One-Liner Wednesday – Keep the Faith

“Keep faith in yourself, because if you lose it, it’s even tougher to achieve your goals.”

Ritu Bhathal

For Linda’s #1LinerWeds

Inter-Faith Marriages #SundayBlogShare 

On Saturday morning I received a message from a friend.

She had forwarded a screenshot to a few of us friends, of an Instagram post from a Sikh Youth group here, supposedly educating against the use of alcohol or drugs, and ‘grooming’.

This shot showed, in clear view, a photo of a wedding card, for a couple due to get married today in my local Gurdwara.

The bride is Sikh, the groom, of African/Gujrati descent.

The message accompanying the photo was to basically phone up the temple and cause a ruckus about a marriage being held there between a Sikh and a non-Sikh.

Let me clarify here, she had sent the photo as a discussion item in a group chat a few of us partake in. She was not in agreement with the message, just horrified that someone out there was instigating people to go and ruin another person’s special day.

This morning, apparently a crowd of militants had arrived at the gurdwara, and there was heavy police presence. Despite this, the groom did arrive, and the wedding did take place.

However, my thoughts went the following way…

Who are these people to disrupt another person’s special day?

If the Gurdwara accepted the booking, surely they have no problem with a mixed faith wedding?

How dare they?

I was so glad to hear that the ceremony took place, as it should have done.

It takes months, if not years, to arrange a wedding day, and if there is an issue with a mixed faith wedding happening in a particular place of worship, then that should be addressed at the time of enquiry and booking, not using a lynch mob on the day!

We have heard of this actually happening here a few times, where weddings have had to be cancelled on the day, not due to the couple having problems, but because groups have congregated to protest.

Yes, ideally, a marriage should be of two Sikh individuals in a Gurdwara.

Most Sikh people would say that.

But, in my eyes, if two individuals wish to marry in the Gurdwara, that should be embraced too.

For a Sikh girl, she will have grown up seeing Sikh weddings taking place, and no matter who she falls for, that ideal of a perfect Gurdwara wedding is the same as for Christian brides and their white weddings.

I have seen several mixed faith weddings in gurdwaras over the years, and to be honest, I find that the non-Sikh partner in the couple, is often more knowledgeable about the ceremony, and fully respectful of all the temple asks than the Sikh partner!

Mixed faith partnerships can be hard, but they can also be a beautiful union. We have one in our family with my brother and his Finnish bride, culminating in my Finndian nephew. Both the faiths are upheld and my nephew will be educated in both so he can decide for himself what to follow when he grows up

When they got married, it was a civil ceremony, followed by a Christian blessing, as my sis in law’s cousin is a priest, and a Sikh blessing, conducted by my Pops.

When they came back to England after the wedding, we had special prayers to give them that official blessing in the Gurdwara.

Here, where I live, there have been, in the past, a few mixed faith weddings, before they were ‘banned’ as instructed by the Akal Takht (the powers that be for the Sikh religion in Amritsar, India) in Gurdwaras.

But recently many temples have decided to allow these marriages, as there is a feeling that if they reject the youngsters who want to follow their faith, but marry whoever they love, then our religion will die too.

Our local Gurdwara also decided to allow these weddings to take place. In fact, last year I went to a family wedding there where the bride was Sikh and the groom of mixed race, not Sikh.

Some say that the gurdwaras are just in it for the money, not upholding our faith, after all, they do charge for these functions, and you do pay, quite hansomely, for the pleasure of using the facilities for a wedding.

Honestly, I don’t know what is right or wrong.

But my gut says “Live and Let Live”. It’s not hurting us if someone wishes to marry their love in the gurdwara. If we were being truthful, most of the Sikh couples who do marry in the temples aren’t baptised or true Sikhs either.

They may hold the banner of being Sikh because they were born into a Sikh family, but they may drink, smoke, eat meat, not pray, cut their hair… all things which a true Sikh would not do.

If it were only ‘true’ Sikhs who were allowed to marry in the Gurdwara, then there would be hardly any weddings taking place there. Rather, we would need many more Registry offices to perform civil ceremonies!

Sorry for the total verbal-diarrhea style of this post… But it incenses me to hear of things like this!

So I am off to ‘Zen’ myself. Peace be with you all Peeps!


Blogging 101 Task 9 – Inspiration from a Neighbour – Have Faith, He Does…

A little repost of an older piece of mine.

Remember my task yesterday? I had to visit, and comment on blog posts I hadn’t commented on before…here.

Well, today my task is to choose one of these posts as an inspiration point for a post of my own.
I have chosen to use this article on Peace During The Journey to remember a time in our life, a few years back…

I love my Pops.  If you have been reading from early on, you’ll know the profound effect he’s had on my life. (If not catch up here).

Ask my Pops how old he is, and he’ll say “11, just a year older than [Lil Man]!”

11?  My dad?  When I’m due to be 40 in a few short months?

Yup. 11.

And this all stems from his faith.

11 years ago, on March 1st, I got a missed call that devastated me.  I was at work, and my mum never calls during work hours… never.  So to see a missed call frightened the heck out of me.  I asked permission from my then boss to call back, and tried the house phone…no answer. I called her mobile…not on.

I tried the surgery (Pops was a dentist before retirement).  His dental nurse answered and she was hesitant to speak to me.  “Call your husband, please, he knows everything.” she said.  then and there I knew something major was up.  I convinced her to tell me and she reluctantly informed me that Pops had been taken to hospital… suspected heart attack.

NO! No! no!… What was she talking about? I had been with them just the day before, and all had been relatively fine.  We live 3 hours away so with some hesitation, I had come home the previous night.  I hadn’t wanted to leave them that night, but I knew I needed to be back.  Something had been pulling me to stay, but I had ignored it…why?!

I informed my big boss, who was a superstar, and sent me home, telling me to take all the time I needed to make sure my parents were ok. Luckily Hubby Dearest was working from home, and had indeed had a call from my mum, telling him the details.  She had told him not to tell me over the phone, but to get me home first.

We hurriedly packed, and left. I was driving, as he was not a licence holder then.  I got a call on my mobile as we were nearing the turn off to the hospital.  He answered.  It was my brother.  Typical male, I thought, as he was asking personal details for Pops and Mum.  They are his parents too! Why didn’t he know them?! I understood mum couldn’t answer, she was probably with Pops.

We pulled up at the hospital and Hubby Dearest took a deep breath…”Don’t panic…” (and you know the panic that phrase itself instils in your heart) “…but mum’s been admitted too.”

WHAT??? What was going on?  I just had to get inside and see everyone, make sure my brother, who was on his own, was ok too.

After locating him, he managed to tell us the details.  Pops had chest pains, so instead of ringing an ambulance, he sauntered to the doctors surgery, which was around the corner from our house and his own Dental Practice.  They had checked him and told him he really needs an ambulance.  He said not to worry, he would just mosey on home himself, and get ready, and call one from there.

Mum, meanwhile was in a state. She had been extremely unwell suffering from awful haemorrhaging due to the menopause, and was almost bedridden herself.  The ambulance was called, my brother informed and they went off to the hospital. Yes he had indeed suffered a heart attack, thankfully minor, but still  A HEART ATTACK!

As he was wired up to the various monitors and regulators, stable, my brother said he looked at mum, who went a deathly shade of pale, and promptly collapsed…  a dead faint!

The worry had kept her going, but as she knew Pops was in safe hands, she finally had given in.  So now we had both parents in two separate wards, unable to meet but concerned for each other. They were the Romeo and Juliet of the hospital   apparently, as one of the hospital porters told me!

Long story short…she needed some emergency surgery, which she had, we had to be there for both of them, and we were. Pops needed an Angioplasty, which was performed at a later date.

But a huge question mark was there hovering above us. Why Pops? He was the healthiest person we knew, good diet, no alcohol, fit, non smoker.  Family history, we were told. It was always going to happen as it was in his blood, so strongly. And that was true.  His brother was taken at a relatively young age, through diabetes and heart complaints, as was his oldest sister.  The other 3 sisters all had heart problems. He had been the only one with no health complaints as such.

Still, such was his faith, and belief that he would be ok with God’s grace, that when things settled down, he decided that God had given him another chance at life.  He had been reborn that day of the heart attack.  After that day, once he was given a clean bill of health, he cleaned up his lifestyle, even more  than before, and started his yoga mission. This helped him so much personally, that he took it upon himself to train as a teacher, and now spreads the benefits via his lessons.  And he does them for free. They are his way of giving back to humanity, as his God would want. This is what our Gurus said to do. As long as you have what you need, share, and give to charity, be it money or time.

So there you have it, that is why my Pops, my father, has just celebrated his 11th birthday! And believe me, he does celebrate it!

My interactive peeps!

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