Survey: Singhs on Kaurs & Dastars

Here’s part two!

73 Singhs completed a survey on their thoughts on the idea of Kaurs wearing dastars. Here are the results! All numbers are percentage of respondents .

If graphs or responses are too small, click on them to make them bigger.

1. Should Kaurs Wear Dastars?

Screen shot 2013-06-06 at 3.33.19 PM

Screen shot 2013-06-06 at 3.57.38 PM

2. What do you think of Kaurs wearing dastars?

Screen shot 2013-06-06 at 3.27.19 PM

Screen shot 2013-06-06 at 3.46.10 PM


3. Would you ever date/marry a Kaur wearing a dastar?

Screen shot 2013-06-06 at 3.30.50 PM

Screen shot 2013-06-06 at 3.56.56 PM

4. Singhs’ Final Thoughts

  • Some of them wear a dastaar and get Keskiitis aka a big head – the “normal” factor in their personality is hard to find.
  • Those that wear a dastaar and cut their hair etc are no different from guys that wear a dastaar and trim/drink etc. but since kaur’s with dastaars are a LOT less then men they get a lot of negative attention.
  • As American men, we’re socialized into believing a certain set of physical characteristics define beauty in the opposite sex. Perfectly shaped eyebrows, shaved legs, tight jeans ect. ect. But women who wear daystars are comfortable with themselves despite all of these social pressures. The daystar becomes almost a physical manifestation of their inner strength. And thats what makes them beautiful (to me, at least).
  • The Guru’s never said dastars were just for men. I never understood why women didn’t wear them.
  • It’s a choice–just as it is for Singhs
  • I have noticed that some (Emphasis on some because each individual is different) Kaurs that wear dastaars automatically think that they know the Guru’s message, and that they are above the rest. However, I noticed because many people think this is a fact about everyone Kaur with a dastaar, when I know that’s not true. I’ve come across many of Kaurs with dastaars who have been more down to earth than Kaur’s without dastaars. Meaning, at the end of the day, each individual has a unique personality, and it shouldn’t matter if they are wearing a dastaar or not. That’s the individuals choice.
  • I generally do not participate in such surveys. This is becuase there is a huge gap between how the  Sikh youth in west (especially the second generation) thinks about Sikh issues, comapre to the traditional essence of Sikh subjectivity. For example Sikhs in west think that Dastar is a part of Sikh identity, and that is why they prefer to assert their identity and would recommend women to wear Dastar in order to assert 2 things. 1. Identity and 2. Their equal status with men.  That is why more Amridhari Singnies wear dastar in west compare to Punjab.But when we read Bhai Santokh Singh he says that the reason Guru Gobind Singh gave us the Dastar was because he wanted to saggregate Swans (Hans) from Heron ( Bagla). Both look alike. So it is not identiy. It is what they eat( pearls v/s fishes), ( that is the way they live their life), marks the difference. So before we decide if women should war turban, I think we need to read a lot about our history, tradition and Sikh reasons for the turban. Did Mata Sundri, Mata Sahib Kaur, Mata Gujri wear a turban? When did the tradition of wearing turban among women started? Why has identity become so important for us all of a sudden in last few decades?
  • Kaurs who wear dastars are awesome!! I wish there were more!
  • I think when a Kaur decides to wear a Dastar, they are announcing to the world that they are a Sikh.  This is no different than for a Singh.  Of course, each person, Singh or Kaur, has to make that decision for themselves when they are ready.  I do think that the uniform of a Sikh who has committed to the Guru should wear a Dastar to affirm their commitment.With that said, I do not believe that a Kaur in a Dastar should be judged when she wears western clothes, make up, or other items that are considered “fashionable”.  I am very disappointed in the comments that I have seen on Facebook and other sites, of Sikhs judging other Sikhs.  Comments have especially been vicous towards Kaurs in Dastars who wear clothes that some people consider “not modest” .  Who are we to judge that?
  • For the vast majority of Sikh females, wearing a dastaar is not something that their families push on them or seek as an ideal. I think this is hugely important and missing from the conversation. Many Sikh males who wear dastaars do so first because of habit/comfort because they were told to do so growing up, rather than because of some connection to the Guru or Sikh theology.
  • In a lot of cases I have noticed a sort of glow/ radiance with girls in dastaars. Maybe that’s the confidence shining through.
  • Dastaar/or Not – Its her personal decision.
    But, covering kesh/hair in any way with bandana / chunni is important, as it part of generally accepted maryada too.
  • why should woman be denied to the right to wear a turban? Sikhi is all about equality. Plus, they look SMOKIN HOT!!!!!!
  • There is little historical evidence from premodern Sikh texts that Sikh women wore turbans (don’t quote Mai Bhago since a mention of her wearing the dastar comes from contemporary art not premodern textual sources). In Islam, women are carriers of identity. In Sikhi, men are.  Often feminists try to see this as an issue surrounding egalitarianism and equity.  This is unfortunate because “equal” does not mean identical.  A Sikh woman must cover her head.  She can do just as gracefully with a chunni as with a dastar.  The choice should be hers.
  • What is crucial in this study is to emphasize that the crown bestowed upon us by our beloved Guru Gobind Singh Ji belongs to both women and men. It is a woman’s right to claim that identity and the honor of carrying the saroop of her Guru.
  • Ultimately, the burden and benefit of manifesting one’s identity was never intended to reside with one sex, the panth will only be strengthened when both women and men fully embrace their identity.
  • Thank you for taking the time to come up with this survey and introduce it to others.
  • Whether or not a Kaur wants to wear a Dastar is between her and guru.  I think it’s pretty attractive and wish my wife would wear one.  Nigerian women look so fly and confident with their amazing head wraps, and Kaur’s can as well.
  • Sikhs need to stop being so insecure and stop caring how others perceive them.  Live and let live.  If you want to wear a turban, wear it.  If you don’t want to wear a turban, don’t wear it.
  • If more Kaurs wore Dastaars at an early age, they would feel different/awkward pre-puberty and resolve self-image issues at an earlier age, thus leading to more keshdhari/amritdhari girls.

6 thoughts on “Survey: Singhs on Kaurs & Dastars

  1. I am writing my points, after reading the entire post. These are my thoughts and some comments based on the survey answers above.

    ## Making Dastaars mandatory for Kaurs by the SGPC, will not benefit anyone. Simple reason, we always don’t follow the maryada, we mould it in the ways we like it ? Rather, its all about self disciplining ourselves in the path of Gurus.

    ## ‘They are strong individuals’ – How many of us as ‘Singhs’ choose to marry strong individuals 🙂 ?

    ## To the second point for – ‘What do you think of Kaurs wearing a daystar ?’
    The guy seems really male chauvinist :). Chunni was more of a gender inequality thing. And used more to shield the women ,the ‘parda’ system. Anyways, I find his answer really stupid. Wonder what his reply is to the survey questions.

    ## If it is important for a Singh to understand why a Kaur should wear a dastaar, and the answer being a defining factor, then he should be knowing the answer to the question as well. Why is a Singh supposed to wear the Dastaar, apart from defining it to be a crown ?

    ## It’s a choice – just as it is for Singhs ????? Wow !! excuse me, did Guru’s give us options ? You can’t be a Sikh of the Guru, if you try to mould the ways of Gurus to benefit your understanding.

    ## I like the last questions, for the point which starts with ‘I generally do not participate in such surveys ………’ My answer to that is- Definitely Sikhi is just not based on the Identity. But also it is not away from Identity. It is a way to discipline yourself, way to honor the gift of our Gurus. Just being symbolic won’t carry you longer in the path of Guru, you need to understand the message as well.

    One thing I would like to add, is that a Kaur need not take the ‘Khande ki Pahaul’ and still adorn the turban if she likes.

  2. I seriously resent that fact that you did a survey which is based largely on how attracted Singhs are to Kaurs in dastaara. Not only is it wrong, but it just encourages Singhniya to feel like they should care about how they’re perceived physically by the opposite sex. Totally irrelevant.

    • Gur Fateh Paramjot, Thank you for your comment. Let me explain my reasoning. Many girls at camp and many women and their families interviewed by Cynthia Mahmood in her book “The Guru’s Gift: An Ethnography Exploring Gender Equality with North American Sikh Women,” expressed that they were discouraged from wearing a dastar because their parents feared that they woud be “less attractive,” and would not be able to find husbands. Thus, I asked this question to see if the perception of these woman and their families lined up with what Singhs actually thought. Are these fears based in reality? The answer from this survey, is “no.” Fortunately, the Singhs interviewed in this survey did not find women in dastars to run contrary to what they wish for in a partner. I did not mean to encourage woman to change themselves for others. I am sorry if it looked like that.

  3. There is no difference between a men and women in the eyes of dharam pita malik guru gobind Singh everyone must wear a turban which shows that we r the proud children of dasam patsaha

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s