punjabi

On Sunday I wore traditional dress to town for the first time in a while, and I was reminded why I had avoided doing it so much in the past. It wasn’t just the stares but the obvious looks of distaste, one women shook her head at us, another mouthed something I couldn’t hear. My small town is full of people who love to appropriate my culture. One time during a free dress day at my old high school a girl wore a salwaar and a t-shirt to school. My mum, who was born in Punjab, has slowly begun to transition to western clothing at home, she wants to start trying to wear western clothes out as well, because she’s afraid. She’s afraid of racism. I’m sick of this. I know a lot of people in my town who wear bindi’s and traditional Indian dress with no understanding of their cultural value. I hated feeling abnormal during school, but even more then that I hate that my mum feels obligated to change her cultural identity to ‘fit in’ to a society which has begun to claim our identity as their own fashion trend.

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Pictures of my mum for

reclaimthebindi

week because it’s from her that I learnt my culture and learnt how to love it and be proud of it. It wasn’t easy leaving behind her entire family at such a young age to go stay in a completely new place with people she didn’t even know. But she did it, and she did it wonderfully. Our mothers really show the strength of desi women in their everyday lives and we need to respect them with everything we have. If we’re even half as brave as they are, we’ll be so lucky.

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The Punjabi Bride:

Fun, exuberance, and merriment are the hallmarks of a Punjabi wedding. The lari’s heart beats in tandem with the insistent beat of the dholak, her pulse quickening with anticipation as she is adorned with gold and precious gems. Surrounded by the sounds of joyous celebration, she conceals a myriad question behind the dazzle of her smile and the sparkle of laughter in her eyes.

It’s like, Sikh-Americans can’t love India because we’ve been getting slaughtered by the Indian government but we can’t love America because we’re greeted with xenophobic reactions. We aren’t welcomed in our Motherland and we aren’t welcomed abroad. We have been robbed of our home.