Why is the Kara (bracelet) not of silver or gold?

If you do Amritshak (Initiation), can ladies wear earring makeup, and other jewelry?

Silver and gold are metals used for ornaments and Kara is not an ornament. Not just any Kara, but the steel Kara is a part of the 5-symbol uniform, and it cannot be replaced by a gold or silver Kara.

According to the Sikh Reht Maryada, there is no objection to wearing any kind of jewelry by an Amritdhari person provided one does not have to pierce his/her ear or nose to wear it. During the olden days, the wearing of earnings and nose-rings indicated slavery. The owners used them to identify their slaves. This does not fit in the Khalsa culture. We, the Khalsa, enjoy full freedom and are not slaves of any person or even of any god; hence we feel it degrading to wear earrings.

The reader may be surprised to know that wearing earrings is a recent fad. In early sixties, when the author visited the USA for higher studies, he did not see any woman or a girl with earrings. Rather he found, coeds chuckling at the 'silly' act of Indian women students piercing their ears and putting rings in them. They believed that it was a practice of backward and uncultured people. (in 1961 two American friends of the author showed their concern about this hurtful and meaningless Indian custom).

What a U-turn fashion has taken now! All females young or old, almost without exception, we now seen wearing earrings. The size and design of the rings have no limits. The earrings have grown long enough to touch the shoulders and they swing around when the head is suddenly moved to left or right.

Such fads come and go to do replaced by new ones. Wearing lipstick, earrings, skirts, and keeping long hair by boys is another example. However it is healthier for the mind and convenient for the body to live and dress simply and gracefully. Those who avoid such fads enjoy greater and everlasting peace of mind and keep themselves free from self-inflicted punishment. It also strengthens their mind to think independently and live as leaders among their peers.

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