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Summary of Question:Another Caste Question.
Category:General Sikhism
Date Posted:Monday, 4/16/2001 1:54 AM MDT

Waheguru ji ka khalsa, Waheguru ji ke fateh

dear sir,

I am a sikh, born in India, but raised in Canada. My wife, whom I love dearly, was born and raised in India. We have a son who is six years of age. My problem is that my wife, even though she is quite educated and forward thinking, wishes that our son marry some one of the same caste and religion as we are. Granted the boy will not be of marrying age for quite some time, but this topic has caused quite a few heated discussions between the two of us. I do not believe in the caste system, but my wife believes that it is a part of our culture and that should be respected. I think that there is something to be said about marrying some one of the same beliefs and values, but excluding or looking down upon some one of another caste is wrong. My parents and many western sikhs still follow these archaiac beliefs and unfortunatly I have to admit that at one time I too believed in this foolishness. My question is how can I talk to my wife about this issue, without getting into a shouting match?

I would like to thank you all at sikhnet for providing such an important service. I grew up in this country without some one to identify with or to talk to about problems that all sikh youth go through, I have finally found like minds to share thoughts and ideas with on the web. This is such and exciting time to be a sikh! God bless you all, chardi kala!!

Sat Sri Akal,

Good for you! I really support your commitment to the teachings of the Gurus on the topic of non caste marriage.

Guru Nanak is the one who started it. Since in Sikhee we have no caste's what we refer to as caste is a village or regional reference grouping. This has absolutely no reference to our life. Guru ji asked us not to separate each other but to live in unity and community.

You wife's experience of the caste is probably more protective than rational as her experience of the West is more limited than yours.

The best way to avoid becoming embroiled in a shouting match is to drop the argument. Let this debate go. Rather, spend time together reciting Jap Ji Sahib in the am as a family and put your son to sleep at night with reciting Kirtan Sohila. Perhaps, even recite in English so you all can enjoy understanding the Guru's wisdom.

As you said, your son is still a ways off from being married. Chances are he will have his own idea of how and to whom he wishes to be married. So, all this back and forth between you and your wife is irrelevent. Relax and rejoice in your devotion so that your wife can relax and rejoice too. She can expand her understanding. Teach your son well the teachings of the Guru's. Pray to God and Guru to cover this and allow the truth of God's will to do that which is best for your son.

God bless you, SKKK

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