Survey: Kaurs & Dastars

The results are in!

I conducted a survey to see what Kaurs who do not wear dastars think of the idea of Kaurs wearing dastars….just to get an insight on what folks are thinking. Here are the results!

The numbers in each graph represent the number of responses. 107 Kaurs participated in this survey. The numbers may add up to more than 107, as participants were able to choose multiple responses. The responses were tallied up and made into graphs. If someone  responded “other,” to a question and wrote in their own answer, that response is below each graph in text form.

The graphs came out a bit small, in order to increase the size, click on it to make it bigger.

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Last Thoughts

In this section, participants were allowed to write any thoughts they had regarding the topic “Kaurs and Dastars.”

  • I mean why shouldn’t Kaurs wear dataars, it is a crown a sign of royalty given by our Gurus and we should follow it. We have been gifted so much but don’t seem to realize it. I’m very glad you have started something that will make people think about this topic and act on it.
  • This is a pretty interesting survey! I remember that the weekly kirtan I go to, this guy (whose whole family wears dastaars; his wife and two sons) urges me to wear one cuz he once saw a picture when I wore it one time (my friend tied it on me). And basically every time I go there, he tells me I should and i just tell him I don’t know how to. I MAY sometime in the future, but i’m thinking babysteps is a good idea. 🙂 Thanks
  • I approve of wholeheartedly of Kaurs who wear dastaars. They look beautiful and have a strength in them that is unique to them. It is definitely inspiring. However, I have felt countless times that, by those Kaurs who wear dastaars, I am judged as someone who may not be as into Sikhi as they are. I have also felt during some instances (through words, actions, etc) that they feel they are better than I am in all respects solely because they wear a dastaar. In other words, I feel looked down upon. That judgment also applies to those Singhs who approve of Kaurs wearing dastaars. I have encountered Singhs who have told me that I would look beautiful in a dastaar. Wearing a dastaar isn’t the problem (in fact, I have thought of it many times) but it’s demeaning for me to be told implicitly by fellow Sikh men that they don’t think much of me the way I already am. My biggest concern is that there is discrimination on both ends of the spectrum. We talk of equality in Sikhi (and wearing a dastaar may show equality between men and women) but I feel that we have not come a stage where there is a respect for all Kaurs regardless of whether or not one wears a dastaar. I think that wearing a dastaar is very admirable and kudos to all the Kaurs who wear one but I don’t think it should be the deciding factor in debating whether one is a “true” Kaur/Sikh or even whether one is “beautiful” or not. I believe that the goal of Sikhi can be achieved with or without a dastaar and wearing it should be a very personal choice. A dastaar is not a joke and shouldn’t be treated as such, meaning that if a Kaur decides to wear a dastaar, she should wear it because she is comfortable in it, confident with it, and knows it is something she respects personally.
  • All Kaurs should ABSOLUTELY wear Dastaars. Guru Gobind Singh Ji did not shed a single tear when his sons died because he knew the Khalsa would be there. But what have we done? Most Kaurs do not wear Dastaars because they think it was only created for Men but they forget that Sikhi is all about equality. People these days are not living up to the full expectations of the ideal Khalsa.
    Kaurs in dastaars are beautiful-I truly wish it was more of a ‘norm’ to have more women donning the dastaar. I feel like most people (and I think this way too) believe that only amritdhari, uber-religious women wear dastaars. What really bugs me, though, is the fact that not all men are amritdhari and uber religious if they are wearing a pagh or dastaar… why the double standard? And to further that standard, if non-amritdhari girls DO choose to wear a dastaar, they’re automatically judged for being ‘hypocritical’, etc. Tough and sticky situation…..
  • There should be a website showing tutorials on different types
  • I feel that Kaurs should not be forced to wear a dastar and that it should be by choice. But I feel that those Kaurs that do don’t have enough support from fellow kaurs, singhs and non-sikhs. I think that as we have educated people about the Sikh dastaar for Sing’s the same should be done for Kaurs.
  • Yeaaa go sikh women!!!! I think a turban is a crown that is a great thing for women to wear. I support it.
  • Thanks for doing this. Best.
  • We should support our Sikh sisters who embrace their dastaars, but also not consider them on some unreachable pedestal. They are our sangat and we should strive to join them.
  • Looking forward to your article
  • Thank you for conducting this survey!
  • When I wore a dastar I felt I was always perceived as more on the religious side of the spectrum.  However, when we see a guy wearing a pug, we don’t assume that he’s religious – we subconsciously understand he could fall anywhere on the spectrum and his level of observance is likely never to come up in conversation. However these questions float on the surface when a woman wears a dastar. I was meeting a lot of men in my early-mid twenties when I did wear a dastar, on my own as well as through introductions.  For most of them, I seemed too religious (solely based on my appearance – many other things about me would indicate otherwise) and for the remaining guys, I wasn’t religious enough. As women we really don’t enjoy the freedom of expression in terms of our outward experience as guys do. I now cut my hair and am probably judged the opposite way even though the core/kaur (ha) of who am has pretty much remained the same regardless of my outward appearance.
  • This may seem like a skewed interpretation of Sikhi, but it is mine nonetheless: I personally feel that the body is ephemeral and that physical identifiers are easier icons to cling to than other standards of behavior and morality. I know that this sounds like an excuse not to wear the five K’s — and in fact, I feel like at this point in my life I identify as Sikh agnostic — but I am certainly open to and believe that many people become more religious with age and perhaps that will be my course. I have a hard time with those young people, like myself, who wear dastar or other religious garb with pride and ego yet demonstrate other weaknesses in character and behavior. These symbols seem to me like tokens one must earn, not just adorn. And even then I have a difficult time reconciling the historical context under which the dastar came about with its purpose today. In general, I have difficulty accepting the militant aspects of faith, and the anti-Islamic sentiments that percolate in religious writing around the Mughal period. My Sikhi is one of peace, tolerance of all faiths and people, and the continued education both of myself and other around me. My Sikhi stands on a single pillar: “Na koi Hindu, Na koi Musulman” and therefore how can I accept any type of label when all labels inherently divide us?
  • ….to each their own. The problem lies in people thinking that if you do not wear a dastaar you are not religious. Sikh girls are very blessed and lucky to have long, gorgeous hair–in a guth, in a jhoora, or even straight down. I can never understand why girls of all people feel that they need to cut their hair. Maybe because they don’t want to be tied to that aspect of the religion, maybe they think they can pull off more hairstyles that way? I don’t know (interesting idea also for your research, perhaps later). But there’s too much judging going on within the Sikh community itself. My personal, and family’s, belief is that dastaars were initially  not meant for women, they were solely meant for men at the time to differentiate them from the other people. Yet, I agree, what happened at that time may not be relevant now. But at that time, women were only asked to keep their head covered, with a chunni; nobody told them to put a dastaar on (and I know there’s a lot of controversy surrounding this topic). Women say they are equal to men by doing this–I don’t think so at all. Men and women will be equal in your beliefs, but I think there were differences, but not to put women down, but to give them their own stature and place in society. There are a lot of things that women blindly follow, yet very few complain about that. Even females who wear dastaars never question some of these practices–take the Anand Karaj for example, why does the man walk in front of the woman? In the Hindu ceremony that’s done so the man can lead/protect the woman, is that the case for the Sikh ceremony, too? Or are we blindly following past rituals?
  • I choose not to wear a dastaar because I believe I am an equal to a man. I can earn as much or more than many, I am educated as much or more than many, and I can provide for a family, too. I am happy to do this while covering my head with a chunni, but I believe the dastaar was meant for males. Perhaps it’s a personal opinion, but people (probably me, too) find it easy to pick and choose and twist religion around. Many women say that this is how they wear the Guru’s Crown on their head, but you can do that with a guth and chunni, too.Also, to ramble a little more, why is that women generally only wear gol dastaars and not pagris? This is probably stretching the point, but it’s a valid point. Do only MALES wear pagris? Because I’m pretty sure many females would have a problem with this, too
  • Personal opinion, once again, women tying dastaars is something that started after people moved outside of India. When people move outside of India, their mindset of India is what it was, when they were there, so generally, you’ll find more “extremists” of the Sikh religion who live outside of India. Most Sikh women in India will not tie dastaars, because that’s not what it was meant to be, yet many do over here because they believe they have become extremely religious.
  • Overall, all that matters to me is a person who is good and true to their faith. Yes you can do that by cutting your hair, too, but it’s so easy to not have to do that. Yes, you can also do that by tying a dastaar, but maybe in my generation, and where I am, I know far too many GIRLS (not ladies) who tie dastaars and have very vulgar language (too much cussing). None of that is necessary. When ANYBODY chooses to tie a dastaar, you are representing the Sikh religion, so you have to be on your best behavior (this is why some males cut their hair), but you also have to be a good Sikh. Cussing, etc. is not good for anybody, nor is it acceptable in any religion.
  • Good luck on your research, I look forward to reading your findings!
  • Thanks for your time and dedication to this topic 🙂
  • Sikhism is a religion based on such practical ideas like believe in one god, work hard, help others, meditate on the true name and then there’s hair. We believe our bodies house our true self- our soul- but we are so fixated in the hair issue. And I understand why it was so important because of our history, but I also understand that times have changed not only here in the US but everywhere in the world. It’s a very confusing topic. Thanks for this survey!
  • i believe sikh men were mandated to wear dastars (and keep full beards) for several reasons including physical identity. in the same manner, women do the same by letting their hair down/bun- in a natural state
  • I have met some awesome Kaurs that wear dastars. They have been the most understanding, kind, and humble people I have ever met. But like I mentioned above, the number that are judgmental or even outright mean is so high! I hate to say it, but when I see a girl wearing a dastar, i expect her to think that she is above me and never come up to me and talk to me unless she is forced to. The most hate I have gotten in the Sikh community has been from Dastar wearing kaurs.



4 thoughts on “Survey: Kaurs & Dastars

  1. Absolutely appreciable !! Hats off to conducting the survey. Love the thoughts in the last section above. It will be interesting to know the thoughts of Singhs, about Kaurs wearing dastaars. Do men appreciate a girl in dastaar or not. I guess people will generally like to answer it quite diplomatically :).

    • Thank you so much for your kind remarks! The survey on Singhs’ thoughts on Kaurs in dastars will be coming soon soon!

  2. A lot of people seem to be a bit confused with their comments it seems.. instead of replying to each comment i will just write some basic points and i would like to state that we shoukd try to understand GURBAANI first and foremost. The Baana of the five K, the Dastaar etc all help us to understand Gurbaani. We wear Baana to get closer to Bani and Baani hrlps us to understand Baana…so here goes: no matter what the gender of a human being is, that person, as per Maharaj ji’s Baani, has Nine Doors/Gates (Guru Amar Das ji says NAU DUAARAY PARGAT KEEAY) with the Tenth Gate hidden/secret/gupt (DASVA GUPT RAKHAYA)….. Maharaj ji has given us a lifestyle which is oriented to helping us meet Akaal Purakh and having the Tenth Gate revealed. That lifestyle includes having our Kesh tied in a bun and covered with Dastaar over the tenth Gate regardless of doesnt matter if u are male or female. We ALL want to break free and meet Waheguru. And the way to do that is Naam Simran. And the physical aspect of that is having intact hair(because hair holds and channels the naam) tied in a joora over the head (near the anterior fontanelle over the Duaar) wrapped in Dastaar which helps contain the Naam energy by protecting the Kesh.. So let us try to listen to Gurbaani and Guru ji’s Will and try to tie a Turban regardless of gender. Let us try to understand Sikhi.. Thank you. Also for those who state that tying dastaar for women was “abroad” are incorrect. When the british started to come into Punjab they recorded that the distinguishing feature between hindu women and women from other religions from Sikh women is that Sikh women kept their hair covered in a TOP KNOT/BUN on top of the head. Thank you..

    • Gur Fateh Harminder Bhenji,
      Thank you so much for your insight! I agree, sometimes we put the cart before the horse. Understanding gurbani will help us understand ourselves and our bana, and vice versa.

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