Punjabis love to wear their identity on sleeve!

July 7th, 2008 - 1:48 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Akshay Kumar
By Jaideep Sarin
Chandigarh, July 7 (IANS) The title of Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar’s upcoming film “Singh is King” sure underlines one trait of Punjabis - they love to flaunt their identity. From having names for restaurants like Punjabi By Nature to wearing T-shirts that proclaim “Pure Punjabi”, these men and women who trace their roots to the northern state of Punjab do it in many ways.

“Punjabis by nature are flamboyant people. If they wear their Punjabiat on their clothes, there is nothing odd about it,” says Citrus County farm house owner Harkirat Ahluwalia.

Be it in New Delhi’s Defence Colony or the shops inside the Haveli restaurant complex on the outskirts of Jalandhar city, there is enough of Punjabi slogans available on T-shirts and other accessories. These clothes are even exported.

The slogans are mostly in English and some in Punjabi. “Proud by birth, Sikh by choice,” is one that Punjabi Sikh youths love to wear.

Another one closer to the Sikh religion is, “Babbe di full kirpa” (Complete blessings from the Guru)!

For the daring ones, “Paaji no panga” (Brother no trouble) or “Sab changa hi changa” (Everything is good), “Gabru” (Smart youth) are also there.

“Singh is King”, “Sher-e-Punjab (Lion of Punjab), “Mitran di gaddi” (Vehicle of friends) and “Putt Jattan de” (sons of Jats - Punjab’s landed community among Sikhs) have been quite common on clothes and vehicles alike.

“I wore my ‘Sher-e-Punjab’ T-shirt frequently during my recent stay in the US,” said young Hoshiarpur-based author Khushwant Singh who has just finished writing his second book.

Satnam Singh, who sells clothes at his shop near Jalandhar city, said: “A lot of people from Punjab and non-resident Indians (NRIs) like to buy these T-shirts with Punjabi slogans. We have sold many of these.”

Many feel the title of the new film, “Singh is King”, will help in popularising Punjabi slogans even more.

“Punjabis are enterprising people. They have done well in so many fields from business to films. Scores of them are settled abroad. I am sure that people from other regions and communities would also not mind wearing Punjabi slogans,” says Houston, US, based Harman Johal.

(Jaideep Sarin can be contacted at jaideep.s@ians.in)

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