do boys wear "Turban"? Why can't they
keep their hair hanging down like English
people? Also, male Sikhs tie turbans;
why not female?
their heads by people is an age old world
custom. It was generally considered good
culture and respectable behavior for all
social, formal, and religious functions.
Some people keep this tradition even today.
Orthodox Jews keep a small cap on their
head. A Christian bride during her wedding
covers her head and face by a veil. In
some churches, Christians attend the congregation
with their heads covered. During a Hindu
marriage, the groom always ties a turban
and the bride keeps her head (usually
her face as well) covered with a veil.
All Rajputs, with or without long hair,
who were the ruling class and fighters,
kept a turban on their heads.
"Pugree", the turban, was tied during
the pre Sikh period in almost all of Indian.
It was considered royal attire. High Muslim
officials wore turbans. Respect and turbans
went together. A man without a turban
was considered a lowly, poor person. Tying
a turban meant the wearer was a responsible
and honorable person.
In the recent past, an uncovered head
of a person, particularly a priest or
any other responsible person, meant something
bad had happened, usually a death in the
family. A very interesting folk tale will
help to explain it.
A Brahman went out for a morning bath
in the river as usual. After a quick dip,
he came running home forgetting his turban
there. His wife, seeing him coming without
a turban on his head, started crying,
assuming someone had died. When the Brahman
came into the house, finding his wife
weeping, he also started weeping aloud.
This set everybody who came there, weeping.
When they stopped, one member asked, "Who
is dead?" The lady said the Brahman knows
it because he came home without turban.
The Brahman immediately uttered, "Oh!
Where is my turban? Yes. I forget it at
the river in the morning. The water was
very cold and it was windy." A turban
was expected never to be forgotten by
a respectable or a religious person.
For the Sikhs, it is a religious symbol
rather than merely a social symbol of
honor. We cannot copy other cultures in
leaving the hair unattached or hanging
down. We also cannot cut our hair. There
is only one way to keep the hair; that
is to tie it on your head and cover it
with a pugree.
Females are allowed to wear turbans. Even
when they wear turbans, the Punjab tradition
requires that they keep their scarf (chunni)
on their shoulders to cover the upper
part of the body as a matter of graceful
dressing. Traditionally, some women wear
a slightly different kid of small turban
called Keski, which holds the hair on
the head. The males also wear a small
turban on their heads when staying inside
the house. In public, however, they are
always expected to wear a normal size