Heyyy Jay! Thanks, and tenu vi Vaisakhi diyan lakh lakh vadhaiyan :)
Well, my background is a bit of a mixture really. My dad was born and raised in England, and was as English as they come. He didn’t really have a clue about anything Punjabi or Sikhi. Full english breakfast everyday, pints of beer down the pub, and the casual smoke throughout the day.
My mother on the other hand, born and raised in the fields of Punjab, well acquainted with Sikh values and history, vegetarian from day one… she was literally the total opposite of my dad lol.
Growing up, I was influenced by these two teachers in various ways. Mothers are always our first teachers, That’s why my mother tongue, punjabi, was the first language I learnt and spoke. I didn’t start speaking english until I went to Nursery. But other than that, I ate meat like my dad (loved chicken burgers, had them everyday after school lol) and I had my hair cut like him too.
Fast forward down the line, mum and dad split up. I spent more time with mum. She’d tell me stories about our history, our culture, our roots. Mum then took me to my first Sikhi camp as a kid. That’s when I really started discovering my roots. I learnt about the choteh Sahibzadeh and their great kurbani… I just fell in love with Sikhi and life. On the last day of the camp I made a promise to never cut my hair or eat meat. Mum was shocked when she heard lol. But I kept to it, and it was surprisingly easy to do so too.
As the years went by I was fortunate enough to grow up with good sangat and friends.I carried on learning and being inspired by our history… most of my friends had took amrit by the age of 16 and I was like the last in line lol. I used to get people asking me every year when I’m going to take it. But I just never felt ready or worthy… I was never the type of person to do something because everyone else is doing it. Amrit wasn’t like a fashion trend to me.
I eventually felt the thirst for Amrit when I was 21… and that’s when I was blessed with it… I’m still a newbie and a padawan. But I definitely feel because of my mixed background where I got to see both worlds, I’m much more appreciative and all the more wiser… you never know how high you are until you’ve seen the bottom type thing :)
In regards to spirituality (and Sikhi also), I’d say I became more spiritually awake when I had cancer… that experience was a blessing. Definitely changed me for the better.
That’s a small insight into how I got into Sikhi lol. (Still going in lol, barely through the front door :P )
Peace Jay! Happy Vaisakhi!