- Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections
- Home Made Visible collection
- Dhaliwal family videos : traditional Sikh marriage in India
Dhaliwal family videos : traditional Sikh marriage in India
Item consists of a Punjabi-, Jatt-, and Sikh-Canadian family's home movie featuring family members speaking to one another, driving through the countryside, and speaking one another at a wedding. Donor(s) and project contributed description follows: "Jagtar’s grandfather Sardar Bishon Singh left colonial India in 1902 and after enduring a two year journey via several steam ships from Calcutta, Hong Kong, The Philippines and Hawaii finally arrived on the shores of California in the Port of Stockton in 1904. Sardar Bishon Singh was instrumental in establishing the very first Sikh Gurdwara in North America in Stockton California. Following the devastating major San Francisco earthquake and then the resulting fires which completely destroyed San Francisco in 1906, Jagtar’s grandfather escaped to Vancouver British Columbia on a boxcar, marking the first of his family’s arrival in Canada. His grandfather was eventually able to sponsor his younger brothers son’s arrival to Canada in January of 1960, and Jagtar born in India in December of 1959, arrived to Canada at five years of age on December 18th, 1964. Jagtar returned to India for the first time since his childhood at 25 years old for a traditional Sikh marriage in January of 1985. In this clip, on February 5th, 1985 in Gurdwara Karamsar Rara Sahib or Gurdwara Rara Sahib is situated at village Rara Sahib near Ludhiana, Punjab, India, Jagtar and his soon to be wife Gurinder Kaur, receive a blessing from the Gurdwara Sant Ji elder prior to their wedding. The two elder gentlemen are Jagtar’s future father-in-law Sardar Mewa Singh Kular and father Sardar Hardev Singh Dhaliwal. Here his father is visible in a pale blue suit not far from Sant Ji. This home movie memorializes these two important figures in Jagtar’s life who have since passed, his father-in-law and his father. After his father’s passing, Jagtar says it was fate to see his father here and remember him as a young man. In the next scene, Jagtar is in his ancestral village in Toosey, Punjab, India dressed in his wedding attire. As they are leaving, elders and family women offer their blessings by giving him sweet treats. The car and the groom's family travel down to the Milni ceremony (meeting of the two families) for introduction between the two families. After both sides of the family arrive, the fathers meet and exchange garlands. The uncles at each level exchange an official introduction. Then people gather for tea and refreshments just before going to the Gurdwara, a place of worship. The groom’s side of the family pays respect to the Guru Granth Sahib, a living embodiment of the Sikh’s gurus."