Via: Portraits of Sikhs
“Although I was born and raised in a Sikh family, I only started keeping my kes (hair) about a year ago. Appearance wise, yes it was a big change, however the decision to do so seemed natural and effortless.
I’m not someone who has been to a lot of Sikh camps or events growing up. When I was much younger I was enrolled in classes at the Gurudwara for just a couple of years where we learned about Sikh history, Gurmukhi script etc.
Unfortunately, the active effort to continue had faded and just like everything else, the only way you get better at something is by regular and consistent practice.
A few years ago, my dad started to tie a dastaar again. Witnessing my dad make this change had a big impact on me.
Many people have different views on whether or not it is possible to call yourself a Sikh if you do not wear a turban and keep your hair, and I want to make it clear that I’m not here to argue that at all. I realized that my dad’s decision to once again carry himself with the Sikh identity was done with the intent to go back to his roots and more importantly, practice the Sikh teachings and values in everyday life. Seeing his transformation of becoming a sardar strengthened my faith and reverence for Sikhi.
After I attended Sidak last summer, a 2 week leadership program, I found myself having a much better understanding of Sikh history and could also relate much more with my dad’s decision. It inspired me to follow his footsteps and do the same. Listening to my inner voice, and in the spirit of Chardi Kala, I put on the crown.”