Growing up is a struggle for everyone. We constantly seek the acceptance of our peers and modify ourselves to fit into the crowd. But being a Sikh and staying a Sikh in this modern world is definitely a lifetime challenge on a whole other level. I was born and raised in Singapore; a country which […]
Growing up is a struggle for everyone.
We constantly seek the acceptance of our peers and modify ourselves to fit into the crowd. But being a Sikh and staying a Sikh in this modern world is definitely a lifetime challenge on a whole other level. I was born and raised in Singapore; a country which publicizes itself as a cosmopolitan and multi-racial society.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that racism does not exist.
Blending in was never an option for me; I would go to school every day with my hair in a long and oily braid: compliments of my mother. While I do not have any memory of being ridiculed or bullied as a kid, I do remember the curiosity of my classmates as they would ask me why I did not cut my hair.
I would always respond with a practiced reply, “It’s not allowed in my religion.”
As a child, I rarely questioned what my parents taught me about Sikhism. Since most people believe that inquisitiveness is a sign of intelligence, I would probably have been labeled as naïve or dull-witted.
I, however, would call myself innocent.
My innocence allowed me to have faith in the saakhis my mother told me every night before I slept. I was proud of being a Sikh because our Guru Sahibs were like real-life superheroes who saved lives and risked their own.
Soon enough, science or what we call “logic” got in the way of faith and the saakhis seemed more like childhood fables. Reality became cruel and so did people.
I encountered a girl in Primary School who occasionally threatened to cut my braid off just because it irked her to see me have such long hair. I was too afraid to face up to her or get my parents involved. That’s when I took my chances and turned to the last resort I had: Ardaas.
I bowed my head and put my hands together and stood in prayer in front of the Guru Granth Sahib every morning before school and asked for Baba ji to help me through this problem.
Sooner than I could have imagined, the girl stopped bothering me and school life became more bearable as I made friends with people who had no issues with Sikhism and didn’t pressurize me to stray from it.
Doing ardaas became a daily routine and it has kept me strong when life has tried to throw me off my feet.
I can count on Baba ji whenever I need him.
I won’t claim that I have unwavering faith; that would be a lie. There are times I break down and want to give up and I wonder how Baba ji could possibly get me out of my troubles.
But he always proves me wrong and I can never thank him enough for being the only solid rock in my life.
~ Source: sikhchic.com