Join 3,424 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Interesting cartoons
February 19, 2006 9:52 AM   Subscribe

Vishavjit Singh is a cartoonist who focuses on cartoons describing the aspirations and frustrations of Sikhs. Sikhism, of course, is the world's 5th biggest religion, but somehow still seems to be unknown to the vast majority of the world. Amazingly enough, they are quite often mistaken for muslims (it's like mistaking a jew for a muslim) !!!
posted by lowgfr (34 comments total)

 
Sikhism preaches a message of devotion and remembrance of God at all times, truthful living, equality of mankind and denounces superstitions and blind rituals.

Priceless
posted by Mr_Zero at 10:31 AM on February 19, 2006


Balbir Singh seemed to be a really nice man. I live about a mile from the store he ran. I spoke with him on many occasions.
posted by Mr_Zero at 10:35 AM on February 19, 2006


Nice idea, but they are atrociously unfunny and really boring.
posted by Falconetti at 10:46 AM on February 19, 2006


Mr_Zero, you don't understand what "remembrance" (compare dhikr in Sufism) means in this context. As a practical matter, it is an attempt to keep one's humility and know one's place, to act towards what one knows is right and true (since Goodness and Truth are not merely descriptions of God, but in their fullest sense are supposed to be synonymous with God or ultimate reality.)

Of course, these kind of lofty ideals are very hard for us humans to live up to, and will get rhetoricized to mean just the opposite, but "remembrance" is an active, all-encompassing devotion to honesty and goodness and is indeed opposed to empty ritual. Ritual and dogma are only worthy insofar as they facilitate true remembrance.

I think this is comparable also to "you have forgotten your first love" in Christianity.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:47 AM on February 19, 2006


Amazingly enough, they are quite often mistaken for muslims

I think it might have something to do with the turbans.
posted by sour cream at 10:49 AM on February 19, 2006


Interesting. Just went on a ski trip with a FOB sikh.

Very interesting guy. Loved to talk politics and religion. Very well informed and a devoted capitalist. He's loved India since 1992, when the revolution happened.

Ragheads, one and all.

/j/k on that last bit...it's the Coulter virus.
posted by wah at 10:56 AM on February 19, 2006


I think it might have something to do with the turbans.

It has much more to do with all the undifferentiated expressions of hate spread around all the time--see Coulter's "ragheads" thing just last week, wildly cheered--and many others, and with our own ignorance. It's not them, but us. Sikhs were killed here after 9/11 because hateful idiots thought they were Muslims.
posted by amberglow at 11:01 AM on February 19, 2006


Are they still required to carry daggers?
posted by fixedgear at 11:07 AM on February 19, 2006


What do they have against rss?
posted by delmoi at 11:13 AM on February 19, 2006


These cartoons would benefit form being funny/well-written/subtle/well-drawn.
posted by Drexen at 11:15 AM on February 19, 2006


Amazingly enough, they are quite often mistaken for muslims

Unfortunately it doesn't amaze me at all. Most Americans (like most people in any country) are uncultured rubes.

Here's a useful spotter's guide for different kinds of turbans
posted by atrazine at 11:21 AM on February 19, 2006


Are they still required to carry daggers?

Sikhism mandates "the five Ks" which includes carrying a Kirpan. It's not -- or, at least, the ones that I have seen -- are not as much a dagger as a ceremonial dull butter knife.*

*IANASBMIASF (I am not a sikh but married into a sikh family.)
posted by docgonzo at 11:29 AM on February 19, 2006


stupid occidental mindset of the west. i can't STAND it when people mistake anyone who wears a turban, or even has brown skin for that matter, as a muslim. first off, Islam is a RELIGION. The people are ARAB, or middle eastern, or Black, hell I even know a WHITE muslim. none of them wear turbans (unless its a toolish fashion statement)!!! yet, a month after 9/11, my cousin (a catholic indian) gets knocked off her bike by a buncha ingnorant white kids. i wish i could say that things have settled down since then, but as you all know, they haven't. RAGE(sorry, none of this is directed at any of you).

and, Mr_Zero, what the hell is so wrong with rememberances of God while denouncing superstition? obviously christians didn't get it right! all the Sikh's i know are very laid back and even minded and nowhere NEAR fundamental. Learn about a religion before trouncing it just because it IS a religion.

ok, now that my ranting is over, i like the comics. i highly recccomend Badmash. It's all sortsa Desi goodness.
posted by Doorstop at 11:35 AM on February 19, 2006


It's like not differentiating between any other two cultural groups you're unfamiliar with, incosiderate.
posted by Matt Oneiros at 11:43 AM on February 19, 2006


Doorstop; I think what Mr_Zero is getting at is that rememberance of or belief in God is a superstition, yet those who practice this particular superstition often fail to acknowledge it, and even go so far as to denounce "other" superstitions, as seen here.
posted by odinsdream at 11:43 AM on February 19, 2006


Amazingly enough, they are quite often mistaken for muslims

Only by really, really stupid Americans.
posted by Artw at 11:45 AM on February 19, 2006


atrazine, thanks for the informative turban link. I like to learn something every day; now I can go back to bed.
posted by luftmensch at 11:52 AM on February 19, 2006


delmoi: the other RSS
posted by b1tr0t at 11:56 AM on February 19, 2006


any belief is a superstition, even the denial of God. I go by the Jay and Silent Bob Dogma quote... things go wrong when you take a good IDEA and start to make it a belief.
posted by Doorstop at 12:00 PM on February 19, 2006


Nature clearly doesn't abhor vacuums because it has created so many of them.
posted by srboisvert at 12:26 PM on February 19, 2006


any belief is a superstition, even the denial of God.

Even the statement you just made is a superstition by your standards, so I guess we can just ignore it.
posted by delmoi at 12:35 PM on February 19, 2006


delmoi, you must have worked really hard to come up with that didn't you. good for you. you get a cookie.


...its an idea, not a belief. get it straight.
posted by Doorstop at 12:51 PM on February 19, 2006


Sikhism, of course, is the world's 5th biggest religion

Not to nitpick, but I'm not convinced by this - it may be the seventh biggest religion (after Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Shinto).

To some extent it depends on how 'religion' is defined, as it's possible to be both a Buddhist and a Shintoist (like most Japanese), for instance.
posted by plep at 1:10 PM on February 19, 2006


... any belief is a superstition, even the denial of God.

You obviously have a problem with basic english, cognitive logic, or both, so I'm not going to even bother explaining where you went wrong.
posted by odinsdream at 1:21 PM on February 19, 2006


Doorstop writes "...its an idea, not a belief. get it straight."

That's just your beleif. I know different.

So there.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:48 PM on February 19, 2006


What do they have against rss?
Don't they know Web 2.0 is dead?

RSS is the Rashtriya Swayam-Sevak Sangh, which loosely translated means National Self-Helper Association (or thereabouts). It's the Hindu nationalist gang that go around blowing things up and killing people they think might not be Hindus.
posted by phliar at 2:06 PM on February 19, 2006


plep: To some extent it depends on how 'religion' is defined, as it's possible to be both a Buddhist and a Shintoist (like most Japanese), for instance.

Of course there are people who argue that Shintoism is not really a religion.
Someone (I forgot who) said that if religions were cars, then Shintoism is a wheel barrow. Spot on, if you ask me.
posted by sour cream at 2:14 PM on February 19, 2006


any belief is a superstition, even the denial of God.
I don't deny any gods, I lack a belief in them... therefore I lack superstitious beliefs as they pertain to religion.

Bald isn't a hair color, it's a lack of hair.
posted by grimcity at 3:08 PM on February 19, 2006


yeah, plep, you're right. Although Shintoism has so insinuated itself into Japanese culture, it's hardly a religion anymore. (Y'know....Shinto weddings, Buddhist funerals.) But there have to be more than 20 million Taoists, given the population of China, so I'd give it a 6. I kinda like the religion myself, at least compared with the other monotheistic religions. But I've been burnt by the guru thing, so I'm not gonna don a turban or stop going to GreatCuts now and then.
posted by kozad at 5:21 PM on February 19, 2006


You are correct odinsdream. That was my point.
posted by Mr_Zero at 7:21 PM on February 19, 2006


About turbans and the five K's etc. :-
Initiated adult Sikhs are known as Khalsa Sikhs. Not all Sikhs are Khalsa - some do choose not to go through the initiation.

About numbers :-
According to this Wikipedia article (so for what it's worth), the figures for religious belief or non-belief are :-

Christianity 2.1 billion
Islam 1.3 billion
Secular/Irreligious/Agnostic/Atheist 1.1 billion
Hinduism 900 million
Chinese folk religion 394 million
Buddhism 376 million (see also Buddhism by country)
Primal indigenous 300 million
African traditional and diasporic 100 million
Sikhism 23 million
Juche 19 million
Spiritism 15 million
Judaism 14 million
Mormonism 12 million
Bahá'í Faith 7 million
Jehovah's Witnesses 6.7 million
Jainism 4.2 million
Shinto 4 million (see below)
Cao Dai 4 million
Zoroastrianism 2.6 million
Tenrikyo 2 million
Neopaganism 1 million
Unitarian Universalism 800,000
Rastafari movement 600,000

... which puts Sikhism eighth among the world's religions, counting 'primal indigenous' and 'African traditional and diasporic' as single religions.
posted by plep at 3:23 AM on February 20, 2006


From Wikipedia's Juche (religion #10) entry:

According to North Korea's leader Kim Jong-il, the application of Juche to policy produces the following principles:
The people must have independence (Chajusong) in thought and politics...
The Juche outlook requires loyalty to the revolutionary party and revolutionary leader.


Nice.

/derail
posted by maryh at 5:58 AM on February 20, 2006


I like Sikhs. Met/know quite a few. They tend toward the ‘no shit’ end of the religious spectrum.
Bit too serious about some things though.
posted by Smedleyman at 7:19 AM on February 20, 2006


Their religion is off the radar screen for many Americans, even as the broad turbans that Sikh men use to wrap the hair they never cut become a more common sight here.

Translated in the post to:

unknown to the vast majority of the world.

I think that says something...
posted by ibanda at 8:51 AM on February 20, 2006


« Older Take One Museum...  |  The Memory of The Netherlands... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments