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“You all look the same.” “Let me guess, your name is Singh?”
“I like you hat.” Er, if you don't mind, it's a turban.
“Oi, go back home.” What to South East London mate?
Um, yeah?
“I like your hat.” “Rag-head or like egg head.”
“Have you had an accident? It looks like you have a bandage on.”
It's a turban, and it comes in different styles, it comes in different colours.
“What's under you turban?” Thinking that it's something magical under
there, like I've got an extra brain or something. If you see someone with a turban you instantly
know he's a Sikh, like there's no denying it.
Well you can't buy one of these, for starters. It's practice.
People just think you get it and just put it on your head.
And there's an actual...there's a finesse, there's a process, there's an art.
There's an art to tying the turban. It's basically like a piece of cloth that's
on this table, and it's a bit longer, it wraps around my head three times.
I have many different types of turban underneath this. It's like Russian Dolls, when you
take one out there's another one, you take one out there is another one.
It's a symbol, it's my crown, it's my identity.
Repping. Repping the paag anyway.
Repping my tradition. I look good in it anyway.
Exactly. Don't worry about it.
“Can you sing, Singh?” Yeah, ama-Singh-ly.
The middle name Singh was given by the 10th Guru to all the guys.
I'm a female Sikh, so I'm a Kaur. Because I've not got Kaur in my name, they're
like, “But you're not really Sikh then.” Every white guy has an Indian friend and they
get really excited when they meet you, be like, “Oh I know an Indian guy. His name
is so and so, you must know him.” “Do you know Jagpal? Do you know Jagpal?”
Yeah we go back in like Africa. No we don't. No we don't.
You'd always wait for your name on the register and you'd just wait for that teacher to
pronounce it wrong. They'll be like, “John?” Yeah, “James?”
Yeah, “Patrick?” Yeah. And then Am… You can see them struggling, they're like,
“Karamvir” , genuinely trying to, they're really trying as well.
It's the commitment to get it out. I was like, oh I signed my name, you know
Poonam. And she was like, by the end of walking me around, she was like, “It was really
great to meet you Susan.” And I was thinking, “Who the fuck is Susan?”
“Are you Muslim?” I get this a lot.
“Are you though? Are you Muslim?” No.
They don't understand that there are different types of brown people.
Yeah. When you do tell them, “I'm Muslim, I'm
not Sikh.” They're like, “Oh ok,” Like they get sort of relieved, like “Oh
thank God you're not a Muslim.” That is, I find that really offensive.
Because there are similarities in both religions, but obviously there is a big difference in
how we live our lives to a certain extent. Everything post, you know, all those events,
we've also taken that on, because people presume we're Muslim, we get that abuse
as well as Muslim people. But then I think when it comes to that point,
is when people start saying, “Are you Muslim?” I say no. They say, “Are you sure?”
And I'm a bit like, “Erm… I don't know last time I checked.” At home, my Mum
told me this morning, “You're Sikh, have a good day.”
“You all look the same.” Well clearly not, because, because you know…
We don't. I've had other Sikhs telling me we all look
the same. And it's when people use it as a way of
you know like, apologising as a get out. So if they've said, “Oh I thought you were
Muslim. Oh no sorry, it's just because you all look the same.”
People always say to me, “Oh you really look like that girl from 'Goodness Gracious
Me'.” It doesn't matter who you are or where you're
from, you want to be like you, you don't want to be like, your cousin, your brother,
or like someone else that wears a turban and a beard, it's like no.
Not every Sikh looks like that, you get girls obviously that have long hair, short hair.
The whole idea of having a turban and a beard and having this kind of identity was to look
different was to stand out the crowd. I think that's my favourite thing about
Sikhism, it doesn't matter what gender you are, or what kind of background you're from,
everyone is equal. So My family has never differentiated me,
if i ever get into a fight, they're not like, “Don't you're a girl.” My grandad
was like, “Did you smack him in the face or not?” and I was like, “Yes I did.”
Good on you.
“You smell like curry.” Yeah and what? And what?
I eat that. You eat it don't you?
You don't always smell like curry. Obviously you're going to smell like what you cook
in your house. You know what, it's really funny, growing
up, you were always aware, When your Mum is making a dish at home and there's a strong
smell and you had to go out. And you're like spraying everything on you, because you
don't want to be a stink. And you know when you smell it on the train
and you think, “Oh that's me! Is that me? No that's not me.” I smell like Gucci
Guilty or something, it's the person over there.
And actually curry is great. Yeah, it's like Britain's number one dish
for take away. Yeah.
I think curry smells like. I mean I like a good curry, I don't go to
a curry house or whatever. No you can't beat traditional cooked Indian
food. I think if you walk passed a chippy it smells
great, or whatever food it is. Yeah.
But it's definitely the smell of our culture and of our heritage.
And we're proud of it!
But I was born here, so this is my country. I don't know how many other ways we can
say this, I'm from Birmingham, born and raised, this is my county.
You take it for granted, they do mean, “Go back to India.” It;s just like…
I don't want to. Yeah I want to stay here.
I don't want to, I'm alright here thanks. I love this country.
So people will come up to me and they'll say, “Oh where are you from?”
And I'll say, “Oh, from the midlands.” “Yeah, but where are you actually from?
Where are you really from?” “No, no, no, no, where are you from?”
Birmingham, England. And it's such a beautiful culture, the food,
the clothes, you know, there's so much to be proud of to be Asian in Britain today.
Also another thing that I love is our history. It's so deep and it's so rich and it's
beautiful. And as a woman, it is so empowering to know,
that even 200-250 years back, they were preaching men and women being completely equal.
You know, it's just another thing I love about that, being proud to rep that.
Rep that. I love that word in the end. Rep that!
Rep that!
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Things Not To Say To Sikh People

106 Folder Collection
Amy.Lin published on December 25, 2019
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