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A dastar is a mandatory headgear for Sikhs. Dastar is closely associated with Sikhism and is an important part of the Sikh culture. Wearing a turban is mandatory for all Amritdhari (baptized) Sikhs (also known as Khalsa).
Among the Sikhs, the turban is an article of faith that represents honor, self-respect, courage, spirituality, and piety. The Khalsa Sikhs, who adorn the Five Ks, wear the turban partly to cover their long, uncut hair (kesh). The turban is mostly identified with the Sikh males, although some Sikh women also wear turban. The Khalsa Sikhs regard the turban as an important part of the unique Sikh identity. They are easily recognizable by their distinctive turbans. Some Sahajdhari Sikhs do not wear turbans. It is not uncommon to see Hindu males from Punjab wearing turbans signifying their close relationship with Sikhism.
The turban has been an important part of the Sikh culture since the time of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. At Guru Ram Das Jyoti jyot, his elder son Pirthi Chand wore a special turban, which is usually worn by an elder son when his father passes away. At that time Guru Arjan Dev was honored with the turban of Guruship:
Marne di pag Pirthiye badhi. Guriyaee pag Arjan Ladhi
Guru Angad Dev honored Guru Amar Das with a Siropa (turban) when he was made the Guru. Guru Gobind Singh, the last human Sikh Guru, wrote:
Kangha dono vakt kar, paag chune kar bandhai. ("Comb your hair twice a day and tie your turban carefully, turn by turn.")
Bhai Rattan Singh Bhangu, one of the earliest Sikh historians, wrote in Sri Gur Panth Parkash:
Doi vele utth bandhyo dastare, pahar aatth rakhyo shastar sambhare
Kesan ki kijo pritpal, nah(i) ustran se katyo vaal
The turban is a symbol of spirituality and holiness in Sikhism.
Honor and self-respect
The turban is also a symbol of honor and self-respect. In the Punjabi culture, those who have selflessly served the community are traditionally honoured with turbans.
Rasam Pagri ("turban ceremony") is a ceremony in North India. Rasam Pagri takes place, when a man passes away and his oldest son takes over the family responsibilities by tying the turban in front of a large gathering. It signifies that now he has shouldered the responsibility of his father and he is the head of the family.
Piety and moral values
The turban also signifies piety and purity of mind. In the Punjabi society, the Khalsa Sikhs are considered as protectors of the weak, even among the non-Sikhs. In the older times, the Khalsa warriors moved from village to village at night, during the battles. When they needed a place to hide from the enemy, the womenfolk, who had a very high degree of trust in them used to let them inside their houses. It was a common saying in Punjab: Aye nihang, booha khol de nishang ("The nihangs are at the door. Dear woman! go ahead open the door without any fear whatsoever.")
The Sikh warriors (Khalsa) wear turban, partly to cover their long hair, which is never cut, as per the wish of their last human Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. There are many references in the Sikh history that describe how Guru Gobind Singh personally tied beautiful dumalas (turbans) on the heads of both his elder sons Ajit Singh and Jujhar Singh, and how he personally gave them arms, decorated them like bridegrooms, and sent them to the battlefield at Chamkaur Sahib where they both died as martyrs. A saffron-colored turban is especially identified with courage, sacrifice and martyrdom.
Friendship and relationship
Pag Vatauni ("exchange of turban") is a Punjabi custom, in which the people exchange turbans with their closest friends. Once they exchange turbans they become friends for life and forge a permanent relationship. They take a solemn pledge to share their joys and sorrows under all circumstances. Exchanging turban is a glue that can bind two individuals or families together for generations.
Source : wikipedia
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