Why are we tying strings?!!!

On Saturday, all of India celebrated this union between brothers and sisters....

Raksha Bandhan

Raksha = Protection
Bandhan = Bond/To Tie

Hmmmmm. Okay. So on Saturday, all of India celebrated this union between brothers and sisters. Girls tie these little strings around their brother's wrist and in return they get money and "protection" from these guys. The string signifies this union between the female and her brother and even those guys who aren't blood related to the female can now call themselves her "brother".

Awwwwwwwww, so sweeeetttttttttt.

I'm not buying it. In fact, I call B.S.  Every time I watch or see any sort of news coming out of India, it's all about corruption and rape. Rape towards women, rape toward teenagers, rape towards children,  rape towards women on buses, taxis, rickshaws, rape towards females walking down the street, gang rapes, police officer rapes, village rapes, absolutely disgusting every single fucking day rapes.

With all due respect India, your sacred strings aren't working.

And here is the part that makes me cringe even more. Why are Sikhs celebrating this holiday? No really, why? Why do we feel the need to celebrate every single Hindu Holiday that comes our way? Look, I get it. We are only 2% of India and we live amongst Hindus and the design on the strings are cute and what girl couldn't use extra cash? But gosh, why are we going against the teachings of our Gurus so much just so that we can fit in? Why??? (And dear Hindu brothers and sisters, no disrespect. I love you guys so much. I really do. Half of my family is Hindu and my ancestors are Hindu. You guys are so nice. Please don't be mad at me but the fact of matter is: Sikhs aren't Hindu. The ideology is totally different! I know! But they are different!!!!)

We are Sikhs. We are strong. What are we doing tying strings around wrists? We are supposed to pull out our kirpans and kick some ass! Men AND women! Is that too hard to do? Goshhhhh!

I'm sorry but when I think about this holiday I actually get really angry. To me, when a female ties a rakhi or a rakhri around a guys wrist, essentially she is saying, "I need you to protect me because I can't protect myself." And that's just not right. I'm not saying we don't need or want the help. It is definitely appreciated when it comes. I'll give you a personal example. A true life story.

When I was 20 years old, I moved out into my own apartment. ( I know, I was super rebellious. Hence the reason for all of these blogs! LOL) Anyways, there used to be this guy who lived in the apartment complex beneath me. For weeks, every time I came home or came in front of him he would taunt me and harass me and say degrading things to me. I would always just turn my head in the other direction or walk away or ignore him. But it continued. One night, after a full day of hanging out with my friends, I came home around 11pm. I was walking up the stairs and the jerk downstairs was coming out of his apartment and he saw me walking upstairs. He said, "You are coming home very late at night, why don't you come into my apartment instead?" He then started laughing. I rushed into my apartment, slammed the door, and started crying. I couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't ignore it anymore. I called one of my dear friends. This dear friend of mine was a Sikh truck driver who was born and raised in Punjab who at that time lived on the other side of town. Upon hearing my tears and hearing me vent, he said he was coming. Like a Bollywood movie, it started raining and thundering. I called him back and told him not to come. I told him that I just needed to vent and that I was okay now. But he didn't listen. He was already half way towards me. And after about ten minutes, I heard several guys yelling in Punjabi. I looked out of my window and there was my dear friend with about 10 extra guys jumping out of trucks ready to kick some ass. He and his 10+ friends went to my downstairs neighbor and gave him a really good warning. Like a really good warning! He told my jerk neighbor that if he even looks at me the wrong way again, he wouldn't spare him. He then came back up to me and said that if that jerk ever bothered me again, for me to call him and either he or any of his friends would come over and protect me.

I never tied a string around my dear friend's wrist. I never took money from him. I never even asked him to protect me. He just did the right thing. After that day, every time my jerk neighbor downstairs saw me, he put his head down. I was able to walk around my apartment complex with absolutely no fear. My dear friend from Punjab helped me and gave me confidence. My friend would always tell me stories about our Gurus whenever he was on the road. He would take me to Gurudwara, Sikh workshops, and he even had me watch the original Chaar Sahibzaade movie. He always had my back. He was my friend. And yes, he was my protector.

Sometimes, it does take a guy to fend off another guy. I get it. But there will be times when the good guy is either on the other side of town or on the other side of the world. There will be times when we as women have to walk down the street by ourselves. We will have to take taxis and buses and rickshaws by ourselves. We as women have to be strong and we have to know how to protect and defend our selves. It's a basic human right to protect ones self. It's a basic human right to be independent and sovereign. And I feel like tying that string around a guys wrist is giving that right away.

Look, I kind of understand the intention behind Rakhsa Bhandan and I want to say I get it, but I really don't. I just can't get with it.  I can't get with that string!

If a brother really cares about her sister's protection, instead of giving her money and wearing a string around his wrist, why not give her a Kirpan? Or at least some pepper spray or mace? Or a dog. Yes, a dog! Trust me when I say, a dog will give its life for you. Why not go to some Gatka classes or Karate classes together? And if you live in Texas, why not go to the shooting range together ;-)

You know how that saying goes, "If you feed a man a fish you feed him for a day, but if you teach a man how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime." (Bad analogy because I'm a vegetarian, but still you get my point, Right!?) Sure, you could protect your sister on one occurrence or two occurrences or more, but if you teach her how to defend herself you have protected her for life. And that type of protection is more powerful and more meaningful and most of all more useful than any type of string that anyone could tie.

Just something to think about.

Bhull Chuk Maaf
Christine Kaur

P.S. This video by Basics of Sikhi explains everything perfectlyyyyyyyy. No one can protect us more than Waheguru!

Christine Kaur

Christine Kaur started blogging as an outlet to express the trials of relationships of second generation western born Sikhs like herself.

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