Sunday, December 30, 2018

Common Questions I Get From Sikhs

Before we get started, you can read part one by clicking the link below:

Common Questions I Get From Non-Sikhs and Sikhs

1. What are you studying?

I'm a business major. Next question.

2. Do you eat Indian food?

Now, if I didn't eat Indian food, I would sure have a hard time ever eating langar. Yes, I eat Indian food. Before I became a Sikh? No. It was a whole new experience for me and it took my stomach a few months to adjust. When it comes to eating it, I'm a simple person. Just give me daal, rice, and roti. If want anything else, I'll usually ask.....Dang it! Now I want some parantha.

3. Do you do yoga?

Under this question, I'm going to add others. "Are you apart of 3ho/Sikh Dharma?" "Do you do Kundalini yoga?" "Do you follow Yogi Bhajan?" "Are you from New Mexico?" The answers to all of these are a flat NO. First of all, I'm sort of a Nihangni. Secondly, I personally see yoga as an exercise in order to prepare your body to meditate. All Sikhs should do something to keep your body in shape for meditation. I prefer weightlifting, running/walking, and Zumba (didn't expect that, did ya?). Moral of the story, stop judging people based off of their skin color.

And for those souls who haven't yet, please read my whole conversion story.

My Conversion Story

4. Is your kirpan sharp?

Hell yeah it is! Want me to test it on ya?  LOL. Being serious for a second, what's the point of carrying around a dull kirpan? You might as well not be carrying around a kirpan at all. Could you imagine if the Khalsa back in the day went around carrying one of those unusable ones they usually give out at Amrit Sanchars?! Sikhs wouldn't exist today. I would also like the make the comment that a kirpan doesn't necessarily have to be a "Sikh style" kirpan. Tactical knives work just as well.

5.  Where is your hometown?

Sikh person: Where are you from?

Me: Fort Worth

Sikh person: Huh?

Me:...I'm from near Dallas

Sikh person: OH! You are from Dallas

Me: ....sure 😑

I'm am from Fort Worth! Not Dallas! There is a huge difference.

6. Am I a vegetarian?

This is a complicated question. You see, I believe that if a Sikh is going to eat meat, it should be jhatka meat (which is historically what Sikhs consumed). But since the vast majority of meat in the US comes from the factory (and we all know whats happens there) it can be difficult to find ethically raised/killed meat. On top of that, I'm a college student. My first priority is to keep myself from starving, not really being conscious about what I put into my mouth (unless it's halal).

Now for those of y’all who believe in being vegetarian and vegan, more power to ya. I’m not gonna argue with you or put you down because 1) Guru Nanak said not to be arguing about this topic and 2) everyone has a right to believe what they believe in.

Ok, so that's all I got. Wishing you and your family a Happy New Year! And if you stare at this picture long enough, you will be blessed with one whole year of protection....maybe. Waheguru ji ka Khalsa! Waheguru ji ki Fateh!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

What I Learned in 2018 (and Thank Yous)

2018 (in my opinion) was not a great year for society in general. I know that for my own personal life, I had a lot of up and a lot of downs. But there are a few things that I learned in 2018 that I am grateful to have learned. So let's jump into it, shall we?

Don't Let People Take Advantage of Your Platform

I wouldn't quite call myself a public figure yet....but I'm a public figure. And as a result of that, I attract different people from different cultures across the country and world. Most are decent people who like either reading my blog, looking at my infographics, or just like me in general. But then there are those 10% who see your platform as an opportunity to spout their own ignorant, narrow-minded views or their own brand. I believe in free speech and that every day has a right to say what they believe, but eventually people cross a line. And if you keep letting them cross the line, they will continue to do so. Therefore, there comes a time when you must block them (whether on social media or in real life).

If It Stresses You Out, Get Rid of It

Social media can be stressful. Money problems can be stressful. Taking too many hours in one semester can be stressful. So sometimes the only course of option is to get rid of it. Does social media stress you out? Delete, deactivate, or just go silent on your account. Money is coming in like it use to? Get rid of expenses that are not necessary (no matter how much you find it enjoyable). Enrolled in too many classes or fixing to fail a class? Drop it. And if anyone has a problem with that, no that they aren't the ones being affected by this stress.

Set Boundaries

If someone tells you to stop doing something or saying something, stop. And if they don't stop, find out a considerate way to make them. Earlier this year, I had to almost put a restraining order on a former teacher of mine who is an evangelical Christian and cannot accept the fact that I'm Sikh. After being harassed by her, I warned my mother (who is in her Sunday School class) that it didn't stop, I would take legal action. Well, guess what? It stopped. But that doesn't mean I still don't have classmates from my past (also evangelical Christians) who try to get in contact with me with I presume to be a hidden motive. This fall semester, I had a few former classmates/friends of mine texting me and asking for my address. After the incident with the lady above, I refused to give it to them. One has been consistent though, so I've decided to give her my address back home. So that she can send whatever she wants to send (I don't know what it is since I haven't gone back for holiday yet) without knowing where I actually live.

Exercise and Diet Matters

Eating chips for dinner does not have a good effect on your body (trust me, I know). Nor does drinking a can of soda a day. NOR does not moving your body do any good. It starts to negatively affect you mentally and even spiritually. The good news is though, you can change your habits. Which I have started to do. Please pray that I continue to get rid of my bad habits.

Don't Let Anyone Neglect You

Sometimes as human beings, we pour out too much of ourselves into someone who does not care about us or cares very little. We keep doing it expecting to get the same amount of love, attention, and engagement in return. Which then makes us an easy target to be taken advantage of. So here's my rule of thumb. Put as effort and emotion into a friendship, relationship, or partnership as that person puts into you. And sometimes, it's best to just let a person go. That doesn't mean that they'll always be that way or that they'll never be a part of your life again, but for now, it would be best to just let it be.

You Will Fail

I have taken several "Ls" this year. It is, unfortunately, a part of life. What matters is how you are going to bounce back from them Ls. If you give up, your life is done. Don't give up. And don't keep it inside either. Discuss your failures and concerns with those you trust.

So I hope you found this advice helpful. I would like to thank all of those who have supported me, loved me, and listened to me during this past year. I just pray that I can be an asset for those who have been a real asset to me this year. So let's lift a glass (of juice) to 2019 being a better year than the last. May everyone have a blessed holiday, may we not forget our shaheeds during this month, and may we all have a Happy New Year. Nanak Naam Chardi Kala Tere Bhane Sarbat da Balla!

Saturday, December 15, 2018

You Might Be A Sikh If

Waheguru ji ka Khalsa. Waheguru ji ki Fateh.

First off, Happy belated Fourth! I would like to bring awareness to our new website, Embracing Sikhism. It is a project between a few sevadars and I to better help introduce people to the Sikh faith. Check it out at the link below. Suggestions (and sevadars) are welcome

Embracing Sikhism

Now, this is meant to be more of a funny piece. I think when most people will read this, they'll completely be able to relate. So let's get into it!

1. You or another family member have kirtan streaming on the living room tv a lot

2. You've ripped through a pair or two of  your kachera

3. You've gone to use to bathroom...but then realize you've tied your kachera too tight

4. You've tied your turban...just to realize you forgot to put your kangha in

5. You're writing or trying to type but your kara constantly keeps hitting the desk

6. You're asked how to pronounce your name (more than once for most of us)

7. You're asked, "What's that thing on your head?"

8. You got a harmonium, tabla, taliyaan, chimta, dhol, etc. at your house

9. You've been mistaken for Muslim (or called Osama)

10. You have a khanda on the back of your car or in your front windshield

11. You drink cha almost on the daily (don’t forget the biscuits!)

12. You have a room solely dedicated to Guru ji or you have a sacred altar like thing

13. You spend $20 or more on shipping to purchase religious items (mostly talking to American Sikhs here)

14. You go over another Sikh’s house and the first thing they want to do is feed you (and don’t you dare reject it)

15. You find kangas just randomly around the house

16. You wake up for Amritvela...just to fall back asleep five minutes later

17. You get hyped every time you see a Sikh person on television

18. Your profession is related to the medical field, business world, police department, military, or politics

19. You’re a poet, artist, musician, singer, or writer

20. People look at your turban...but you can obviously tell they’re afraid to ask questions

21. You can’t just walk into a store and find something related to your faith (which is way easier for other religions)

22. You wonder why we celebrate other holidays more than our own

23. If you were mistaken for a girl as a kid (talking about Keshdhari guys here)

24. Christian missionaries take one look at you and start heading your way

25. You have WhatsApp (on a serious note, I didn’t even know Whatsapp existed until becoming a Sikh).

26. You see another Sikh in public and you get hyped

27. You try looking up shabads during kirtan and literally just Punjabi Artists singing it comes up

28. You tell your non-Sikh friend you got a smagam/nagar kirtan to go to and they’re like “Huhhhh???”

29. Prashad is bae

And lastly...

30. You tell a person you’re SIKH and they say “Oh, I’m so sorry” *facepalm*

So that’s all I can think of for now. Feel free to comment down below stuff I might have missed. I sure there might be a few.

Waheguru ji ka Khalsa. Waheguru ji ki Fateh.