Postcards from the Road: Delhi for Dastarbandhi

Dya Singh shares the wonderful news of the four young Sikhs kids taking part in Dastarbandi

It is not often that my musical colleagues and I go on a Gurbani sangeet trip to India. We made one recently.

It was to celebrate the Dastarbandhi of four ‘sahibjaday’ of one family. The scene was already set for a memorable visit. The four young men are the third generation of the Chadha family who own and operate the Sigma Corporation of India based in Delhi.

A momentous celebration and a showcase for all Sikhs because it is one Sikh ceremony which is of great significance and importance. It is a ‘coming of age’ ceremony for a young Sikh extolling the lofty status Sikhs and Sikhism place on the donning of a dastar (resplendent turban).

Sadly, like a Janam Sanskar (First Rites Ceremony), the Dastarbandhi, too, is not clarified in the Sikh Rehat Maryadha (SRM). A big oversight by our forefathers I believe.

Rehmat, Sehaj, Aveer and Ruhan aged 14 to 7, travelled with family and friends to Anandpur Sahib and amongst them celebrated by first reciting JapJi Sahib together and then with help from family and each other tied saffron coloured dastars followed by Ardaas. The celebrations were held in Singh Sabha Defence Colony and in Rajouri Gardens in Delhi with kirtan by our full jatha.

Where we celebrate Indian traditional and cultural ceremonies like Lodi, Dussehra, Puran Masi, Raakhi, Divali and so on, we as Sikhs must be conscious of our own ceremonies especially those associated with Sikhi, like Janam Sanskar, Dastarbandhi, Amrit Sanchar, Anand Karaj (properly carried out as a sacred ceremony),Khalsa Day, our Gurpurabs, Shahidhi days and so on. This is our distinct global identity as a Quom, a nation without borders.

I would also recommend a special occasion for our young girls when they reach puberty, come of age so to speak, like, say, Chuni Ceremony. We did that with my granddaughter Saahiel when she turned 13. The chuni will be saved for her Anand Karaj when, with Guru Ji’s Grace, that happens.

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