European Grains, Maize and Rice

Graansoorten verbouwd in West Europa
Gerst – Rogge – Tarwe – Haver

Types of grain cultivated in Western Europe
Barley – Rye – Wheat – Oats

Which ones of these, apart from wheat are also grown in Panjab ?

Mais (NL) – Maize (UK) – Corn (USA) – Maíze (Spanish)
Grown widely in North America, Europe and North West South Asia

Originates from Central America

Rijst (NL) – Rice (English)

Grown small scale in parts of Southern Europe
Grown widely in many parts of Asia

Published in: on August 23, 2010 at 6:54 am  Leave a Comment  
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433.The Man in Blue – SRM Chapter XIII Article XXIV (p) I

On page 38 of the English version of the Sikh Rahit Maryada is printed : The undermentioned four transgressions (tabooed practices) must be avoided : 1) Dishonouring the hair 2) Eating the meat of an animal slaughtered the Muslim way 3) Cohabiting with a person other than one’s spouse 4) Using tobacco.

In the event of the commission of any of these transgressions, the transgressor must get rebaptised.

To start the discussion three remarks 1) I have no intention to do any of the things listed above 2) I know that I cannot change the SRM, only the Guru Panth (Sarbat Khalsa) can, but I am free to give my opinion 3) Isn’t it good news, I can kill, steal, throw my kara, kangha, kirpan and kachhera away and never do any path whatsoever and will still count as a Khalsa !

Dishonouring the hair. The Brahminical mentality rears its ugly head. Why do they not just say do not cut, shave wax etc ? Hair has no honour, hair is not holy. Kesh is one of the 5 Ks and Amritdhari Sikhs should keep their promise to keep the 5 Ks. The kirpan has a specific meaning, but a far as the Khalsa discipline is concerned, you are only a Khalsa with all the 5 Ks. Kesh is not more important than any of the others, please read the Guru Granth Sahib.

Eating halal (or kosher) meat. There might a good reason to ban the eating of ritually slaughtered meat, but I cannot understand why this has been singled out as one of the key rules in Sikhí. Not that it affects me, I am a vegetarian.

Having sexual relations outside marriage. As I have already pointed out above, I have no plans to ‘cohabit’, it is not ethical, not honest. I also like a simple life and having girlfriends usually leads to complications. But why this has been singled out, and why murder seems to be less bad, I am not sure.

Using tobacco. Smoking tobacco is very unhealthy, it is a dirty habit and it is antisocial. But this list of taboos suggest that it is better, or less bad, to get drunk every night, to snort cocaine, to smoke opium or to inject heroine.

If I was the Khalsa Panth I would remove these four ‘taboos’ from the SRM. They serve no purpose, as these points are covered elsewhere, and they make us look like people who have their priorities confused.

Please do not use this column as an excuse for cutting your hair, for eating halal or kosher meat, for having affairs or for smoking tobacco.

The Khalsa way of life is based on positive good behaviour. We wear the turban and the 5 Ks as signs that we are committed to the inner qualities of Truth, Contentment, Humility, Love and Compassion. Through a positive good life we overcome Anger, Attachment, Greed, Ego and Lust.

Published in: on August 21, 2010 at 7:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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Golden Kitchen, nice short film by Phillippe Witjes and Valérie Berteau from Brussel, Belgium


Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Published in: on August 18, 2010 at 3:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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432.The Man in Blue – Pauri 20 Japji Sahib

Bharíai hath pair tan déh. Paní dhotai utras khéh.
When hands, feet and body are dirty,
Washing with water diminishes the dirt.
Mút palítí kapar hoé. Dé sábún laíai oh dhé.
When clothes are soiled by urine,
Soap will wash them clean.
Bharíai mat pápá kai sang. Oh dhopai návai kai rang.
When the intellect is polluted by sin,
That is washed by bathing in colour.
Punní pápí ákhan náhi. Kar, kar karná likh lai jáhu.
Virtue or sin do not come by speech,
actions repeated, over and over again, get written.
Ápé bíj ápé hí kháhu. Nának hukmí ávahu jáhu.
We ourselves sow, we ourselves indeed eat.
O Nanak, in Hukam we come and go. ||20||

‘Jap’ is the first Sabad in the Guru Granth Sahib. It is a rich source of teaching and an inspiration to go on the way to Sach Khand, to union with The One. It consists of an opening and closing Salok, both numbered (1), and 38 paurias (verses or steps).

Unlike Sukhmani Sahib or Anand Sahib the verses do not have standard formats. The above 20th pauri is not too complicated, but it is very meaningful.   

Lines 1 to 4 are straightforward. If your hands are dirty wash them with water, if your clothes are dirty wash them with soap. No mention of this strange pollution that many Indians believe in, no cleansing rituals, just water and soap. In my dictionary both ‘tan’ and ‘déh’ (line 1) are translated as ‘body’.

Line 5 and 6 are also easy to understand. How does your mind get polluted ? By bad and useless thoughts and bad and useless deeds. How do you turn that round ? Have positive good thoughts and positive good deeds. Here we hit a minor translation difficulty. I have given the literal meaning of line 6 as I understand it. Oh dhopai návai kai rang = that wash bathe of colour, translated word by word. To understand the line we should add ‘colour of Rám’, or ‘colour of Nám’.

In my mohalla in Amritsar was a man who would ‘bathe’ your old clothes in colour. I think that this is what Guru was thinking about when he used this image.   

To me line 7 and 8 are the key to the Sabad. Neither virtue nor sin comes about by just talking about it. Kar, kar karná likh lai jáhu = do, do, actions write get go. Repeating a verb like ‘kar’ translates here as doing again and again. The meaning of the sentence is clear, if you keep doing bad and useless things that forms your personality, you become what you do. But I do not know how to fit in the word ‘jáhu’ or ‘go’. Line 9 is again straightforward, as is line 10 : All we do is in God’s Hukam, in God’s Will.

With God’s grace you can change your actions to good and useful ones, and by writing these actions on your personality you will become a good and useful person. This is the first, the dharam khand step on the way to sach khand, and step by step you will gain on that way. And at the end the Bridegroom is waiting for you.

431.Sikh Ultras in Panjab

Sikhs used to be terrorists, fundamentalists, agents of the ISI, but the new buzz word is ‘Sikh Ultras’. According to the Panjab Police, the Badal Dal, Amarinder Singh and the Tribune there are Sikh Ultras, mainly from Babar Khalsa, who want to revive the Sikh terrorism of the Seventies, Eighties and early Nineties.

There appears to be a Singh behind it all, loads of RDX and other evil stuff has been confiscated and some people have been arrested. Family and friends loudly protest their innocence and allege that the arrested persons have been tortured.

In the late nineties when I lived in Panjab stories about dangerous people who were smuggled in from across the Pakistan border by the ISI, carrying weapons, ammunition and explosives, kept popping up in the press. ‘After some time’ the arrested people were discretely set free, and the ‘confiscated’ weapons etc were redeployed in the next fake arrest of ‘dangerous Khalistanis’.

I do not live in Panjab anymore, and although I try to keep in close touch with events there, it is more difficult for me to judge the present stories. I have a working theory which fits in with impressions of the mood of people on the fringe of the Khalistani movement, and with past experience of Indian practices.

There are people on the fringe of the ‘established’ Khalistani movements in countries like Canada, the UK, USA and Malaysia who are angry that so many years after 1984 the culprits of the killings in Harmandar Sahib and in Delhi and other Congress ruled cities have not been prosecuted and that no real progress has been made towards establishing Khalistan.

They have no patience with the long term strategies of the established Khalistani organisations and are looking for action, in their home countries action against what are seen as anti panthic elements, but also direct action in Panjab itself.

When I visited Lahore in 1996 and 1997 I met ‘diaspora’ Sikhs who go to Pakistan and volunteer to go into the east Panjab and explode bombs or kill politicians. The persons I met never made it across the border, all they did was shuttle between Lahore and their Islamabad ISI contacts in the hope to progress their plans.

We all know that the Pakistani army and the ISI have never been under control of the Pakistani governments, not even of the military ones.

Looking at what is served up by the Panjabi press I think that that there might be at least one real incident with some kind of Khalistani connection, and that the rest are the usual scare stories and finds of the same weapons etc again and again.

The use of violence in India or elsewhere will not be of any benefit to the Sikh Qaum. Just like in the days of Indira Gandhi, Sikh violence will only give an excuse to politicians in India and elsewhere to implement anti-Sikh measures.