Sikh woman responds to attempted online bullying.

At Ohio State University, someone took a photo of this woman without her knowledge, and posted it online with the intention of making fun of her, mostly because she has a lot of facial hair and wears a turban in the sikh tradition. When the woman was informed of the photo and comment thread, she responded by simply explaining her faith, and why she chooses to look as she does.

“Hey, guys. This is Balpreet Kaur, the girl from the picture,” she wrote. “I’m not embarrassed or even humiliated by the attention [negative and positive] that this picture is getting, because it’s who I am.”

As a baptized Sikh woman, Kaur—who is from Ohio—said that she is forbidden from altering her body, as it is considered a sacred gift from God.

“The overarching principal is this body is a tool for service,” she explained. “We have to maintain and take care of it while cherishing its original form.” That means that going to the hospital and taking medicine is fine, because one should be healthy in order to be of service to others. But cutting one’s hair or removing one’s facial hair is forbidden, even if societal norms dictate otherwise.

“My hair doesn’t stop me from being normal or doing service so its not a hindrance,” she said in a later post. “I’ve been to the doctor regarding this and it’s just a side effect of my hormone levels during my teenage years. The hormones have returned to normal, but the hair is still there. That’s fine :slight_smile: I don’t regret anything, nor do I view it as an unfortunate thing.”

The photo is contained in the link.

I just thought this was very interesting. If only I could be that calm when my Catholic behaviors are criticized or made fun of.

Good for her! Societal standards of beauty shouldn’t override one’s religious beliefs. For all religions!!!

The person from Ohio State University who took the woman’s photo should be reported to the University’s Office of Human Resources that deals with discrimination of all kinds, including online bullying, so that an investigation can be pursued.

I don’t think I can agree with this - the person who took the photo and posted it with comments has come back and apologized not only to the young lady, but to all Sikhs. It sounds to me like her response taught a much needed, and well received, lesson. Why come back in an unnecessary and vengeful way? Forgiveness is everything and it sounds like this young lady has offered it to the offender.

You know, if there’s any group of people I do feel sorry for in the last decade, it has been the Sikhs. Ever since 2001, there have been some bizarre acts of unneighborliness ranging from something as minor as this photo to well… the unpleasantness i’m sure some of you read about a few months back.

And all because some folks can’t make out the difference in “headgear.”

Good for the young lady! Someone has to stand up and try and explain!

I hadn’t read the link and failed to realize the person had apologized. In that case, reporting the incident would not be necessary.

Wow, a lesson I need to follow. Kudos to her.

jesus g

Plus, its awesome of her to give everyone an example of forgiveness. Because none of us is open to Gods grace if we have a closed heart due to anger or hatred towards those who have wronged us.

Very brave lady and she’s sticking to her guns. Alot we can learn from her. :slight_smile:

Meanwhile, is there such thing as a “baptised” Sikh?


Yes, Sikhs have a baptismal ceremony called Amrit, in which special water is prepared by prayers before being sprinkled onto the person being baptised. After the ceremony, the person is a Khalsa (considered a reborn person and a new SIkh) and will be required to practice their faith fully including the 5 Ks (the iron bangle, uncut hair, wooden comb, the kirpan knife and the long undergarments).

Here’s a detailed link. It shares something of a similarity to Christian baptism.

Very interesting. Thanks.


Not a problem! :thumbsup:

I love the Sikh religion and people. I know quite a lot about Sikhism.

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