25.10.07

turbans

We can't go very far South Asia without seeing a man in a turban. Now, if you're like I was before coming to South Asia, you have an incorrect assumption about the people who wear turbans - you probably think they are of a different religion than they are. I don't know the statistic, but probably close to all of people wearing turbans worldwide are actually Sikhs. It is part of their religion (Sikhism) to wear turbans, because one of their rituals is letting their hair go uncut for a lifetime. So they wrap their long hair up in a turban, and also carry a comb with them at all times. I've been told the comb is to represent that they care about hygiene and being presentable. Most Sikhs live in South Asia, but they are also found all over the world, as I'm sure most of you know.

The Sikhs that I have been in contact with are very friendly people and love to laugh. I've heard from several other Western women the same comments about Sikh men - we've noticed that most of them treat us and other women with respect.

Their turbans are like a personal statement. I've heard the most devout only wear a dark blue turban. Children wear smaller turbans, since obviously they have less hair to wrap up. And then a lot of men match their
turbans to their outfits. My national friends have told me these men are very stylish!

Sikh boy
:

These men color coordinated their turbans to their outfits!:


Hopefully, if you were like me with assumptions about men in turbans, now you can identify correctly whether or not a man is a Sikh.

5 comments:

S. Domino said...

Love the pink tie and matching turban.

SouthAsiaRocks said...

I love the pink turbans too :) In M-town, our non-sikh friends called them Turbines :)

Deanna said...

Thanks for the cultural insight. I loved the colorful turbans to match...around here dark blue is considered colorful and making a personal fashion statement (Europeans love black) so I got a kick seeing guys dressed in pink and green.

Deanna said...

Wait a minute, did you say they never cut their hair? So how long does it get? Do they ever let their hair down? That's fascinating!

alittlewater said...

i have always loved the men in bright colorful shirts and matching turbans! my favorites are the pink and purple ones! men in south asia have style!! well, some do! we won't mention those acid washed, TIGHT jeans...