Since I shared the Love Conquers all – story of Sim and Sam – who had their wedding stopped by protestors (which you can catch up with here) – there has been a lot of interest in interfaith Sikh weddings. Especially as Sunny Hundal has brought light to this issue – there’s been a massive divide in opinions within the Sikh community between what is right and wrong.
Starting this blog has meant that I share weddings from all faiths and from all cultures. There is absolutely no discrimination on the blog and it will always remain that way. I often receive emails from brides and grooms asking questions of how they can combine their two cultures into one ceremony, how they deal with religious beliefs i.e. meat and alcohol at the wedding and so on. I offer what advice I can and this gives them hope.
Recently I have received some emails that are slightly heartbreaking
We all know couples go through a stressful time planning their wedding but when you may have protestors stopping your wedding, this is extremely worrying.
One father of the bride emailed me because his daugther wanted to marry her Hindu partner and they wanted two ceremonies. In the end, he thanked me for my help but said having an Anand Karaj was too stressful and that they couldn’t have it.
Photography: Mike Reed Photo | View more from this wedding here
A gentleman who I shall call Henry (to cover his identity) emailed me a few months ago asking some advice about interfaith Sikh weddings in the UK. We exchanged a few pleasant emails and I said I would help out where I can. A couple of months later, I thought I would check in to see how he is getting on and it wasn’t going well.
Henry and his Sikh fiancee had been going back and forth about what to do. They want the Anand Karaj but it’s getting hard with so many barriers that they’ve considered not having it at all, but he knows that wouldn’t be what they want looking back. Even though Henry has no faith, it doesn’t meant he’s going to start pretending either, he doesn’t want to start his married life off with a lie and too right! He’s perfectly willing to say that he respects the Guru Granth Sahib and indeed share some similar beliefs (as well as being vegetarian and not drinking etc) but he cannot say that he is Sikh. I admire his honesty in this respect. There would be others who get to the stage where they think it will be easier to become something they’re not.
“We’re both very tired with the whole process and we don’t know where to go. I think all in all it’s just something we have to accept as at this time what we are doing is seen as taboo by certain members of the Sikh community.
One thing that I suppose is interesting though is that I am a white English man and I’ve never been made to feel, until now, that there was anything wrong with me because of my colour. Never been made to feel like an outsider until now, never been made to feel like I won’t be accepted and that nothing I can do or say will change that, so that’s an experience.”
This last paragraph from the email made my heart sink and I felt sick. NO-ONE should be made to feel like this. I know this feeling too well and it’s just terrible. It really gives certain members of the Sikh community a bad reputation when this isn’t always the case.
I have had many reporters get in touch wanting to do interviews or documentaries on couples planning an interfaith Sikh wedding. If you would like to get in touch and share your thoughts, please get in touch. You can remain completely anonymous if you wish to protect your identity.
Again – please note that I am not promoting or disagreeing with the rules of interfaith Sikh marriages in Gurdwaras. I am here to help and inspire multicultural couples of how they can plan their wedding – their way.
This has been a very heavy topic on the blog this morning and I want to end with an email which did make me feel so good about the blog.
I just want to say that I am sooooo happy to have found your page! It means so much to me and my fiance to know there are people out there who see the positives and solutions for our fusion wedding ceremony!!! My father is a Pundit and he is so excited about combining the two ceremonies into one. However, there are still some family members who are struggling to get their heads around the concept, but we stay strong and love each other and realise that we are ONE family and ONE faith