Saturday, February 22, 2020

10 Things I've Learned From Brown People (As a Black Person)

I thought that this would a fun little thing to do. A lot of these things I've now integrated into my own life (especially regarding hospitality). Goes to show that you can learn some things when you interact with other communities.

1. If you are going to a brown person's house, come hungry and thirsty

In my community, if you go to visit a person's house, they might offer you candy (if you're a kid) or water (if it's hot outside). But they aren't about to feed you (lol). But what I found is that when I go to my brown friends' houses, I am almost always offered food or cha. Not chips. Not candy. Not a Dr. Pepper. But real actually food and brewed tea. And if you turn it down, some get offended (at least in my experience). So I always come hungry and thirsty

2. Do NOT get more food than you're going to eat.

Growing up, I was never really pressured into finishing all of my food. If food got thrown away, you might get lectured but still it was like "eh". I learned the hard way that you don't do that in a brown house and never repeated the same mistake again.

3. Take off your shoes when entering the house

Again, never had to do this growing up. It's only when I started hanging with brown people that I started looking at my shoes, considering whether or not they can easily slip on and off. I've gotten so use to having my shoes off, that I don't mind walking barefoot places.

4. If you are staying in a brown person's house, plan on staying there for a good minute

I find that in the black community, unless if it's a party, a funeral, or someone is visiting from outside of town, we don't stay for long periods of time at each others house. With brown people though, man I'll get there at 11 am and don't leave till 11 pm. Actually, it's more like get there at 3 pm and leave at 11 pm. Some won't even let me leave if it's that late. Then when we finally start walking toward the door, we usually end up somewhere between the door and the car and continue talking. Speaking of talking...

5. Be careful what you say

The Sikh community is small (unlike the black community). If you talk about someone, just know that the person you're talking to probably knows that person or is related to them somehow. It doesn't matter if the person you're talking about is from Canada or the UK. And don't say anything that you wouldn't put out there. Sikhs like to gossip and talk behind each others backs. Just keeping it real.

6. Do not get mixed up in brown people politics

Just don't. If you ain't brown, it ain't none of your business.

7. Say hello to guests as they walk in

See, in the black community, you can sort of get away with hiding in your room when guests come over. Just say that you have a headache or that you're in the bathroom. It also depends sometimes on which parent is there. But whenever I'm at a brown person's house, whether I'm staying or not, I got to get up and greet everyone who comes in the door. Is that the respectful thing to do? Hell yeah. Do I always want to do it? Hell no.

8. If you treat the older people with love and respect, the language barrier won't matter

I find that brown grandparents and black grandparents are very much similar. They usually love on you by feeding you and making sure that you're warm. Black grandparents (in the South) me "sugar", "sweetheart", "love", and "sweet thang". Brown grandparents call me "bheta". And even if they don't speak English, as long as I show love, they'll show love back.

9. Just assume they're vegetarian and go with that

If you are a black person from the South, most likely barbecue, chicken, or seafood is served at your house. Not all, but most.  This is not the case with some brown people, so don't go around talking about how you and your friends went to Texas Roadhouse last weekend. Now only does that trigger people, but it will spark an unnecessary debate that will just leave everyone lookin at each other funny.

10. Eating on the floor is the best

Growing up, we either ate at the table or on the couch. Same with the brown families I know. The difference is that sometimes we will eat on the floor. I don't know what it is about eating on the floor but it feels more "homey". Maybe because you usually sit in a circle. I don't know but I like it.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

A Quick Update

Hello and Happy New Year/New Decade! I decided that it's best that I give a quick rundown of recent developments in my life plus a few announcements.

Humanist Fascinated By Religion

You might have seen this on my Twitter headline but I'm going to break this down for you. I am a humanist. Which means I aspire to help humanity without belief in the supernatural or reliance on anything in the "spiritual realm". But that doesn't mean I am anti-religion or an "anti-theist". Hell, studying religion and engaging with different religious communities is my passion. If anything, I find anti-theists and the New Atheist movement (led by personalities such as Sam Harris*, Richard Dawkins, and the deceased Christopher Hitchens) to be hypocritical and closed-mindedness. Just like how evangelicals are in the Christian community.

To put it simply, I'm pro-progressive religions/denominations. Which means, you will see me support and stick my neck out for religions that share a lot of the same values as humanism (Sikhism, Buddhism, Reform Judaism, Unitarian Universalism, etc.) but not for those who don't (Evangelical Christianity, Fundamentalism Islam, any belief systems that says a person is higher or lower than you based on gender, race, religious identity, ancestry, etc.).  But the fact that I'm willing to learn about different religions (seeing both the good and bad aspects of them), help those who holt the same values, and not be antagonistic towards every believer puts me in the minority in the secular community.

So why am I telling you all this? So that those who aren't sure about my viewpoints anymore know where I stand. And like I've stated before, I don't care if one of my friends believes there is a blue monkey that goes around at midnight that gives people good dreams. As long as it leads them to behave in an ethical way and support humanistic values, I could care less.

*Yes, I used a Sam Harris quote in the last post. And I like I said in that same post, I disagree with some of the things he says. And yes, I still don't think religion should not get a free pass when it comes to criticism.  If anything, legit criticism helps us to improve ourselves, our communities, and our society. 

We're Copyrighted! 

December 12th, 2019, the Embracing Sikhism logo was officially registered as a copyrighted work by the U.S. Copyright Office of the Library of Congress. Not only does this make my website more "official", but it also means that no one can use the logo without my permission. Thank you to all of those who donated towards that effort and have supported the upkeep of this website in general.

Something Old

For those of ya'll who don't know, I have a new blog post up on Sikhnet. One of the people who run the website approached me about writing in response to a recent development in the Sikh community (Sikhs being declared an ethnicity), and even though I'm not religious anymore, this was a subject that I had previously talked about and am passionate about. So feel free to check it out here.

Also, if you haven't done so yet, check out our Youtube channel. If you have any video suggestions, I will do it. If not, the channel will stay as-is. There's a lot new Sikhs can learn from it and even those who are not so new.

Something New 

One of the issues I had when transitioning out of religion was not being able to really write anymore for the platforms I had been. BUT at the beginning of the new year, that changed. As of January 2020, I am now a writer for the organization Recovery from Religion. For those of ya'll who don't know who they are, RfR is an organization who helps people get there lives back together after leaving...well...religion. It was especially helpful to me in those first few weeks. 

You can check out my first blog post here. It discusses my doubts regarding Sikhi, the response I got from the Sikh community in regard to me leaving, and advice for those who might be thinking about leaving their religious community. I won't be posting any of the stuff I write in the future on here or on my social media, so if you want to keep up with it, you'll have to do it yourself. 

That's all I have for now. For those who are new to the website, welcome. And for those who aren't, I'm surprised you still read my stuff (lol). But thanks anyway.