I went to TurbanUp event in Yonge-Dundas Square in downtown Toronto on Sunday and it was a really cool experience. We’ve actually had similar events in Prince George on Canada day, but this was just on a larger scale. The event was about educating the public about Sikhism and they had langar, gatka, kirtan, face painting, people drawing portraits, paintings and calligraphy in punjabi. There was probably just about every color of fabric that you could imagine, and volunteers were tying turbans on members of the general public. People had huge smiles on their faces as they saw what they looked like in the mirror and proudly walked away wearing a turban. It was a priceless experience for me as well because it’s the first time I’ve worn a keski. Being around so many other Kaurs and Singhs in my keski made me feel confident and united. I definitely learned a lot about turbans including different names like keski, dummala, paag, etc. and I saw many more ways of tying turbans than I ever knew existed!
I was a bit nervous about leaving the center to go to the Eaton Center mall. As comfortable as I was in that square, I was nervous to go beyond it into the world with my keski. I think it did make me feel somewhat shy, but it really helped that Toronto is so multicultural and diverse. This experience ultimately really made me really appreciate the courage it takes for Singhs or Kaurs to wear a turban each day. After all, when you are wearing a turban a big part of it is to stand out and be easily identifiable, to be accountable for your actions, and to be known as a Sikh rather than blending in with the crowd.
Here’s some pictures from the event. I would have taken more but my phone battery died pretty quickly.
This last one is me and my Massi Ji and cousins