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Chabeel Day: Sikhs mark Guru Arjan Dev’s 410th martyrdom day by serving sweet drinks

This summer, when people will be feeling a little hot and tired, Sikhs will be there to spread positive energy

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Chabeel Day
Chabeel Day is celebrated by serving cool, sweet drinks Image source: napecjalandhar.blogspot.com
  • Chabeel’ is a Punjabi word referring to a sweet, cool, and a non-alcoholic drink
  • Chabeel day is celebrated to remember the martyrdom of the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjun Dev Ji
  • This summer, when people will be feeling a little hot and tired, Sikhs will be there to spread positive energy

For hundreds of years, Sikhs in India have offered chabeel to the general public on hot days, between the months of May and June.

The first ever Chabeel Day is going to be celebrated on June 18th.Chabeel Day is an adaptation of last year’s ‘Chabeel Week’ held by Sikhs across the world. Chabeel’ is a Punjabi word referring to a sweet, cool, and a non-alcoholic drink. This refreshing drink is served to the public to pass on the message that one should be eternally optimistic.

The poster. Image Source:Twitter

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Chabeel day is celebrated to remember the martyrdom of the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjun Dev Ji. Guru Arjan Dev Ji, became the first Sikh martyr in 1606 after he refused to alter the Sikh scriptures as ordered by the tyrannical Mughal Emperor Jahangir, in an effort to curtail the Guru’s growing influence in India. When Guru Arjan Dev Ji refused, he was tortured by being made to sit on a red hot plate, whilst hot sand was poured over him.

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Chabeel Day. Image source: educationnewsline.blogspot.com
Chabeel Day. Image source: educationnewsline.blogspot.com

He asked the Sikhs to accept God’s will as sweet instead remembering this event through mourning. Therefore, Sikhs changed negativity into positivity by turning an attack upon them into a chance to serve others. Sikhs honor the Guru’s burning by cooling everyone else. This is Chardi Kala.

Chardi Kala translates to ‘ever-rising spirits.’ It dictates that one should be eternally optimistic as a sign of their contentment with the will of God, even during the times of adversity.

This summer, when people will be feeling a little hot and tired, Sikhs will be there to spread positive energy.

-prepared by Ajay Krishna of NewsGram. Twitter: @ajkrish14

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    I really liked the motive of this day, ‘to be optimistic eternally.’ This is a very good initiative, and knowing that it is celebrated by Sikhs all over the world is even more delightful. I’d really like to have Chabeel one day or the other!

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Remove negativity and welcome positivity to your home with these simple Vastu tips

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Home related Vastu tips
Vastu tips for home. Pixabay

New Delhi, September 9, 2017: Comfort, warmth, beauty what could possibly be holier than home? Your home plays a role in your life, bigger than you think. It affects you in ways, and to an extent, you might have a hard time believing. Do we then not owe our homes, a favor of letting it keep its holiness intact? Of course we do, but the good news is, we do not need to work our heads off to give this little present to our homes, in fact, a little effort and a little knowledge is all it takes. And the best part about the deal is, in the process of helping your home, you help yourself, majorly.

Here are the few steps one can take, according to Vastu Shastra, to gift to their homes and ultimately themselves, positivity, serenity, and ‘good vibes only!’.

Vastu Tips For Home To Bring Positive Energy:

  • Mirrors in bedroom: If you have mirrors in the bedroom of your house, it’s high time you switch its place. If you have a wardrobe mirror or a dressing table, that you can probably not shift, make sure you cover it with a curtain or some other cloth while sleeping. Also, keep it at a maximum distance from the bed. Vastu says, It leads to bad health and dissonance in the family.
Vastu tips on mirror
Mirror should not be there in the bedroom:Vastu tips. Pixabay

Vastu tips for home

Lemon to the rescue: Lemon keeps evil away, therefore one must keep it in a glass of water and place the glass in one of the main areas of the home. Make sure the water is changed every week.

Vastu tips suggest lemon in water
Lemon in water: Vastu tips. Pixabay

Vastu tips for home

  • Lighten the rooms with lamps and Diyas: Darkness is widely believed to symbolize negativity. To shoo this negativity away, one must light lamps, diyas and incense everyday at home, in the morning and the evening.
lamps and diyas: Vastu tips
Lighten the room with lamps and diyas: Vastu tips. Pixabay

Vastu tips for home

  • Position of the kitchen: The kitchen, according to Vastu, must be placed in the south-east corner of the house. However, if it is impossible to place the kitchen in this direction, north-west corner is the second best option one can go for.
Vastu tips about position of kitchen
Position of the kitchen:Vastu tips. Pixabay

Vastu tips for home

  • Remove all medicines from the kitchen: Kitchen is the last place you should keep your medicines, in fact, not even that. You can remove the negativity from your kitchen simply by removing these medicines. The logic behind is that the kitchen represents health and happiness, medicines, on the other hand, represent the contrary.
Vastu suggests no medicine should be there in kitchen
Medicine in kitchen: Vastu tips. Pixabay

Vastu tips for home

  • Say YES! to meditation: if you really wish to clean your surroundings, start by cleaning your mind. Say hello to positive thoughts to befriend positive vibes. Wondering how you can shake hands with positive thoughts, and what would the experience be like? meditation awaits you!
Meditation is good, Vastu tips
Meditation: Vastu tips. Pixabay

Vastu tips for home

  • Swastik: The holy symbol of Swastik is auspicious to use in the house. The symbol of Swastik depicts wealth and prosperity. Drawing symbols of Swastik and OM at the entry of your house, prevents the evil from stepping in.
Vastu tips related to Swastik
Swastik: Vastu tips. Wikimedia

Vastu tips for home

  • Welcome Wind Chimes in your house: The music that the tinkling of these bells produce, breaks patterns of the negative energy, letting positive energy to pervade instead.
Vastu tips suggest welcome wind chimes
Wind chimes: Vastu tips. Pixabay

Vastu tips for home

  • Salt absorbs Negative energy: A healer that it is often called, it does its job well. When negativity breathes into life, it works as a superhero by resisting the negative force, making positivity win the battle.

Also read: Correct Mirror Positioning Brings Happiness in Life- Here are Some Tips for doing it Rightly

Salt absorbs negative energy: Vastu tips
Salt: Vastu tips. Pixabay

Vastu tips for home

  • Holy water: You can keep the holy water, Ganga jal, in the dark, rarely used corners of your house, in order to keep the positivity flowing in. Mere presence of the holy water, according to Vastu, works wonders.
Holy water or Ganga jail: Vastu tips
Holy water: Vastu tips. Pixabay

Don’t Miss: Vastu Shatra, why it is regarded as a “science of architecture”.

-prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha

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Threatened, Thrashed And Raped : Afghanistan’s Invisible Taliban Child Brides and Widows are Trapped in Sex Slavery

Child and forced marriage are outlawed but remain common in Afghanistan, particularly among poor families eager for dowries

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Taliban
Child and forced marriages are a common practice among the Islamist Taliban. VOA
  • Child and forced marriage remain a common practice in Afghanistan, particularly among poor families in lure of dowries.
  • Young child brides of Islamist Taliban are denied educated and are often treated as sex slaves
  • After the death of their militant husbands, Taliban widows are shunned by their family and society alike and remain beyond the reach of government aids

London, August 24, 2017: Fatima’s Taliban husband was so controlling that he refused to allow her to bathe and threatened to burn her face if she dared wear makeup, suspicious that his 12-year-old Afghan wife was trying to make herself attractive to other men.

He would not let her step outside their home in Afghanistan’s western Farah Province, even when she fell sick, and beat her for burning her hand baking bread, complaining that her mother had taught her nothing to justify the dowry he paid.

“My father sold me to a man at a time when I didn’t know anything about the responsibilities of marriage,” she told Reuters in a phone interview from the capital, Kabul, where she and her young daughter are hiding.

“He became my lawful husband and began to rape me and beat me every single day for not consenting [to sex],” said the 18-year-old, who would not give her full name.

Child and forced marriage are outlawed but remain common in Afghanistan, particularly among poor families eager for dowries.

Half of all girls are married by the age of 15.

ALSO READ: Ghana Chooses Girls Over Brides, Launches ‘End Child Marriage’ Campaign

Among the most invisible victims are the wives of Islamist Taliban hardliners who, when in power, barred women from education and most work and ordered them to wear burqas outside the home, before being overthrown in 2001 by U.S.-led forces.

“Being family members of the most dangerous and ruthless fighters who have plenty of enemies among the people makes it difficult for these women,” said Shukria Barakzai, a parliamentarian and women’s rights campaigner. “They are treated as sex slaves and left completely helpless.”

Taliban child brides
Taliban women are denied access to education or work and are ordered to wear burqas and stay inside houses. VOA

Agonized, emboldened

When their militant husbands die, life often gets worse for young Taliban brides. Their families are too scared to take them in, society treats them as pariahs, and they risk further violent abuse as unprotected single women.

About a year into their marriage, Fatima’s 25-year-old husband — she calls him a “veteran criminal” with stockpiles of ammunition in their home — blew up a police officer and was jailed for 18 years.

He was released in late 2016, after serving just four years — a common phenomenon in Afghanistan, where the Taliban often hold influence over the government.

But he never came home.

His brothers told Fatima they believed he had sacrificed himself in a suicide attack and become a martyr.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, estimates that several hundred women become Taliban widows each year.

“My brother-in-law was planning to force me to marry him and sell my four-year-old daughter to a Taliban commander,” she said, referring to the dowry that would be paid for her child.

“This evil plan agonized me and at the same time emboldened me to run away, regardless of the consequences.”

Under the pretext of attending a village wedding with her mother-in-law, Fatima ran away with her child.

Her father would not take her in, but her cousins helped her get to Kabul.

“Every one of my in-laws is a Taliban member and they vowed to slay my whole family to bring justice,” she said.

To the Taliban, justice means killing Fatima and her family for the shame she brought by running away from home.

Taliban widows and child brides
Tliban widows continue to remain outside the reach of government and rights groups to seek support. VOA

Jihadis in training

Zari, another Taliban widow, who was forcibly married at the age of 14, was not so lucky.

Three years after her husband died in a suicide attack, she remains trapped in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, tormented by his cousins who rape her repeatedly and are raising her sons, aged nine and 11, to become jihadis.

The men, who are members of the Taliban, come to the house where she lives with her elderly mother-in-law a couple of times a week to rape her, threatening to kill her if she tells anyone.

“I urge the government to rescue me and my sons as their future is in grave danger,” the 26-year-old, who declined to give her real name, said in a phone interview.

“They plan to send both of my sons to Pakistan to participate in jihad. … They take my elder son for religious indoctrination and training to become a militant like his father.”

Neither the government nor rights groups can access Taliban widows living with their in-laws in remote, rebel-controlled territory. Conflict makes it impossible for them to provide for themselves, forcing them to live with their in-laws.

Neither boy goes to school because Zari cannot afford books or uniforms with the money she earns weaving or from her cows.

“I want to escape with my sons, but my family is not ready to accept me and jeopardize themselves,” she said, adding that her family did not know they were marrying her into the Taliban.

ALSO READ: Taliban Terrorist Group behead 30-year-old Afghan Woman for Divorcing Husband and living with another Man

Afghanistan has about 5 million widows, said a spokeswoman for the women’s affairs ministry, Kobra Rezai. It can only afford to provide about 100,000 of them with about $100 a month in financial support and skills training, she said.

None are Taliban widows.

The government does not want to be seen to be supporting them, Rezai said, a position condemned by Barakzai, the parliamentarian.

“Circumstances push [Taliban widows] into a precarious position and compel them to continue their lives as sex slaves in the hands of Taliban,” she said. “Even their children have no way out of this vicious trap.” (VOA)

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Seven Decades after Partition: Sikhs in Pakistan Struggle amid Bombings and Violence

Sikhs in Pakistan have been looking to leave Pakistan as their homeland has begun to turn toward radical Islam

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Sikhs in pakistan
Types of 51st Sikhs (Frontier Force), now 3 Frontier Force, Pakistan Army. ca. 1905. Wikimedia Commons
  • In today’s period, Sikhs in Pakistan are among the smallest minorities
  • Pakistan today uses blasphemy as a weapon against minorities and fellow Muslims alike, which is a crime that carries an involuntary death penalty
  • Mr. Singh heads a council representing the Sikhs in Pakistan

Aug 15, 2017: At the age of 11, Radesh Singh’s grandfather left his village in India’s Punjab province to move to Peshawar, which is bordered by Afghanistan in the far northwest of the country.

Pakistan wasn’t even a glint in the eye of its founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah in the year 1901 when the British ruled the Indian subcontinent and Peshawar held the promise of work and adventure.

It has been 70 years since the partition of India, which divided the subcontinent into majority Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan and led to one of the largest migrations in modern history.

Singh’s family have been waging a secessionist uprising in India ever since, demanding unmitigated sovereignty for India’s Punjab state where they command. Singh’s family is neither Hindu nor Muslim but Sikh, a religious minority in both countries. Feeling increasingly less at home on either side of the border, they have been victims of local Taliban violence in the recent years in Muslim Pakistan.

Singh’s grandfather would never return to his village, not even in 1947. Singh stated that poverty kept his grandfather in Peshawar, which was controlled by fiercely independent ethnic Pashtun tribesmen. He said, “It’s not easy to start over at zero when you have very little,” mentioned BBG Direct.

ALSO READ: 10,000 members of Sikh community in Pakistan lack Education and Health: Sikh Leader 

According to Singh, the enmity in the immediate aftermath of 1947 was slightly lower in the northwest. It was followed by decades of peace. The decision to stay in Pakistan appeared like a reliable option at the time.

The Sikhs had lived harmoniously for centuries alongside their Pashtun Muslim countrymen. Singh explains, Sikhs had a glorious history in the northwest. In the 18th century, they oversaw a dynasty headed by a Sikh ruler Ranjit Singh, whose capital was Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore. He rebuilt Peshawar’s infamous Bala Hisar Fort, an imposing walled fortress that some historians assume is as old as the city itself.

In today’s period, easily identifiable because of the colorful turbans and the surname Singh, Sikhs in Pakistan are among the smallest minorities. As indicated by the CIA Factbook, 3.6 percent of Pakistan’s 180 million people are non-Muslims which include Sikhs, Christians, and Hindus.

Singh asserted until 1984 Pakistan’s Hindus and Sikhs lived unitedly in northwest Pakistan. Their children married and worshipped together. But after the tragic assassination of India’s Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards, the entire scene changed consequently.

“They (Hindus) cut all relations with us. They said Pakistani Sikhs are like all Sikhs everywhere. No difference. They said, ‘From now on, we will be separate from you”, Singh recalled.

Today Sikhs in Pakistan are contending with the government for possession of dozens of Sikh temples (Gurdwaras); however, they have succeeded to restore some of the buildings. The Pakistan government took over the buildings after 1947 and allowed the squatters to remain.

Once a vibrant Gurdwara attended by hundreds of Sikhs, it no longer resembled a house of worship but rather a sweeping courtyard. However, it was until now that two families called it the home, said Singh.

Singh who heads a council representing the Sikhs in Pakistan, said young Sikhs have been looking to leave as the homeland has begun to turn toward radical Islam.

“They want to go to another country, not to India or Pakistan. But every country eyes them with suspicion.,” he said.

He adds, “Even Indians see his Pakistani passport and question his intentions, suggesting he wants to agitate for Sikh secessionism, the battle that resulted in Indira Gandhi’s death and a dream still held by many Sikhs on both sides of the border.”

According to Singh, Pakistan’s slide into intolerance began when Pakistan’s military dictator Zia-ul Haq set the country on the course of Islamic radicalization in the late 1970s with the former Soviet Union’s invasion of neighboring Afghanistan. Jihad became a rallying cry to defeat the communists in Afghanistan.

Extremism aggravated after the 2001 intrusion of Afghanistan by a U.S.-led coalition, he proclaimed.

The tribal areas were steadily caught by Taliban and in 2013 several Sikhs were killed, their limbs cut. Singh said the brutality of the killings and the threats sent thousands abandoning Pakistan.

Pakistan today uses blasphemy as a weapon against minorities and fellow Muslims alike, which is a crime that carries an involuntary death penalty.

“That is why we have a fear in our hearts, that this law can be used against us,” he told.

“In the last nearly 40 years we have been facing the boom, boom (mimicking the sound of explosions) in every city of Pakistan,” said Singh. “In a long time we have not heard any sweet sounds in our Peshawar, but still we love our city.”


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