Friday, 28 September 2012

Leicester Based, Harmeet Singh, interviewed by the Huffington Post UK

The LSA were approached by the Huffington Post UK and we facilitated the following article:-

Why Did This Sikh, Jew, Christian And Buddhist Become More Observant Than Their Parents?

I certainly don't come from the most religious family, we are traditional Punjabis, used to go to the Sikh temple on a Sunday, and we were taught to believe in God but not much beyond that.
There was a lack of the spiritual side. It seemed ritualist, what we were doing, and my parents and elders couldn't really explain why were doing what we were doing. I started to think, why am I doing this?
I was about 19 when I started asking deeper questions, looking back on it now, I was probably looking to make a change in my life, heading off for university on a very uncertain path.
There are a lot of pressures to do with the opposite sex, drinking culture. It was a way for me to control myself, in a way.
I started researching Sikhism on the internet, looking at the teachings and the history. I was amazed about how much I didn't know. So much was different to what I had been taught, it's like the teachings were Chinese whispers that had got distorted.
I used to spend my time watching TV or on the XBox, but now I'm reading, spending time with new people, playing classical Indian instruments. I have become so much more confident.
My parents came to this country for a better life, worked so hard to give us shelter and put food on the table. They don't use a computer, they can't research this themselves and they don't have time.
I think they were worried about me becoming religious, I don't eat meat, I have grown a beard and wear a turban.
They were worried about me fitting in, whether i'd be able to get a job - and it's understandable.
But as time has gone on, they have become less resistant to it. You do get extremists in any religion and I know they were worried about that. But I want to show them how balanced I am, in fact, it has made me more tolerant of all colours, types and faiths, as well as my own.


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