At 27, Manpreet Kaur married a man she met thru a Sikh temple in west London. It grew to become out to be a disaster, and inside 12 months, she turned into a returned home together with her mother and father. For ten years now she has been hoping to locate another husband but has reached a bitter conclusion: maximum Sikh guys don’t want to marry a divorcee. “If you divorce me, you’ll by no means marry once more,” my husband shouted at me before I left him. He said it to hurt me, but he knew it could grow to be true.
And so did I. Divorce is shameful inside the Sikh community, especially for girls. To start with I turned into ashamed myself. I felt dirty and used. How should I examine some other guy once I knew he could regard me as used goods? Other human beings strengthened this sense. My grandma in London informed me I should have labored at my marriage, despite the fact that she knew what I have been through. My dad’s circle of relatives in India said they were disappointed that I become domestic; I became a disgrace to them. My dad and mom supported me one hundred% however I felt I had allowed them to down. For five years I hardly ever went out, however, in 2013, I started to appearance again for a companion. When I requested human beings to appearance out for a suitable man for me, they would regularly be happy to help. They could begin asking questions – how antique I was, where I lived, where I worked – however as quickly as advised them I become divorced, their facial expression changed. It changed into a glance that said, “we cannot assist you.”
My marriage had been semi-arranged. People stored telling me I was aging and setting stress on me to marry, so I asked the temple in Southall to introduce me to someone. After my divorce, when I started out searching out a new husband, I went to the Hounslow temple to sign up in its matrimonial e-book. I knew the temple would handiest introduce me to contributors to my very own caste, even though caste isn’t always crucial to me. But what I didn’t recognize turned into that, because I was a divorcee, they could simplest introduce me to divorced guys. Once the volunteer saw my details at the form I had filled in, he said: “Here are men who’re divorced – they’re the simplest ones suitable for you.”
But in at the least two temples, I even have visible divorced men being brought to ladies who’ve never formerly married. So why can not divorced women be brought to men who have now not been married earlier than? It’s as even though men can by no means be responsible for a divorce, only women. I asked the man in the rate of the Hounslow temple’s matrimonial carrier, Mr. Grewal, to explain this to me and he informed me it wasn’t his choice – it was the guys seeking out a bride, and their parents, who stated they did not want a divorcee. “They are not going to simply accept divorce, because it shouldn’t manifest in the Sikh network, if we follow the faith,” he stated.
But simply Sikhs do get divorced every so often, similar to anyone else. The 2018 British Sikh Report says that 4% had been divorced and any other 1% have separated. Some of the individuals who admit to having been divorced may additionally have remarried. However I’m quite positive that a bigger range ticks the “unmarried” field even though they’re divorced – it is this type of taboo. As divorce becomes more commonplace, attitudes will change most in all likelihood alternate. Younger human beings have informed me it’s not this type of big trouble for them. But in my era, even human beings who’ve divorced sisters or daughters of their own family will nevertheless decide every other divorced woman out of doors their circle of relatives. These are the types of things human beings say to me: “You are too old to have youngsters, you’re going to locate it tough to fulfill a person now – you have left it too overdue. You have to just find everyone and marry them.” (Actually, at 38 I’m no longer too antique to have kids. It’s simply another prejudice.)
Sometimes I’m advised: “Min, it will be very hard to fulfill a person in the UK; you’re better off meeting a person in India.” When my mum asked considered one of her pal’s sons if he knew absolutely everyone for me, he advised us I become like a “scratched car.” I recognize I have made matters hard for myself with the aid of searching now not just for a Sikh however for a turbanned Sikh. There are extra than 22,000 Sikhs in Hounslow, so likely eleven,000 are guys. Only a small percentage of them are within the right age group, and unmarried. And of people who are, many do not wear a turban. The turban is vital to me, although. Faith is essential to me – the Sikh faith that asserts that women and men are identical and that we must not decide each other.
Do not want to fulfill guys who are merely out for amusing and don’t want to relax. But nor do I need to accomplish guys who wish to a housekeeper rather than a wife, and ask questions like, “can you cook?” the primary time we meet. I am an impartial individual who wants a companion for companionship. Last month I changed into added to a person through a pal. It was a familiar story. He said he wasn’t interested in a divorcee. He broke into his 40s. However, he expected girls to come with no history. After assembly approximately forty one-of-a-kind guys over the last ten years, it is simplest inside the previous few months that I have all started to reflect consideration on thinking about non-turbanned Sikhs, and even non-Sikhs. Some of my pals have already taken this step. By telling my story, I am hoping I will assist in removing the stigma of being a divorced lady. Maybe it’ll encourage extra women to talk up. And if ladies are trapped in an abusive marriage due to the taboo of divorce, I would urge them to go away. We are humans, and we need to be dealt with similarly.