Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Can sikhs marry non-sikhs?

Can sikhs marry non-sikhs? Can sikh marry a catholic, christian, white, someone from other religion, gora? Should sikhs and white people marry? All these questions bring people to my Gora Sikh blog. Everyday someone searches for those answers. There is no universal answer to that. It really depends on parents of the couple (both sides), tolerance, upbringing, personal attitude and willingness to be together and work on relationship.

In my personal experience, I had no problem at all. I'm blessed with my in-laws. There were few relatives who mentioned that there are enough punjabi girls. And what? Gurus taught that everyone is equal. My father-in-law asked them not to come to our Amritsar wedding. I love his spirit (my father's-in-law).

I've been a personal council-psychologist for many of my friends -mixed couples and I know that you have to work hard to succeed. You have to be strong and open with each other and your families. Discuss everything before the marriage...I mean everything... How to celebrate each other festival? Wedding? Religion and upbringing of kids? Becoming sikh or not?

If you are reading this please share your story or views. Yours Gora Sikh

45 comments:

sarwara said...

sat sri akaal ji
I agree with your point but forgot to point out that according to 'rahat nama' (sikh constitution), a sikh should marry a sikh only, (cast, past religion, ethnicity etc does not matter.)

Dana and Co said...

What is Rahat Nama? I have never heard of it. I was married in Punjab,Amritsar and no one ever told me that...You are the first Sikh person to mention it... What is your personal opinion?

sarwara said...

sat sri akaal ji,

Its very unfortunate that no one mentioned it to you, Or may be someone mentioned it but as 'Sikh rahat maryada'. It means Sikh Code of Conduct. Now the exact wording under "ਅੰਨਦ ਕਾਰਜ"(Anand karaj) is
#1. "ਸਿਖ ਸਿਖਣੀ ਦਾ ਵਿਆਹ, ਬਿਨਾ ਜ਼ਾਤ-ਪਾਤ, ਗੋਤ ਵਿਚਾਰੇ ਦੇ ਹੋਣਾ ਚਾਹੀਏ।"
It means-- Sikh should marry without caring about cast or clan etc.

#2"ਸਿੱਖ ਦੀ ਪੁਤਰੀ ਦਾ ਵਿਆਹ ਸਿੱਖ ਨਾਲ ਹੀ ਹੋਵੇ।"
Sikh should marry his daughter to a sikh only".

and last point:--
#17 "ਅੰਮਰਿਤਧਾਰੀ ਸਿੰਘ ਨੂੰ ਚਾਹੀਦਾ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਆਪਣੀ ਸਿੰਘਣੀ ਨੂੰ ਵੀ ਅੰਮਰਿਤ ਛਕਾ ਲਵੇ।"
"An amritdhari sikh should also take her wife for amrit ceremony."

This sikh marayada is printed by Shromani committee and was approved by 'rauh reet sub committee' in 1936. This committee was headed by Professor Teja Singh. It is given to every sikh on the occasion of 'amrit saskar' and they are supposed to follow it. You can possibly get it for free in the nearest Gurdwara Library.

Anonymous said...

The SGPC does not reserve the right to change the wishes of our Guru's, so your statement that The Rehit Nama does not allow intermarriage is correct only to a point. If you were to follow the new additions to this article then yes, it's not allowed. However if you were to follow the teachings of the Guru's the it is allowed.
The Guru's intended our faith to be one of complete openess and learning of spiritual fulfillment. The SGPC has hijacked the Sikh agenda and twist and contort things to suit their needs and personal views.
If you were to follow the Rehit Nama then there are many rituals that you would nee to adhere to and many of the elaborate weddings would fade away. Tell a Jat mother that her son is going to marry a Muhjbi girl and see how she reacts, even though both are Sikh, and according to Rehit Nama that is totally fine.

Dana and Co said...

Thanks to Anonymous for your view.

I'm not born into the Sikhi but I believe the Gurus would teach us to accept each other. Guru Nanak was a Hindu himself... I don't think he would differentiate us and divide...

'Rahat nama'? Do Sikhs follow it?

Sandhu Singh Navjeet said...

Nice post but I personally didn't like the photo you have put particularly showing a black lion. .....Just put it in photoshop and show some creativity.

Anyhow a great post.

sarwara said...

To anonymous,
I think you take it wrong way,SGPC has no right to decide anything for sikhs and they only publish Rehatnama and cant made any additions or modifications to, that can only be done by a panth meeting. This rahatnama was developed when the SGPC was a greate group not malfunctioned and puppet of SAD like it is today.
It is sad that we dont have much inter cast marriages but the air of change can be felt.

TO DANA
Guru Nanak was neither Hindu nor Muslim, Hesaid 'na koi Hindu na Musalman' means no one is true hindu or muslim.
Waheguru ji ka khalsa
Waheguru ji ki fateh

deidrepannu said...

Can Sikhs marry non-Sikhs? ...Depends how much drama you like in your life! LOL Just kidding, kinda. For us it wasn't so much the non-Sikh part, but the me being white. My in-laws are inter-faith themselves, but my mother in law pretty much gave up Hinduism for her husband. There are still a few things around their house though, especially in her closet. My husband wasn't raised very Sikh(he went to Lutheran Schools!) so we haven't had many faith based issues. I did give my kids Singh and Kaur for middle names, but told him any more kids get white ones. LOL :D

Anonymous said...

I definately agree with the drama part. My parents are sikh but I was not raised relgiously. Over the years as people started to ask me what sikhism was all about, I had no idea and I have started doing my own research. I have been dating a white guy for 3 years and we love each other and he is willing to convert but I feel like this is still not going to be enough for them and I am stuck in dead center and cannot talk to anyone that can relate with my situation. I think that over the years, we have added all these extra rules governing how a sikh should live and I am very confused. They tell us that we cannot marry "outsiders" but our guru's taught us that everyone is created equal. So why is it that I have to hide my relationship with the person that I have loved and has made me a more better and sucessful person? It makes me sick.

Anonymous said...

can a non sikh marry a sikh in a gurdwara?

sarwara said...

to anonymous:
sure
sikhs can marry non sikhs in gurdwara. actually in punjab there are many marriges between sikhs and hindus and these are in gurudwaras.
there are even marriges performed of hindus in many gurudwaras.

Dana and Co said...

From the bottom of my heart I want to thanks everyone for leaving comments on my blog!

To Deirpannu: How old are your kids?

Aman said...

Sat shri akal to all
Im christian and IM gonna merry Sikh.
I respect his religion, bt I won`t convert and he knows it and is ok with it. Bt the fact is that my future Mother-in-low is a deep religious woman,I love her, bt IM afraid of her not understanding.
What can U advise me friends..
P.S. Sorry for my English

Gobbi said...

I am a white guy who grew up with no religious beliefs and totally in love with a Sikh girl. We have been dating for 2 years and had been keeping it a secret up until recently. Her parents are so against us being together. I am amazed by Sikhism and would love to go to Gurdwara and become a part of their culture and family. I have agreed to raise our kids Sikhs once we are married. Unfortunately, her parents say that white people don't belong in their culture. Her mom is against it because I'm not Sikh and her dad is against it because he says I will never understand their culture. I am in an impossible situation here with her parents. I don't know what to do to make them see that I can belong. I have grown up with Sikhs all my life and am more than willing to become a Sikh. It's so hard!

Danka said...

To Gobbi

I feel your pain but be strong.

The main thing is to prove to her parents that you are serious.

I do not know in which country you are but many Sikhs in Canada/Usa/Uk who are settled there for a long time - see white goras as people who drink, have sex, do not respect anyone...You know what I mean... and they are wrong...

I'd say you need to talk to her parents and be sincere and open with all your heart. Tell them the same you wrote here. Sikhs suffered a lot to save their culture....It takes time. The girl you love, should be your rock. Many things depend on her. The way she presents you, the way she talks about you.

I wish you all the best. Let me know how is everything.

Sandhu Singh Navjeet said...

@ Gobbi

Dear, Just show her mother some Gora Sikh pictures from Sikhnet.com and MrSikhnet.com and do listen to some lectures of Yogi Bhajan ( SSS Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogi Ji) on being a Sikh and about Sikhism.

I'm sure than you will be able to get into the boots of Sikh people. The only thing you have to do is - you have to represent yourself as not a dumb towards religion/God and just ask the girl to present you before them as a human just like they are.

Fixing a meeting in a Gurudwara may help them understand that you are not what they are thinking.

Sandhu Singh Navjeet said...

To Gobbi

Hey I have a link like this one http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrsikhnet/sets/72157620929212060/

find others from MrSikhnet.com and i tell you will be able to convince them that things have changed. and are not the way they think.

Best of Luck and yes, do tell me the date of your marriage. Okay!

Anonymous said...

Hi I was hoping anyone could help me figure this out. I my name is Rahul and i am 21, i hav being going to a place where i met a beautiful girl named Palveen and i told her that i loved her and she told me the same but she also said she can't marry me but she really wants to what should i do??? I love her so much that i would do anything 4 her.

Roy said...

I went to College at a Junior College in Auburn and met a young lady from India in my Medical terminology class. She had been in an 'arranged' marriage and seemed very unhappy. I really liked her and to tell the truth had hoped to ask her out, due to her sadness and very charming personality. Looking back on it, I hope she can work things out with her spouse, but I am afraid I really grew attached to her. I think perhaps the Eastern Orthodox form of Christianity is not as 'other' for people from India. We place a high regard on tradition and rituals as the glue of our culture.

jasleen said...

i think there are some very misguided people giving you advice here.

no, a sikh cannot marry a non-sikh. it's clear in every rehetnama (code of conduct) written from guru gobind singh ji's time up to the present. long before SGPC existed, guru sahib said not to give your daughter to a non-sikh.

Sir munae noo kanaiaa nahi daeni. Uos ghar daevni jithae Akal Purukh di sikhi ha, jo karzaai naa hovae, bhalae subhaa da hovae, bibaeki atae gyanvaan hovae.

translation:
Do not given a daughter's hand to a clean shaven. Give her hand in a house where God's Sikhi exists, where the household is not in debt, is of a good nature, is disciplined and knowledgeable.

read more here:
http://www.info-sikh.com/Page52Hukams.html

i'm guessing by your photo that your husband is not a practicing sikh, in which case he does not follow guru sahib's hukam and so i guess it doesn't apply to him.

but for religious sikhs, there's no way inter-religious marriages can even be considered.

by the way, i'm also a white sikh, also married to a punjabi man. his family was ok with it because we were both amritdhari, and the only stipulation on gursikhs marriages is that both be gursikh. there is no racial discrimination in sikhi.

JB said...

Hi Gobbi, I just wondered how you were getting on with your partner. I'm an british girl who has been with a british sikh guy for about 4 years. I have met a few of the family and his father and grandfather have accepted that we are together. I rarely see them and I have to push to see them, but my partner assures me that this is common for sikhs before marriage, they don't tend to have the family relationship before marriage. I am ready to move in with my partner but he is not ready yet and keeps avoiding the situation as he is worried about telling his dad about us moving in together. I feel ready to move in with him but its causing a conflict between us. I'm not really sure what to do. He tells me to be patient but this doesn't help.

parminder singh said...

sawara can i talk with u .....

sarwara said...

sure Parminder, mail me at sarwara007@gmail.com Anytime.

Juliet said...

i like the ideas of your blog. i am a jewish woman marrying a sikh man. you can check out our blog at

realromeoandjuliet.blogspot.com

We are not as observant as you and some of your readers, but I think you may enjoy the experiences we have as become married.

-E

Steph01 said...

PLEASE SOMEBODY HELP ME!
Okay, i know this story sounds a bit odd.
im a british white girl (Christian) aged 20 and i have deeply fallen in love with a sikh boy.
this sounds confussing but i work for his dads company!
ive known him for over 2 years now and ive loved him for soo long, we get along soo well, i feel i can talk to him about anything and i trust him!
just recently i told him how i feel about him and he told me he feels the same way, we talk everynight and everyday but his dad has found out and stopped him from contacting me, but i dont think he really knows how we feel about eachother!
i really need help with this situation because im soo in love with him and its hurts thinking that i can never be with him!
i wanted to know weather there is a chance of us ever being together and getting married?
He has been brought up quite strict and is scared to tell him family about us to avoid dissapointment!
i really do not no what to do anymore as i have to see him family everyday at work.
i really believe this is true love but is it going to cause to many problems between him and his family because i know my family just want me to be happy whatever i decide!

PLEASE HELP ME SOMEONE! What do i do? Thank You! x

Danka said...

Thanks for your letter.
Please email to me at 1st.desilegend (at)gmail.com and you should visit our community http://gorasikhs.ning.com

This is not online conversation.

Jarnail said...

After reading all the comments I have one question.

You guys seem pretty knowledgeable, I have been dating a sikh guy for over a year now. I am Hindu,but not from india, I am west indian. Will I be accepted?

He is open to my entire family, but for me,I am a complete stranger to them. What shall I do?

Jarnail said...

After reading all the comments I have one question.

You guys seem pretty knowledgeable, I have been dating a sikh guy for over a year now. I am Hindu,but not from india, I am west indian. Will I be accepted?

He is open to my entire family, but for me,I am a complete stranger to them. What shall I do?

Jarnail said...

After reading all the comments I have one question.

You guys seem pretty knowledgeable, I have been dating a sikh guy for over a year now. I am Hindu,but not from india, I am west indian. Will I be accepted?

He is open to my entire family, but for me,I am a complete stranger to them. What shall I do?

Jarnail said...

After reading all the comments I have one question.

You guys seem pretty knowledgeable, I have been dating a sikh guy for over a year now. I am Hindu,but not from india, I am west indian. Will I be accepted?

He is open to my entire family, but for me,I am a complete stranger to them. What shall I do?

Amarjit said...

Sat Sri Akal to everyone.

I have read all the comments of the readers of this post till date. And it seems there is a lot of confusion among the Sikhs themselves when it comes to marriage.

Point no.1 Sikhs can marry non-Sikhs or not, much much depends on the couple's families as to whether they are liberal or conservative. Most of the Indian Punjabi Sikhs are very traditional people and when it comes to marriage of their children naturally they expect their future son-in-laws or daughter-in-laws to be Sikhs.

Point number 2. What the Sikh Rehat Maryada has to say on Anand Marriage. The answer is the Sikh Code of Conduct says a practicing Sikh must marry a practicing Sikh only. It also lays stress on, that a Sikh's daughter must be married to a Sikh guy only.

Point number 3. Does it mean that practicing Sikhs even if they are deeply in love with non-Sikhs cannot marry them.
The answer is if a practicing Sikh is in love with a non-Sikh then the only option left before him/her is to ask the non-Sikh partner to convert to Sikhism before marriage.

So, my advise to all those non-Sikhs who are in love with Sikhs is please do not loose your heart. The best way to convince Sikh parents specially if they are Punjabi Sikh parents is to show your commitment towards Sikhi.

Try to gain more knowledge about Sikhism and if possible convert to Sikhism and be in your full Bana and then present yourself in front of the Sikh parents. It would be like icing on the cake.

Thank-you and WaheGuru Ji bless you all.

anonymous said...

I'm a hindu girl dating a sikh boy since 2 years now. We have been committed towards getting married. However, he is amritdhaari and insists that I can not cut or even trim my hair or else our relationship will end. Is it possible at all that an amritdhari sikh may be permitted to have a partner who does not follow sikhism (atleast the tenet about hair)?

Danka said...

Message to the last commenter: You are welcome to the New To Sikhi website. We are here to help you!

Amarjit said...

Yes, it's very much possible for a Hindu girl to marry an Amritdhari Sikh guy.
Your boyfriend seems to be confused(tenets about hair) and he needs to be guided properly about the guidelines of Sikhism.
So, please advise him to get in touch with me at
no-way-but-sikhism@khalsa.com

I myself an Amritdhari Sikh and i wish you all the best. Please join www.newtosikhi.com

Yankfrog said...

I am a white man raised Catholic. When I was 40, 10 years ago I met a wonderful and beautiful Sikh girl at my work who was married (arranged) to an abusive unemployed alcoholic drug addict. We fell in love and dated for 7 years. We were very happy but not completely because we weren't free. Now 10 years later she is divorced and the kids accept and like me as do her sisters and Mother, but she seems to be slipping away due to pity, guilt and loyalty to her ex and religious and cultural pressures. We used to be so happy together and now we are both miserable apart. I can force the situation, walk away, or wait for even more time to sort things out. I love her so much and I see in her eyes that she still loves me. In my core, I know we are so right for each other and she is so happy when she opens her heart to me, but she starts thinking too much, gets sad and tells me to go on without her for my own good. It is very difficult and when I try to stay away, we end up embracing again like always.

sunny johal said...

Sat Sri akal..
I'm a Sikh ang my gf is Muslim. I really like her but I haven't told my parents about it... Is it ok for a Sikh to marry a Muslim girl?

sunny johal said...

Sat Sri akal
Is it ok for a Sikh to marry a Muslim girl...

maya789 said...

Hello,

I'm an east Asian girl, really like this Sikh guy(clean shaven, westernized) from my college. Now i started doing research on Sikhism and Sikhi people, I feel that there is no future for us. Would Sikhi parents like non Sikhi & Asian girl w/ their son?

Please kindly help me since I know less about Indian tradition and all.
Maya...

Manpreet Kaur said...

sat sri akal to all, I m manmeet a sikh girl, 28 years old from my fathers side all relatives are amritdhari even my parents and my brother is amritdhari but my mothers side not a single relative is amritdhari. I luv a boy who belongs to typical hindu family he is 22 years old we both luv each other and want to marry. Can i do so as he is younger than and a non sikh? And sorry for my rough english.

dusjai said...

The Sikh code of conduct was this written in our holy book our living guru our source of spiritual knowledge ? or was it written by men who have studied the holy book and thus given us a code of conduct ?.

Are we Sikhs going to fall prey to the same blight that our Guru's tried to eradicate, by which I mean if there are no Hindus and there are no Muslims then the common thing we all share is humanity and as humans we are allowed to exercise our god given rights of free will and thus marry anyone who has faith in the oneness of god regardless of our religious paths


another thing to all my Sikh brothers and sisters if God is without hate or fear then how will he be angered or upset if we marry outside of religious denominations ??

nikki Joynson said...

Hi..I'm waiting for my partner to come over to the UK from India. I'm white baptised as Christian even though I've not been brought up in a religious way. He is punjab sikh. His mother doesn't know we intend to get married but she does know that we are friends. When he tells her about me i'm worried that she won't accept me. I'm very understanding about his culture and i'm willing to take part in everything they follow. I have said that I will change my religion if that's what it takes but he said there is no need. I love him from the bottom of my heart and I know he loves me. I'm really worried how his mother is going to take it.

Dana Singh said...

Hi Nikki,

Many people in India have prejudice about white girls and you need to change it. Be strong and try to get a blessing from his mother. It would help you in a long term.

Please visit our small community at Newtosikhi.com! You might find good friends and emotional support.

Best,
Danka

Jessie Basra said...

Did you get married?

Unknown said...

Hi there,
I'm a white English guy, and at this moment in time I am going through a very difficult situation with my girlfriend, she is 21 and is a Punjabi girl from a Sikh background, now she doesn't follow the religion but her parents do and she respects their beliefs.
We have recently come to a crossroads where she has said that her parents will never accept me because of my skin colour and the fact I'm not Sikh, but I know her parents and we get along fine it's just that they don't know we are together.
She is willing to call time on our relationship because she doesn't want to hurt her parents, does this mean she doesn't love me that much?
I want to marry her one day but at this present moment in time it's hard to get round that obstacle of her parents.
I was thinking of going up to her parents and getting their actual opinion on the matter, would that be wise or an idiotic move?
Also if I converted to Sikhism then would there be a greater chance of acceptance?

Christina G. said...

I know this is a really old post but here goes ... after readinf many comments I'm a bit confused on the rehetnama's rule of no "giving your daughter's hand to a non-Sikh" this seems to me that may be the rule is different for men ... ??? Any thoughts or clarification on this?

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