American Turban

Emigration to apostasy

Photo still from Roots of Love (source: The Hindu)

Photo still from Roots of Love (2001) (source: The Hindu)

Harjant Gill, filmmaker behind the documentary Roots of Love, talks about the role that emigration has played in Sikh men proactively abandoning articles of faith — such as the turban and uncut hair — before leaving India:

Migration is a significant factor in the process of Sikh self-fashioning. Harjant notes, “…the idea of what it means to be a successful man in Punjab today frequently entails migrating abroad and becoming transnational/diasporic citizens. So many of these guys I spoke to are simply waiting for their turn to go abroad. And cutting their hair and giving up their turbans is part of that process of fitting into the transnational modes of masculinity.”

Roots of Love is to be screened at the 3rd i San Francisco South Asian International Film Festival on Sunday.

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