Puneet Kaur Shares With Us The Cultural Nuances And Unique Beauty Of Being A Sikh Mother
- IWB Post
- May 11, 2019
My mom always tells me how my eyes used to get brighter at night. “It’s still the same, you haven’t changed at all,” she says with the kind of glint in her eyes that becomes almost synonymous with her description of me. It is one of those moments of ethereal maternal love where you will find my soul peeping from her visage. It is also one of those moments that renders everything else insignificant and makes me certain that there doesn’t exist an emotion or a feeling as strong and unadulterated as a mother’s love.
Needless to say, the basic essence of motherhood remains the same all across the world. However, we also believe that every mother is unique in her own way, which comes from an amalgamation of her individual identity as well as her cultural heritage. Thus, this Mother’s day, IWB has decided to explore the cultural aspects of motherhood so as to ascertain what is it that shapes every mother and sets her apart from the rest.
We will thus be introducing you to moms from four different communities and sharing their journeys through motherhood. Puneet Kaur, the mother to an eight-month-old, is the first one in the series who will give us an insight into the experience of being a Sikh mom.
Inculcating a deep reverence for their religion and taking immense pride in their cultural heritage is a teaching that every Sikh mother imparts to her children and according to Puneet, that’s exactly the part that imparts Sikh motherhood with its uniqueness.
She explains, “As you might be aware, as Sardars, there are a few rules that we need to follow. For instance, Sikh boys cannot chop their hair. They are supposed to make a jooda and then they have to put on patta as well, even to the schools, and often they end up getting bullied for the reason. Till the time we don’t induce a strong feeling in them that they are special and there’s nothing to be embarrassed about their appearance, we can’t instill in them the love for their culture as well as self-confidence.” That, according to Puneet, is what sets a Sikh mother apart.
As a mother, Puneet is all for individuality and while she has all the intentions to tell her daughter about right and wrong, she also wants to make her own mistakes and learn her own lessons, just like her mother raised her.
Puneet grew up in a home where her parents didn’t mollycoddle her with a lot of toys or material possessions. She explains, “They focused on my internal makeup instead. They taught me to cherish the small joys of life. Today, I have all the resources to get my daughter whatever toy she wants but I don’t want her to seek happiness in them. I want to teach her all that my mother taught me and made me who I am today.” You can tell her from her voice that it is something that she strongly feels about and this is the kind of legacy that she aspires to pass on to her daughter.
She shares, “My mother always nurtured the kind of bond between us where she provided me a platform to say anything and everything which made me strong and courageous in the long run. In fact, I went up to my mom the day I first tasted alcohol and told her about it. She listened to me patiently and very calmly told me that she is not going to ask me to do or not to do something, that I’d have to take my own calls in life and decide if they are coherent with the values that she has taught me.”
She adds, “That’s what I believe in, while you can tell your children the difference between right and wrong, you should leave the decision to them, which is the only way for them to develop individuality. While I might be the one who has given birth to her, she is a separate individual with her own life and her own karma and I will always respect that space.”
With a daughter who is just eight months old, while you don’t expect a lot of stories pertaining to emotional connection yet, Puneet has something very important to share with every new mother. “Even a month-old baby is very receptive to vibes and we should be very careful about the kind of energy that we are creating around them,” she says.
She further explains, “Before giving birth, I met a lot of mothers who constantly cribbed and complained about their children being difficult. I also noticed how that complaining got manifested into the child’s behavior. I took that very seriously and made a promise to myself that I will never crib or complain about my daughter. My daughter will complete 9 months in another 20 days and till now, the journey has been nothing but absolutely beautiful. There wasn’t a single night when I was sleep deprived or when my daughter had a hard time because that’s the kind of vibe that I gave to her. My daughter is the best thing in my life, she eats her food properly, she sleeps on time, she is not cranky at all. ”
As for one family ritual that she wants to pass on to her daughter, Puneet shares, “My mom, my grandmom and me, we have all been an active part of kirtans and I would love to pass on that love to my daughter as well.”
Ask her about that one moment that made her feel that the entire experience of motherhood is worth it and she readily says in a voice that doesn’t betray her contentment, “The moment I delivered a baby girl it was worth it.” She further adds, “I always wanted a daughter and thus the instant Ruheen was born everything literally fell in place for me. I couldn’t have asked for more.”