Sikh Style

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gq2.jpgRemember that one particularKenneth Cole ad in NYC that caught our eye? Yes, the picture of the sardar who received much admiration from Sikhs and non-Sikhs around the globe. Well, as it turns out – he’s back. Sonny Caberwal is being featured inGQ’s upcoming Spring/Summer 2009 (German?) publication. Unfortuantely, there isn’t much press around it yet – but what wedohave are somepicturesfrom the shoot in Germany.

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As with the Kenneth Cole ad – it’s great that the image of the sardar is receiving positive attention.Perhaps itwill encourage those who aren’t familiar with Sikhs tolearn more. I said perhaps.More realistically, the page will be turned (no, not all Sikh men dress that well like that)and Sikhs will still be unknown. It’sin our human nature to see something unfamiliar, and then go back to our dinner and never think of it again (take Darfur for example). And while it’s great that Sonny is getting these wonderful opportunities (Sikh PRright?)- we should definitelysave room for otherSikh male fashionistas… like this one from one of my favsites The Satorialist! After the jump…

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Aman commented (see below) on Waris Ahluwalia’s style, so I just had to add this picture ofhimwearinghis Lohee. Yes, Waris, we are a fan of your style (among other things).

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Also see Bank of America Sikh.


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78 Responses to “Sikh Style”

  1. Simple Sardar who is Proud of Another says:

    Excellent response by STOPHATING. I hope ALL readers take a moment to understand Stophating’s message instead of bringing down a confident sardar who is such a positive role-model for Sikhs in the mainstream media. Sonny is a visible Sikh and is not ashamed of his spiritual heritage. That in itself is a positive factor for the Sikh community and how the mainstream sees us. So what if his dhaara isn’t as big as Waris’. The comparison is absolutely ludicrous. Hair growth is different on all individuals. A longer dhaari does not make one sardar better than another. Wake up people.

    In addition, it’s important for people like “Dalsher Singh” to realize that all Sardars are not Amrit-dhari (although I agree we, as Sikhs, should all strive to be).

  2. Simple Sardar who is Proud of Another says:

    Oh yeah, one more thing. Do you think the people at the SGPC (who have long beards, Dalsher) would be better role models for Sikhs in mainstream Western society. I think not.

    Given recent events, our beloved panthic leaders at the SGPC would condemn Sonny becuase he wears jeans!!!! hahahahah! Further, they would probably disapprove of GQ as an “immodest” and useless publication.

    Bottom line: Sonny represents the Sikh community, to the mainstream, by virtue of his Turban, work ethic and intelligence.

  3. Dalsher Singh says:

    Simple Sardar who is Proud of Another,

    Seeing as my post was a while ago, you may have forgotten what I truly said. I mentioned that IF, as a matter of fact, Sonny truly doesn’t TRIM his beard, THEN I completely take BACK everything:

    HOWEVER, I take all of this back if I am ignorantly mistaken, and its true that he doesnt actually trim his beard. Someone mentioned that earlier, and there was no dialog from that, so I just assumed he trimmed his beard.

    So, I completely agree with both of the previous two posts, in that Sonny is doing a great thing in further delivering the Sikh image to the vast amount of Americans who don’t know; my only issue was in the notion that people had mentioned he trimmed his beard. As I mentioned in my original post, and AS did StopHating

    Sonny has repeatedly stated in all of the press that Ive seen that Its not about me, but about Sikh identity and about our culture and traditions being portrayed in a positive light to people around the world”

    If he trimmed his beard, yet still made the claim that he was doing this for the Sikh identity – that is where my problem rested. HOWEVER, as now you can clearly see, it has been verified that he doesn’t trim his beard.

    Simple Sardar, I also question your knowledge of what is an Amritdhari – simply growing a dharra doesn’t make you an Amritdhari, so you inferring that I was criticizing Sonny’s status of being an Amritdhari simply because I said he trimmed his beard is troubling. Taking Amrit is a personal decision you make, and upon taking Amrit, you enter the realm of Khalsa; however, we are all Singhs – and the identity of a Singh is that with a dharri and turban. So I would like to distinguish that the terms Singh and Khalsa are two COMPLETELY different words with different natures – don’t intertwine them.

    A final point is that which brought up – the SGPC and its members. No one ever mentioned the SGPC or praised it any manner; I personally hold them very low in my mind, due to their corrupt workings and ties to Hindu-vastava organizations. The ENTIRE SIKH PANTH holds free flowing (not long; I don’t where the hell you keep getting that from) dharris in high regards – that is what Sikh martyrs died for – our SIKH IDENTITY. This has NOTHING to do with length of beard, but rather the nature of it. The only reason Sikhs have began to trim beards in recent history is to conform to Western culture. Why not start trimming some of our kes too? NOTE: This final point HAS NOTHING to do with Sonny, as it has been established that he doesn’t trim his beard.

    And truly last point: what Avtar Singh Makkar says has no value in mind – he’s not the supreme leader of ANYONE, understand? He, along with the rest of the SGPC, is a puppet of the Akhali party. For you to claim that a free flowing dharri is the same joke as Makkar claiming jeans are immoral – [edited by admin- Dalsher, that wasn’t an awful name to call someone, but it’s still namecalling, which is unecessary. Please try to restrain yourself. Thanks!].

    Dalsher Singh

  4. Simple Sardar who is says:

    Dalsher, take the time to fully read through posts before you start posting your self-serving remarks. The crux of my comment to you was as follows:

    "It’s important for people like “Dalsher Singh” to realize that all Sardars are not Amrit-dhari (although I agree we, as Sikhs, should all strive to be)."

    Out of curiosity, with regards to your point about a "free flowing dhari" – where on earth does it say that an unshorn dhari has to be "free-flowing"? This is purely a matter of preference.

    As a sardar, and someone who affirms his spiritual identity by wearing a turban – Sonny is entitled to claim he is doing it for Sikh identity (even if he trims his dhaari). Why? Because he IS A SARDAR, and as I said, some Sardars (especially in the West) are not Amrit-Dhari (althought hey should strive to be). I am proud of Sonny becuase, I too am a sardar. I'm proud he sports a turban and carries it off with panache and flair. I'm proud becuase the face of a turbanned Sikh was representing a major fashion designer and hanging from the windows at the Rockefeller Center in NYC. Would you rather be portrayed in the western media by a nihang with a 4ft dhaara? Please.

    Ms. Banker's comments are also appropriate here:

    "As far as the whole “trimmed beard” goes. Why not just take it one step at a time? I mean a Sikh man with a turban has made it so high after so long. With time we can only expect more. "

    My point is, whenever a Sardar is featured prominently in the media, a minority of us want to apply this Taliban-esque attitude and start being hyper-critical of them i.e. does he have sex with women? does he trim his dhaari? does he eat meat? etc.

    Conclusion: Just be happy that a Sardar is being portrayed in a positive light – because all you haters who love to criticize will NEVER, in your lifetimes, achieve what Sonny has done for the Sikh community.

  5. Dalsher Singh says:

    Once again, we reach a point of conflict. Before I begin, I'd like to ONCE AGAIN reestablish that there is no conflict whatsoever in the notion of whether Sonny trims his beard, as it has been understood that he doesn't. When I stated the term free flowing daarha – I said that it was free-flowing in nature, which simply refers to it not being cut – you can tie it up how ever you desire. I completely disagree with the following comment as well

    As a sardar, and someone who affirms his spiritual identity by wearing a turban – Sonny is entitled to claim he is doing it for Sikh identity (even if he trims his dhaari).

    I don't know if you have failed to comprehend this, but 1.) Sonny doesn't trim his dhaari, and 2.) If he did trim his dhaari, then in no manner can he say he is truly representing the Sikh Identity – because just supporting a phaagri DOES NOT equal representing Sikh Identity. I don't even know why you brought that notion back up, because I already made it clear that I had made an ignorant mistake in assuming he trimmed his dhaari, as according to other comments, but since he didn't, none of my initial rant really mattered in HIS situation. However, if you'd like to discuss, on a completely separate level, the topic of whether the Sikh Identity is comprised of a unshorn beard and turban, along with many other aspects, I'd be more then happy to argue that with you. Have you heard of Fauja Singh? He was the face of Adidas not too long ago, and he rocked a dumalla dastar – so when you say, would I prefer to have a Nihang Singh over Sonny, my answer would be I have NO preference, because they both are Singh Soorme in my mind, and both represent Sikhi. As you worded the question, with some sarcasim, I can take it that you wouldn't prefer a Nihang Singh, because you probably are worried as to how Western society would precieve it, and that is exact underlying problem in many of the Sikhs in Western society – fear of how others preceive us. What is the reason that one shaves his dhaari? There is no excuse as to why you need to shave or trim your dhaari, so to claim that you still represent the Sikh Identity by simply dawning a phaagri is questionable at the least.

  6. Simple Sardar who is says:

    Dalsher Singh, I loved the part of your response when you said:

    "Would I prefer to have a Nihang Singh over Sonny, my answer would be I have NO preference, because they both are Singh Soorme in my mind, and both represent Sikhi".

    That was a great answer and upon reflection I agree wholeheartedly with you.

    However, my post wasn't designed to debate whether Sonny's dharri is trimmed (that point is now moot), it was designed to highlight the regressive mentality of some Sikhs who are hell-bent on criticizing another Sardar when he has attained a glimor of media attention. Instead of seeing the greater good, we want to know whether he trims his beard, or whether he drinks, or eats meat etc. – Generally whether he conforms to the standards of an amrit-dhari Sikh. The reality is that young turbanned Sikh professionals, in the west, go to work everyday and bust their balls in corporate America and rise above prejudice and discrimination that they encounter. As a member of this group, I don't want others telling me that I don't represent the Sikh identity, becuase the truth is that we are better ambassadors for Sikhs than any of our so-called "leaders". In addition, many of the above mentioned group are NOT amrit-dhari – that doesn't mean we don't represent Sikhs when we leave our houses each morning.

    Another part I really enjoyed:

    "As you worded the question, with some sarcasm, I can take it that you wouldn’t prefer a Nihang Singh, because you probably are worried as to how Western society would precieve it, and that is exact underlying problem in many of the Sikhs in Western society – fear of how others preceive us."

    You're absolutely right, as a Sikh belonging to Western Society you bet i'm absolutely concerned with how my peers, neighbors and other members of society perceive me. If I wasn't concerned with that, then I would not be doing any justice to the Sikh community. I wear a turban, so everything I do, or wherever I go people are watching and scrutinizing me. I love it because that is what I signed up for when I chose to affirm my spiritual identity. However, you're also concerned that people may think you're a terrorist, or a bad person, or someone that hates America. Therefore, you do everything in your power to communicate with your fellow Americans and allay their fears. Communication and dialogue with those around you helps to break down barriers and ignorance. If I didn't care how I was perceived in society, the barriers and ignorance would never be destroyed.

  7. Simple Sardar who is Proud of Another says:

    Dalsher, take the time to fully read through posts before you start posting your self-serving remarks. The crux of my comment to you was as follows:

    “Its important for people like Dalsher Singh to realize that all Sardars are not Amrit-dhari (although I agree we, as Sikhs, should all strive to be).”

    Out of curiosity, with regards to your point about a “free flowing dhari” – where on earth does it say that an unshorn dhari has to be “free-flowing”? This is purely a matter of preference.

    As a sardar, and someone who affirms his spiritual identity by wearing a turban – Sonny is entitled to claim he is doing it for Sikh identity (even if he trims his dhaari). Why? Because he IS A SARDAR, and as I said, some Sardars (especially in the West) are not Amrit-Dhari (althought hey should strive to be). I am proud of Sonny becuase, I too am a sardar. I’m proud he sports a turban and carries it off with panache and flair. I’m proud becuase the face of a turbanned Sikh was representing a major fashion designer and hanging from the windows at the Rockefeller Center in NYC. Would you rather be portrayed in the western media by a nihang with a 4ft dhaara? Please.

    Ms. Banker’s comments are also appropriate here:
    “As far as the whole trimmed beard goes. Why not just take it one step at a time? I mean a Sikh man with a turban has made it so high after so long. With time we can only expect more. ”

    My point is, whenever a Sardar is featured prominently in the media, a minority of us want to apply this Taliban-esque attitude and start being hyper-critical of them i.e. does he have sex with women? does he trim his dhaari? does he eat meat? etc.
    Conclusion: Just be happy that a Sardar is being portrayed in a positive light – because all you haters who love to criticize will NEVER, in your lifetimes, achieve what Sonny has done for the Sikh community.

  8. Dalsher Singh says:

    Once again, we reach a point of conflict. Before I begin, I’d like to ONCE AGAIN reestablish that there is no conflict whatsoever in the notion of whether Sonny trims his beard, as it has been understood that he doesn’t. When I stated the term free flowing daarha – I said that it was free-flowing in nature, which simply refers to it not being cut – you can tie it up how ever you desire. I completely disagree with the following comment as well

    As a sardar, and someone who affirms his spiritual identity by wearing a turban – Sonny is entitled to claim he is doing it for Sikh identity (even if he trims his dhaari).

    I don’t know if you have failed to comprehend this, but 1.) Sonny doesn’t trim his dhaari, and 2.) If he did trim his dhaari, then in no manner can he say he is truly representing the Sikh Identity – because just supporting a phaagri DOES NOT equal representing Sikh Identity. I don’t even know why you brought that notion back up, because I already made it clear that I had made an ignorant mistake in assuming he trimmed his dhaari, as according to other comments, but since he didn’t, none of my initial rant really mattered in HIS situation. However, if you’d like to discuss, on a completely separate level, the topic of whether the Sikh Identity is comprised of a unshorn beard and turban, along with many other aspects, I’d be more then happy to argue that with you. Have you heard of Fauja Singh? He was the face of Adidas not too long ago, and he rocked a dumalla dastar – so when you say, would I prefer to have a Nihang Singh over Sonny, my answer would be I have NO preference, because they both are Singh Soorme in my mind, and both represent Sikhi. As you worded the question, with some sarcasim, I can take it that you wouldn’t prefer a Nihang Singh, because you probably are worried as to how Western society would precieve it, and that is exact underlying problem in many of the Sikhs in Western society – fear of how others preceive us. What is the reason that one shaves his dhaari? There is no excuse as to why you need to shave or trim your dhaari, so to claim that you still represent the Sikh Identity by simply dawning a phaagri is questionable at the least.

  9. Simple Sardar who is Proud of Another says:

    Dalsher Singh, I loved the part of your response when you said:
    “Would I prefer to have a Nihang Singh over Sonny, my answer would be I have NO preference, because they both are Singh Soorme in my mind, and both represent Sikhi”.
    That was a great answer and upon reflection I agree wholeheartedly with you.

    However, my post wasn’t designed to debate whether Sonny’s dharri is trimmed (that point is now moot), it was designed to highlight the regressive mentality of some Sikhs who are hell-bent on criticizing another Sardar when he has attained a glimor of media attention. Instead of seeing the greater good, we want to know whether he trims his beard, or whether he drinks, or eats meat etc. – Generally whether he conforms to the standards of an amrit-dhari Sikh. The reality is that young turbanned Sikh professionals, in the west, go to work everyday and bust their balls in corporate America and rise above prejudice and discrimination that they encounter. As a member of this group, I don’t want others telling me that I don’t represent the Sikh identity, becuase the truth is that we are better ambassadors for Sikhs than any of our so-called “leaders”. In addition, many of the above mentioned group are NOT amrit-dhari – that doesn’t mean we don’t represent Sikhs when we leave our houses each morning.

    Another part I really enjoyed:
    “As you worded the question, with some sarcasm, I can take it that you wouldnt prefer a Nihang Singh, because you probably are worried as to how Western society would precieve it, and that is exact underlying problem in many of the Sikhs in Western society – fear of how others preceive us.”
    You’re absolutely right, as a Sikh belonging to Western Society you bet i’m absolutely concerned with how my peers, neighbors and other members of society perceive me. If I wasn’t concerned with that, then I would not be doing any justice to the Sikh community. I wear a turban, so everything I do, or wherever I go people are watching and scrutinizing me. I love it because that is what I signed up for when I chose to affirm my spiritual identity. However, you’re also concerned that people may think you’re a terrorist, or a bad person, or someone that hates America. Therefore, you do everything in your power to communicate with your fellow Americans and allay their fears. Communication and dialogue with those around you helps to break down barriers and ignorance. If I didn’t care how I was perceived in society, the barriers and ignorance would never be destroyed.

  10. banker kuri says:

    Hardeep

    You sound like my parents.

    And they're old. You can't say that Sikhs who do not keep there hair are not sikhs.

    You keep your faith inside of you.

  11. Dalsher Singh says:

    Banker Kuri,

    Remind your parents they should thank you, because you just indirectly complimented them. I am probably younger then you, so I can't say I've achieved anywhere close to the elderly wisdom your parents have naturally gained, but even I am aware of the notion that Guru Gobind Singh, on the eve of this Vaisakhi day, announced that Sikhs would have a distinct appearance from that day forward – the Sikh saroop. Surely, I am by no means a stubborn fundamentalist who believes that only those who walk this Earth with full Sikh saroop are "Sikhs," as neither of my parents, nor my brother have unshorn hair – even though WE SHOULD ALL strive for this.

    The comment you made is absolutely ridiculous, in that 1.) no one claimed that those who cut their hair are not Sikhs, and 2.) how could one honestly be a model for Sikhs if he or she cut their hair? Are you actually serious? Surely, you couldn't tell me with with all seriousness that if Bhai Mani Singh, or any of the Sikh martyrs of our time were to stand in front of you, that you would honestly make that claim.

    Unbelievable.

  12. banker kuri says:

    Hardeep

    You sound like my parents.

    And they’re old. You can’t say that Sikhs who do not keep there hair are not sikhs.

    You keep your faith inside of you.

  13. Dalsher Singh says:

    Banker Kuri,

    Remind your parents they should thank you, because you just indirectly complimented them. I am probably younger then you, so I can’t say I’ve achieved anywhere close to the elderly wisdom your parents have naturally gained, but even I am aware of the notion that Guru Gobind Singh, on the eve of this Vaisakhi day, announced that Sikhs would have a distinct appearance from that day forward – the Sikh saroop. Surely, I am by no means a stubborn fundamentalist who believes that only those who walk this Earth with full Sikh saroop are “Sikhs,” as neither of my parents, nor my brother have unshorn hair – even though WE SHOULD ALL strive for this.

    The comment you made is absolutely ridiculous, in that 1.) no one claimed that those who cut their hair are not Sikhs, and 2.) how could one honestly be a model for Sikhs if he or she cut their hair? Are you actually serious? Surely, you couldn’t tell me with with all seriousness that if Bhai Mani Singh, or any of the Sikh martyrs of our time were to stand in front of you, that you would honestly make that claim.

    Unbelievable.

  14. British Singh says:

    U guys always complain about trimmed beards but no one ever complains abouut clean shaven guys. if we look at it from that perspective arnt clean shaven guys the worst. they call themselves sikh but dont even keep their hair or pagg so before you go hatin on a singh that trims hate on all of the mohnas but i guess you guys cant hate on mohnas either since 90 percent of the sikh youth is mohna wow you guys are stupid.

  15. British Singh says:

    U guys always complain about trimmed beards but no one ever complains abouut clean shaven guys. if we look at it from that perspective arnt clean shaven guys the worst. they call themselves sikh but dont even keep their hair or pagg so before you go hatin on a singh that trims hate on all of the mohnas but i guess you guys cant hate on mohnas either since 90 percent of the sikh youth is mohna wow you guys are stupid.

  16. manvir kaur says:

    the identity of sikhs completes with dhahra and dastaar. guru gobind singh ji gives us honor of lion
    if a lion with trimmed hairs he can show his identity.

  17. manvir kaur says:

    the identity of sikhs completes with dhahra and dastaar. guru gobind singh ji gives us honor of lion
    if a lion with trimmed hairs he can show his identity.

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