Chicago LooksInterview by ISA GIALLORENZO
Brothers Jagmeet Singh and Gurratan Singh were hanging out with their friends in Wicker Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA, when I caught up with them.
What’s your ancestry?
Our culture and origin are from Punjab, a land located between Pakistan and India at the foothills of the Himalayas. We are people who have strong ties to the land with a culture intimately tied with nature and agriculture. Our religion is Sikhism, which is also the source of our distinct look. The majority of Sikhs are from Punjab.
Sikhism is the fifth-largest religion in the world with over thirty million adherents. Our main spiritual beliefs are to pursue a life dedicated to the one Universal Energy -- also known as God -- through honest work, sharing what we have and meditation.
How does your cultural heritage influence what you wear?
The strongest influence of our cultural heritage on what we wear would be the turban. A component of the Sikh spirituality is keeping one’s body whole and natural. The result of this belief is the Sikh practice of not cutting one’s hair -- as to not alter the natural state of the human body. Though you cannot tell, our turbans cover hair that hasn’t been cut.
We tie turbans for spiritual, social and practical reasons.
Spiritually it demonstrates our commitment to live a life based on compassion and to Sikh ideals.
Socially it creates a connection among the Sikh community and a strong sense of identity, and it represents a pledge to uphold social justice.
Practically it allows us to keep our long hair in a neat and tidy manner.
How does one make a look that is both traditional and modern?
One blends tradition and modernity by being creative, but still committing to one's traditions and beliefs. In terms of fashion we have both experimented with different looks over the years, and the turban has evolved with it. Our current look and the turban work wonderfully. Traditionally the turban was a sign of royalty. We work to reflect royalty in our look by dressing in an attire that is marked by sophistication, professionalism and distinction -- with a turban that crowns it all.
[Courtesy: Boutiqueville. Edited for sikhchic.com]
October 16, 2012
Conversation about this article
1: Manpreet Singh (Hyderabad, India), October 16, 2012, 12:57 PM.
Very handsome Sardars.
2: Baldev Singh (Bradford, United Kingdom), October 16, 2012, 5:04 PM.
These guys are cool!
3: Sarjit Kaur (Bethel Park, PA, USA), October 17, 2012, 5:58 PM.
I said it to the Canadian Sardar during his campaign for a government seat, I will say it again! Your coat is too short, the pants too tight, jio!
4: Baljit Kaur (Brampton, Ontario, Canada), October 18, 2012, 8:21 PM.
I had the pleasure of meeting S. Jagmeet Singh at last year's Rememberance Day ceremony for the Sikh WWI soldier buried in Kitchener, Ontario. I must say, I disagree with Sarjit Kaur. Jagmeet is always dressed impeccably, but more importantly than that, he always carries himself humbly, with class, and is very articulate and respectful! All qualities that endear him to his constituents - his day job is as Member of Provincial Parliament! He is a class act and stands up for integrity and his beliefs. As smart as he is dressed, he is even more impressive in his character. A great role model for other Sikhs and an excellent representative of our community. Cheers!
5: Baldev Singh (Bradford, United Kingdom), October 19, 2012, 5:50 AM.
Style is style! All Sikhs should be fashion conscious. These brothers need emulating in every way!
6: Manjeet Shergill (Singapore), October 19, 2012, 8:42 PM.
The two guys look kind of similar - in style. Fashion is not a style. Fashion is a statement - a creative expression of form and flamboyance.
7: Simi (London, United Kingdom), April 27, 2013, 6:00 PM.
Loving your style, guys!
8: Saraah Mia (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), May 29, 2013, 10:09 PM.
These handsome (and highly educated men) are from the Toronto area and we have the distinction of having the highest number of spectacular Sikh and other South Asian men in all of North America. We are privileged to live amongst them.