Sikhnet Gracefully Pushing the Limits of Punjabi Sikh Perspectives on Courtship

This past week, I saw this advertisement about the GurSikh Speed Meeting. For those of you who have no idea the Sikhnets Gursikh Speed Meeting is obviously (and admittedly) the Sikh version of speed dating. According to the organizersof the program:0.92B0_OpenElement_FieldElemFormat_jpg.jpeg

The concept is quite simple. An equal number of Sardars and Sardarnis register. On the event date, each Sardar will meet each Sardarni one-on-one and chat for a specified number of minutes rotating till they have met all the Singhnis. This face to face style of meeting has spurred much interest, in addition to, respecting the participant’s privacy. Only if there is an agreed CLICK will an exchange of contact information occur.

I remember when I first saw Sikhnet advertising this a couple of years ago and thinking to myself, this is bold. I dont necessarily think dating for Sikhs is anti-gurmat, but dating is definitely still taboo in A LOT of Punjabi Sikh families.


So, I view what Sikhnet has done as revolutionary. When you really think about it this style of courtship successfully rides the fine line between what our parents generation finds acceptable (organized and controlled interaction with the opposite sex) and what the more liberated West would have us do (find a mate ourselves by dating as many people as possible, in search of that magical click). The fact that it pushes the limits just enough, without offending traditional notions (I think) is admirable.

Of course this isnt the first time Sikhnet has encouraged a collaborative alternative to matrimonial ads in Chardi Kala or Ajit.Over a decade ago they introduced another accepted marriage helper: SikhMatrimonials.com. They call that site the Matrimonial assistant and it is an exclusively Sikh matrimonial site. Browsing through some of the profiles (for research purposes only) I noticed that there were a fair number posted by parents and other relatives.

Personally, I am impressed by how gracefully Sikhnet has been able to introduce online personals and speed dating into the Punjabi Sikh community. Its interesting that both were really advertized by an organization that is run by non-Punjabi Sikhs.

In any event, although these sites may be helpful tools, I agree with the speed meeting website that:

At the end of the day, Sanjogaan Dee Gul Hai


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47 Responses to “Sikhnet Gracefully Pushing the Limits of Punjabi Sikh Perspectives on Courtship”

  1. Savraj Singh says:

    To my knowledge, Gursikh Speed Meeting was started by Rajnarind Kaur of New York a few years ago, with the first meeting in New York City. Sikhnet just helps advertise it. So I think your claim "both were launched by an org that is run by non-Punjabi Sikhs," in bold above, is false. Just want to make sure you have your facts right — correct me if I am wrong.

  2. Savraj Singh says:

    To my knowledge, Gursikh Speed Meeting was started by Rajnarind Kaur of New York a few years ago, with the first meeting in New York City. Sikhnet just helps advertise it. So I think your claim “both were launched by an org that is run by non-Punjabi Sikhs,” in bold above, is false. Just want to make sure you have your facts right — correct me if I am wrong.

  3. Singh says:

    Thanks for the info Savraj – I'll look into it and in the meantime I have altered the wording of the above cited line.

  4. Singh says:

    Thanks for the info Savraj – I’ll look into it and in the meantime I have altered the wording of the above cited line.

  5. Amandeep Singh says:

    where did u get ur sense of Sikh aesthetics, relationships or love?

    the myth that the west has a more liberated appraoch towards the relaitonships/life, is one of the biggest delusions of our time.

    Sikhnet, and its sponsors-3ho, yogi bhajinists- are all very serious problems for the SIKHS becuase they attack under the disguise of authentic Sikhi, they teach white tantra yoga, in the name of Sikh spirituality.

    and this "Speed dating" thing is simply ridiculuos becuase of the shear shamelessness of the idea. relaationships. marriage, Love r some of the most pure and central parts of a Sikh's Spiritual journey, and to commodify and market them in this way is simply wrong, if not 'sinful'.

    this type of thinking is really a victim of modernist/nihilistic approach of life, where everything and everyone is a commodity, available for manipulation and consumption. This objectification of relationships, love, is really a sign of the demise of our sensitivity towards life,our Sikhi.

    missionary style approach- i.e. thinking of SIKHI as "SIKHISM" and then fighting to prove its superiority dominance over other "ISMs"- produces nihilism & faithlessness. We should not be so concerned about 'saving' Sikhi, for we r the ones that r in need of salvation.

  6. Amandeep Singh says:

    where did u get ur sense of Sikh aesthetics, relationships or love?

    the myth that the west has a more liberated appraoch towards the relaitonships/life, is one of the biggest delusions of our time.

    Sikhnet, and its sponsors-3ho, yogi bhajinists- are all very serious problems for the SIKHS becuase they attack under the disguise of authentic Sikhi, they teach white tantra yoga, in the name of Sikh spirituality.
    and this “Speed dating” thing is simply ridiculuos becuase of the shear shamelessness of the idea. relaationships. marriage, Love r some of the most pure and central parts of a Sikh’s Spiritual journey, and to commodify and market them in this way is simply wrong, if not ‘sinful’.

    this type of thinking is really a victim of modernist/nihilistic approach of life, where everything and everyone is a commodity, available for manipulation and consumption. This objectification of relationships, love, is really a sign of the demise of our sensitivity towards life,our Sikhi.

    missionary style approach- i.e. thinking of SIKHI as “SIKHISM” and then fighting to prove its superiority dominance over other “ISMs”- produces nihilism & faithlessness. We should not be so concerned about ‘saving’ Sikhi, for we r the ones that r in need of salvation.

  7. Savraj Singh says:

    Hi Amandeep Singh,

    Thanks for your eye-opening comment. For brevity I'll just ask you one question:

    and this “Speed dating” thing is simply ridiculuos becuase of the shear shamelessness of the idea. relaationships. marriage, Love r some of the most pure and central parts of a Sikh’s Spiritual journey, and to commodify and market them in this way is simply wrong, if not ’sinful’.

    To me, the 'speed dating' event is a practical solution to real a problem: Sikhs America are very spread out, and do not get to meet each other. It's hard for them to find a life partner that is a Sikh who shares their spiritual journey, and 'speed meeting' attempts to mitigate this problem.

    My question for you is, if Sikh Speed Meeting is as abhorrent as you describe, what is your proposed solution to the problem of Sikhs not meeting each other?

  8. Savraj Singh says:

    Hi Amandeep Singh,

    Thanks for your eye-opening comment. For brevity I’ll just ask you one question:

    and this Speed dating thing is simply ridiculuos becuase of the shear shamelessness of the idea. relaationships. marriage, Love r some of the most pure and central parts of a Sikhs Spiritual journey, and to commodify and market them in this way is simply wrong, if not sinful.

    To me, the ‘speed dating’ event is a practical solution to real a problem: Sikhs America are very spread out, and do not get to meet each other. It’s hard for them to find a life partner that is a Sikh who shares their spiritual journey, and ‘speed meeting’ attempts to mitigate this problem.

    My question for you is, if Sikh Speed Meeting is as abhorrent as you describe, what is your proposed solution to the problem of Sikhs not meeting each other?

  9. Publius says:

    Amandeep, you write that "relaationships. marriage, Love r some of the most pure and central parts of a Sikh’s Spiritual journey, and to commodify and market them in this way is simply wrong, if not ’sinful’."

    Is your concern that some entities may be obtaining a profit in setting up speed dating events or online dating web sites? In other words, is it your view that speed dating or online dating are not inherently "wrong", but what is "wrong" is that people are profiting financially from an otherwise solemn and pure part of the Sikh journey through life?

  10. Publius says:

    Amandeep, you write that “relaationships. marriage, Love r some of the most pure and central parts of a Sikhs Spiritual journey, and to commodify and market them in this way is simply wrong, if not sinful.”

    Is your concern that some entities may be obtaining a profit in setting up speed dating events or online dating web sites? In other words, is it your view that speed dating or online dating are not inherently “wrong”, but what is “wrong” is that people are profiting financially from an otherwise solemn and pure part of the Sikh journey through life?

  11. Singh says:

    Amandeep Singh Ji,

    Thanks for the comment.

    I am a bit confused about what method of match-making you are comparing speed meeting with. Is it a traditional arranged marriage in many Sikh families? – often one where bride and groom are given a few minutes to talk ("speed meet" if you will) and determine whether they want to say "I do"…or is it the the situation where the bride (or her picture) is "shown" to the groom's family (and vice versa) – much like an object ("commodity")?

    To be honest, I don't know what the most gurmukh way to match-make is, and am open to your opinion, but I'd like to know about your idea of a proper way to bring two people together.

  12. Singh says:

    Amandeep Singh Ji,

    Thanks for the comment.

    I am a bit confused about what method of match-making you are comparing speed meeting with. Is it a traditional arranged marriage in many Sikh families? – often one where bride and groom are given a few minutes to talk (“speed meet” if you will) and determine whether they want to say “I do”…or is it the the situation where the bride (or her picture) is “shown” to the groom’s family (and vice versa) – much like an object (“commodity”)?

    To be honest, I don’t know what the most gurmukh way to match-make is, and am open to your opinion, but I’d like to know about your idea of a proper way to bring two people together.

  13. amandeep singh says:

    publius-

    my concern with commodification is not that there is money/profit involved, but simply that we objectify/degrade ourselves and others, in this mechanistic search for 'match'. just the entire mechanistic approach towards something that is so pure and delicate. marrigae or relationships in these situations, and as the west concieves them in general, are essentially business contracts- with social/financial rules and regulations that have to be obeyed, if either party fails to comply to the other's demands the contract is annulled.

    it is this technological perspective of the human passions and relations, that is behind the death of culture, religion and relaitonships, that disturbs me. (not money!)

    needless to say love is about sacrifice, egolessness/death, not utility/availability.

    2) Singh,

    The is the "methode" itself the problem: the fallacy that the methode is separate from the truth/goal, the medium is different than the message, the path different from the destination. I am not advocating another methode, just pointing out the shear absurdity and radicality of this one.

    The possiblity of true/gurmukh relaitonship is impossible without the element of veil, aka "pardah", "hyaa", patience etc. these things will not survive in a "speed dating" environment.

    since u mentioned 'arrange marriages' let me jsut say that it would naive to think that they are primitive or less mature than individualistic 'love marriages' we see in the west. "love marriages" rest upon the false idea that a person is a single individual, that his family, and society at large is something Other than himself, external, thus he should makes his own choices independently. Thats simply not the case. A person is a constitution of his family, his culture, his background and to marry without their consent/advice is immature and childish- hence we see the highest divorce rates in US.

    Savraj Singh,

    to worry about 'our' religion, 'our' people- to see everything from a communal perspective is a sign of nihlism/aethism. Sikhs should embrace life in all its spontaneaty and uncertainty. If we form a communal 'religionist' approach we will be as dull, rigid and lifeless as (most) jews and (extremist) muslims.

    i understand the problem u r pointing towards, but i think we might me creating a bigger problem by nurturing a culture of, for the lack of better words, shamelessness, insensitivity and practicality.

  14. amandeep singh says:

    publius-
    my concern with commodification is not that there is money/profit involved, but simply that we objectify/degrade ourselves and others, in this mechanistic search for ‘match’. just the entire mechanistic approach towards something that is so pure and delicate. marrigae or relationships in these situations, and as the west concieves them in general, are essentially business contracts- with social/financial rules and regulations that have to be obeyed, if either party fails to comply to the other’s demands the contract is annulled.
    it is this technological perspective of the human passions and relations, that is behind the death of culture, religion and relaitonships, that disturbs me. (not money!)
    needless to say love is about sacrifice, egolessness/death, not utility/availability.

    2) Singh,
    The is the “methode” itself the problem: the fallacy that the methode is separate from the truth/goal, the medium is different than the message, the path different from the destination. I am not advocating another methode, just pointing out the shear absurdity and radicality of this one.
    The possiblity of true/gurmukh relaitonship is impossible without the element of veil, aka “pardah”, “hyaa”, patience etc. these things will not survive in a “speed dating” environment.

    since u mentioned ‘arrange marriages’ let me jsut say that it would naive to think that they are primitive or less mature than individualistic ‘love marriages’ we see in the west. “love marriages” rest upon the false idea that a person is a single individual, that his family, and society at large is something Other than himself, external, thus he should makes his own choices independently. Thats simply not the case. A person is a constitution of his family, his culture, his background and to marry without their consent/advice is immature and childish- hence we see the highest divorce rates in US.

    Savraj Singh,
    to worry about ‘our’ religion, ‘our’ people- to see everything from a communal perspective is a sign of nihlism/aethism. Sikhs should embrace life in all its spontaneaty and uncertainty. If we form a communal ‘religionist’ approach we will be as dull, rigid and lifeless as (most) jews and (extremist) muslims.
    i understand the problem u r pointing towards, but i think we might me creating a bigger problem by nurturing a culture of, for the lack of better words, shamelessness, insensitivity and practicality.

  15. Singh says:

    Amandeep Singh

    If we form a communal ‘religionist’ approach we will be as dull, rigid and lifeless as (most) jews and (extremist) muslims.

    Please keep your comments about other religions respectful.

  16. Singh says:

    Amandeep Singh

    If we form a communal religionist approach we will be as dull, rigid and lifeless as (most) jews and (extremist) muslims.

    Please keep your comments about other religions respectful.

  17. I would like to go on record and state that "Amandeep Singh" is a liar and a propagandist.

    He wrote the following: "Sikhnet, and its sponsors-3ho, yogi bhajinists- are all very serious problems for the SIKHS becuase they attack under the disguise of authentic Sikhi, they teach white tantra yoga, in the name of Sikh spirituality."

    First of all there is no such thing as yogi bhajanists (propaganda), secondly Sikhnet is sponsored by Sikhs who visit the site (unlike the lie that you wrote). Additionally white tantric yoga is never taught "in the name of Sikh spirituality." (another lie)

    Whatever your angle is, does not change the fact that the above are lies and propaganda which you have spread. May God bless you and protect you from your own negativity.

  18. Sat Siri Akal

    i work at SikhNet and i just want to clarify a couple of things. the Gursikh Speed Meeting IS done by a sevadar. it was her idea, and she donates the proceeds to sikhnet. yes, it was based off of speed dating idea. however, in the GurSikh Speed Meeting it is not a date. it is a speed meeting. BIG difference. please don't take it out of context! we have people looking for marriage partners, and they are talking and getting to know people with similar values(GurSikh)for the purpose of marriage. in the modern times and in the west it may be hard to find a GurSikh partner. this venue is one of few ways for those people.

  19. I would like to go on record and state that “Amandeep Singh” is a liar and a propagandist.
    He wrote the following: “Sikhnet, and its sponsors-3ho, yogi bhajinists- are all very serious problems for the SIKHS becuase they attack under the disguise of authentic Sikhi, they teach white tantra yoga, in the name of Sikh spirituality.”

    First of all there is no such thing as yogi bhajanists (propaganda), secondly Sikhnet is sponsored by Sikhs who visit the site (unlike the lie that you wrote). Additionally white tantric yoga is never taught “in the name of Sikh spirituality.” (another lie)

    Whatever your angle is, does not change the fact that the above are lies and propaganda which you have spread. May God bless you and protect you from your own negativity.

  20. Sat Siri Akal
    i work at SikhNet and i just want to clarify a couple of things. the Gursikh Speed Meeting IS done by a sevadar. it was her idea, and she donates the proceeds to sikhnet. yes, it was based off of speed dating idea. however, in the GurSikh Speed Meeting it is not a date. it is a speed meeting. BIG difference. please don’t take it out of context! we have people looking for marriage partners, and they are talking and getting to know people with similar values(GurSikh)for the purpose of marriage. in the modern times and in the west it may be hard to find a GurSikh partner. this venue is one of few ways for those people.

  21. Amandeep Singh says:

    Deleted.

    [Please keep your post on topic. Admin Singh.]

  22. Amandeep Singh says:

    Deleted.

    [Please keep your post on topic. Admin Singh.]

  23. Kaur says:

    I think our community definitely needs something like Gursikh Speed Meeting but something that is a little more open minded and accommodating unlike the Sikhnet meetings that require an application and answers to questions such as Do you cut or trim your hair. Sikhi is open to everyone and so Sikhnet Speed Meetings should not be restrictive in who attends the meetings.

  24. Kaur Ji,

    I haven't attended one of these events and was not aware of the application. I would support such questions being asked as the event is called "GurSikh Speed Meeting." I think the whole point is that it is very hard to find a spouse that is a practicing Sikh. If the event allowed non-practicing Sikhs, it would be no different than any other Punjabi dating site/event/etc.

    You're right Sikhi is open to everyone, however some people put it at the forefront of their lives and hope to find a spouse that does the same. This seems like a good event for those people to meet each other.

  25. Kaur says:

    I think our community definitely needs something like Gursikh Speed Meeting but something that is a little more open minded and accommodating unlike the Sikhnet meetings that require an application and answers to questions such as Do you cut or trim your hair. Sikhi is open to everyone and so Sikhnet Speed Meetings should not be restrictive in who attends the meetings.

  26. ajaz says:

    I think Prabhu Singh Khalsa makes a very good point!

  27. Kaur Ji,
    I haven’t attended one of these events and was not aware of the application. I would support such questions being asked as the event is called “GurSikh Speed Meeting.” I think the whole point is that it is very hard to find a spouse that is a practicing Sikh. If the event allowed non-practicing Sikhs, it would be no different than any other Punjabi dating site/event/etc.
    You’re right Sikhi is open to everyone, however some people put it at the forefront of their lives and hope to find a spouse that does the same. This seems like a good event for those people to meet each other.

  28. ajaz says:

    I think Prabhu Singh Khalsa makes a very good point!

  29. kaptaan says:

    Once again Prabhu Singh makes a valid point.

  30. kaptaan says:

    Once again Prabhu Singh makes a valid point.

  31. Singh says:

    Kaur Ji,

    I think you have a very good point – but as with the people before me, I agree with Prabhu Singh. What caught my eye when I decided to post about thsi was that the services/mechanisms offered by Sikhnet give answers to questions like "do you cut/trim your hair?" and "do you do nitnem everyday" (paraphrased).

    Also agree with Savraj Singh and Gurujot Singh – that this is a way for Sikhs to meet others at a similar place in their faith.

  32. Singh says:

    Kaur Ji,

    I think you have a very good point – but as with the people before me, I agree with Prabhu Singh. What caught my eye when I decided to post about thsi was that the services/mechanisms offered by Sikhnet give answers to questions like “do you cut/trim your hair?” and “do you do nitnem everyday” (paraphrased).

    Also agree with Savraj Singh and Gurujot Singh – that this is a way for Sikhs to meet others at a similar place in their faith.

  33. Kaptaan says:

    re: Amandeep's comments about 3HO, Sikhnet and Giani Harbhajan Singh

    I've been to Espanola and the Guru Ram Das Ashram there. I had never been there before and I have to say I found it inspirational. Some of the nicest people you'll meet are there. As a Sikh, going there only re-affirmed and strengthened my belief in Guru Ji and the truth of Sikhi and its universal message for humanity (not that I needed a re-affirmation).

    May Waheguru Ji bless the Khalsa who have been inspired by Giani Harbhajan Singh to keep the Bana and recite the Bani of Guru Ji and live as the children of Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

    regards,

    Kaptaan.

  34. Kaptaan says:

    re: Amandeep’s comments about 3HO, Sikhnet and Giani Harbhajan Singh

    I’ve been to Espanola and the Guru Ram Das Ashram there. I had never been there before and I have to say I found it inspirational. Some of the nicest people you’ll meet are there. As a Sikh, going there only re-affirmed and strengthened my belief in Guru Ji and the truth of Sikhi and its universal message for humanity (not that I needed a re-affirmation).

    May Waheguru Ji bless the Khalsa who have been inspired by Giani Harbhajan Singh to keep the Bana and recite the Bani of Guru Ji and live as the children of Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

    regards,
    Kaptaan.

  35. yaar says:

    i think its cool

    Amandeep just hating because he is not getting none. this is a positive step forward and will ensure that future young Sikhs enter into marriages with suitable partners that they have chosen for themselves. Chardi Klaa. well done

  36. yaar says:

    i think its cool

    Amandeep just hating because he is not getting none. this is a positive step forward and will ensure that future young Sikhs enter into marriages with suitable partners that they have chosen for themselves. Chardi Klaa. well done

  37. Nirmaljit says:

    It is a good concept and is a blessing for those who are staying out of punjab.all things started with good intent tend to get corrupted unless the checks are strong. let us keep the concept clean by having a check on ourselves.Self restraint is the best way to make this possible.

    wishing all participants the best.

  38. Nirmaljit says:

    It is a good concept and is a blessing for those who are staying out of punjab.all things started with good intent tend to get corrupted unless the checks are strong. let us keep the concept clean by having a check on ourselves.Self restraint is the best way to make this possible.
    wishing all participants the best.

  39. Harsimran Ahuja says:

    Well i didn't read everything that everyone has posted, but just a fleeting glimpse made me wonder that do we have a Right to comment on anyone's personal choice….trully i don't think so.

    If someone doesn't feel good about this entire thing just might simply ignore it and stop being a Moral Police.

    It's a personal choice entirely and one who wishes to ignore it can.

    If they think they need to contribute to the Society why not to indulge their time and efforts in something more constructive like…why not volunteer and propogate Sikhism and spread more awareness among the new blood which is devoid of that…Join some NGO and help them.

    Finally if u think you need to do something have the right attitude and as they say – " Positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. "

  40. Harsimran Ahuja says:

    Well i didn’t read everything that everyone has posted, but just a fleeting glimpse made me wonder that do we have a Right to comment on anyone’s personal choice….trully i don’t think so.
    If someone doesn’t feel good about this entire thing just might simply ignore it and stop being a Moral Police.
    It’s a personal choice entirely and one who wishes to ignore it can.
    If they think they need to contribute to the Society why not to indulge their time and efforts in something more constructive like…why not volunteer and propogate Sikhism and spread more awareness among the new blood which is devoid of that…Join some NGO and help them.
    Finally if u think you need to do something have the right attitude and as they say – ” Positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ”

  41. H S says:

    Amandeep is right I think. See this link:

    http://www. sikharchives .com/?p=7867

  42. H S says:

    Amandeep is right I think. See this link:

    http://www. sikharchives .com/?p=7867

  43. So long as the scourge of Islam/"Hinduism" exists we can never have Khalistan – ie. Semitic lineages/philosophy – "tamilians" are rakshasas – they will be brought to JUSTICE – you can run but you can't hide – as they say.. – if everyone keeps unshorn hair and dastar and keeps bodies intact,will they be Sikh? sick maybe, not Sikh
    AHIMSA everyone!!!