM.I MUST SAY I JUST SPENT 3 YEARS IN UK FOR EDUCATION BUT THESE GUYS ARE MY BEST FRIEND ,THERE IS GIRL CALL CHETNA ON THIS FORUM LOOKING FOR KIRPAN AMENDMENT GIRLS JUST GREW UP DONT SPREAD UR GHATIGIRI IN USA TOO.WE ARE HERE BCOZ OF THAT SAME KIRPAN.YOU SOUND LIKE PURE GHATI WHO CAAN DIGEST OTHER COMMOUNITY PROGRESS.YOU MARATHIS CALL YOURSELF MARATHA BY BEATING INNOCENT LABORER WORKER FROM UP AND BIHAR SHAME ON U WHAT IF PEOPLE IN AMERICA START TREATING U GUYS LIKE BHAYYA OF.WELL TO ALL MY SIKH FRIEND IN UK AND INDIA WHENVER U READ THIS POST JUST WANT TO SAY I MISS U GUYS AND FOR SIKH GIRLS JUST RESPECT UR RELIGION BCOZ I AM OUTSIDER BUT AGAIN A GOOD WELL WISHER FOR YOUR COMMUNITY. ANY ONE WHO DOUBTS ABOUT MY IDENTITY I HAVE ALREADY MENTIONED MY NAME AND EMAIL .AND TO MISS ANNA WHO HAS STARTED THIS THREAD GIRL I THINK U HAVE LOTS OF FREETIME MAY BE YOUR HUSBAND IS GAY CALL ME I WILL SEND SOME SARDARS FOR UR PLEASURE BUT THEY LOVE ANAL SO GET READY WITH LUBRICANT AND STOP ACTING LIKE BLOODY POLITICIANS OF INDIA .

  15. well miss Anna is either receiving money from Pakistan or Hindu outfits to tarnish other religon image .i am proud hindu name saahil sharma and brahmin too but i thanks sikhs i am hindu bcoz of u.now guys who want to know why just study history.why nothing is mentioned about hindu girl running away with muslim guys.i was in uk for studies and i have seen lot of this thing.Now i respect sikhs bcoz even if have a problem in uk or india these so called gujus ,mallus ,marathis ,even hindu will run away but my sikh friend always stood by me.These king of post just show the shallow mentality of indian living abroad who are always looking for an opportunity to insult other religon..FOR MY SIKH FRIEND DON’T GET CARRIED AWAY BY THIS KIND OF PEOPLE UR RELIGION IS BLOOMING IN THE HEAT OF CHRISTIANITY IE AMERICA JUST CHQ THE YOUTUBE LINK AND LOOK AT THESE WHITE SIKHS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73LBZAHK5mo. REGARDING SIKH GIRLS WELL THEY EASILY GET CARRIED AWAY BY GROUP EFFECT WHERE THERE EVERY DECISION IS INFLUENCED BY OTHER PEOPLE.SIKH GIRLS USUALLY ARE LESS EDUCATED HAVE AND GIVE LOOKS THE MORE WEIGHT AGE THAN QUALITIES OF INDIVIDUAL.NOW FOR GUYS WHO ARE CRYING THAT THEY ARE UNABLE TO FIND GIRLS ONLY ONE ADVICE FOR THEM GROW UP AND HAVE SOME CONFIDENCE IN YOURSELF.C MON GUYS I HAVE SEEN IN UK ITSELF SARDAR BANGING WHITE AND BROWN MOMS EVERY DAY AND SINDHIS AND MALLLUS IN DELHI..I AM NOT JOKING I WAS WITNESS OF ALL SUCH INCIDENT HAPPENING IN MY ROOM.I MUST SAY I JUST SPENT 3 YEARS IN UK FOR EDUCATION BUT THESE GUYS ARE MY BEST FRIEND ,THERE IS GIRL CALL CHETNA ON THIS FORUM LOOKING FOR KIRPAN AMENDMENT GIRLS JUST GREW UP DONT SPREAD UR GHATIGIRI IN USA TOO.WE ARE HERE BCOZ OF THAT SAME KIRPAN.YOU SOUND LIKE PURE GHATI WHO CAAN DIGEST OTHER COMMOUNITY PROGRESS.YOU MARATHIS CALL YOURSELF MARATHA BY BEATING INNOCENT LABORER WORKER FROM UP AND BIHAR SHAME ON U WHAT IF PEOPLE IN AMERICA START TREATING U GUYS LIKE BHAYYA OF.WELL TO ALL MY SIKH FRIEND IN UK AND INDIA WHENVER U READ THIS POST JUST WANT TO SAY I MISS U GUYS AND FOR SIKH GIRLS JUST RESPECT UR RELIGION BCOZ I AM OUTSIDER BUT AGAIN A GOOD WELL WISHER FOR YOUR COMMUNITY. ANY ONE WHO DOUBTS ABOUT MY IDENTITY I HAVE ALREADY MENTIONED MY NAME AND EMAIL .AND TO MISS ANNA WHO HAS STARTED THIS THREAD GIRL I THINK U HAVE LOTS OF FREETIME MAY BE YOUR HUSBAND IS GAY CALL ME I WILL SEND SOME SARDARS FOR UR PLEASURE BUT THEY LOVE ANAL SO GET READY WITH LUBRICANT AND STOP ACTING LIKE BLOODY POLITICIANS OF INDIA .