About 100 people sat cross-legged on the floor watching Sunday’s ceremony. Midday light poured in the picture windows, lighting up the all-white interior of the temple. Members sang to the tune of a harmonium, an instrument similar to an accordion played on the ground. The five boys prepared to live out their commitments.
Dastar bandi ceremonies are traditionally family events held for young men, and it is reassuring to see a Gurdwara host such an event on behalf of the community.
In a previous post on this blog about dastar bandi, we were presented with the questions about whether this ceremony would be appropriate for boys who do not keep their hair uncut, and about the lack of a similar ceremony for young women. These questions are still unresolved in my mind, however, with many Sikh women adopting turbans, perhaps the time has come to make this a tradition for both genders.
Read more and watch a video of the ceremony in Johnston, Iowa, at The Des Moines Register.