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Wear the Sikh pagri, 21st century style

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    CHANDIGARH: Youth anywhere will always want to do things their way, and so why not hair styles?

    So the attempt by a senior member of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandak Committee can best be described as an attempt to tie up one of the more serious problems that Sikhism confronts as its youth increasingly shear off their hair because they don’t want the time-consuming hassles of tying a turban.

    Now, Jaswinder Singh feels that by combining modern computer software with a religious tradition, he can get more youth to jump onto the “back to the turban” bandwagon. He has, therefore, set up a “turban clinic” in Amritsar, Sikhism’s holiest city.

    This is a saloon where Sikh youths usually throng in the evenings to learn not only how to tie a turban smartly but also to select designs that will go well with their looks and face structure.

    After all. the traditional three styles of tying turban, that of the Majha, Malwa and Doaba may just look archaic and too conservative to inspire them any more.

    Jaswinder, who runs an organisation called the Akal Purakh Di Fauj (Army of the God Almighty) to work for Sikh causes has installed special software in his computers which offer more than 40 styles of turban tying. Those who visit the clinic are shown a variety of pictures and can then choose a matching style.

    “It has been a roaring success among the Sikhs here”, says Singh, who says he has never charged for this service.

    He said the basic purpose of the clinic was to dissuade youth from cutting their hair and for this, at times, “we even suggest an appropriate colour for a turban.”

    The turban, says Singh, is an integral part of the Sikh appearance. He wants youngsters to feel that a turban can make them look smart.

    After all pagadi sambhal jatta (hold your turban) has been an age-long folk song for Sikhs.

    In order to get more youth interested, Singh has begun organising “Mr Singh” contests. Over two dozen young Sikhs will display their turban-wearing styles ata competition in Amritsar this week.

    - By Ajay Bharadwaj

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