What is the straight dope on turbans?

There are turban-versions of uniforms for the Mounties (impressive as all heck, I admit), and I believe for other Canadian police forces.

Illustrated Turban Primer

ETA: OTOH, I just found this response, written by an author with a very Arabic sounding name (suggesting that he might know whereof he speaks), blasting that primer for being ignorant or racist or something. See what you can make of it.

The reaction seems to be more about the context that the content. At a time when there were attacks against Muslims and Sikhs mistaken as Muslims, the article could be seen as saying “Get your turbans straight! The ones with THIS kind of turban are the bad guys!”

There is a difference between style of turbans, too. One can just be lifted off the head. The other needs to be wrapped.

Here is a video on how to wrap a turban:

I am from Punjab, and while I am not Sikh, many of my neighbors and friends were. In fact, if you say you are Punjabi, people will ask - Are you Sikh? (I am Hindu). But I've seen turbans being wrapped like this many times in my life. It is a routine. Not every morning, but maybe every three-four days.

The young men who don’t have enough hair wear a top knot. Like this:


I seem to recall that there is a colloquial term for a non-Sikh Panjabi, but I can’t remember it.

The turban is the headgear.

Does the entire crown have to be covered for a head wrap to become a turban? The Cherokee and the Chinese then qualify as turban-wearers.

Still, the Sikhs took it to the ultimate level of badassery

Most of the ones I’ve seen match the style of the one identified as Sikh men, so that’s probably the reason. Maybe next time I can work up the courage to ask the person directly.

My stepdad is a non-Sikh Panjabi (technically, Multani) and he didn’t know of one. Granted, he left during partition.

My wife mentioned seeing a fellow in a store wearing a turban - which in most areas of Canada, means Sikh - with the distinct Sikh style. Except, this guy had a box of Kleenex embedded inside the top of his turban, and he reached up, pulled out a Kleenex from the top of his head and blew his nose while waiting in line at the cash register.

Motor-Cycle Crash Helmets (Religious Exemption) Act 1976 passed by the British Parliament. Section 2A “exempts any follower of the Sikh religion while he is wearing a turban” from having to wear a crash helmet. :slight_smile:

You can’t be taking it on and off every time you hop on your bike.

I’m sure somebody will correct me if I’m wrong in any of this-

The dot is called a bindi. Bindis also come as stickers, and stick on platic jewels. Gwen Stefani used to wear that kind of bindi. The bindi used to be a marker of caste. These days, not so much. A bindi should not be confused with red dye painted high on a woman’s forehead, right below a part in her hair. That’s a sign the woman is married. My girlfriend showed me (and translated) a video of a woman singing in Hindi ‘I want you to fill the part in my hair’. The double meaning was obviously intentional. I leave you with a quote from the Simpsons

“What’s with that dot on your forehead?”
“Yeah, does it change color when you get mad?”
“You tell me.”

Come to think of it: Why can’t they manufacture a turban-shaped motorcycle helmet?

Money, dear boy. Meaning, is there enough of a market to do so? I guess in this day and age of Kickstarter maybe somebody could fund one.

Bindis are almost purely ornamental these days. Heck, little girls wear them. I have worn them, though I don’t these days, not even when I wear salwar kameez. I no longer own any!

The red in the part of the hair is called sindoor. Generally the man paints it in her hair with his thumb on their wedding day, and yes, it’s part of her honor as a married woman. But not all Hindu women do this, and even the ones that do, might not do it every day.

I think turbans may be a new hipster thing as well. I’ve seen a couple of twenty something white dudes in two different cities, wearing turbans with no apparent religious significance. Both of these times were in the last 2 months. Once at a café just outside of the Grand Canyon National Park, and the other was in Dallas, TX.

ETA: These were both the wrapped variation.

Good golly! It’s so rare to find a garment that screams, “Do not mess with this man!” The glowering eyes really add to the look.

tl;dr of the whole thread

TURBANS are worn by SIKHS to tie up their super long hair which they never cut. The men, that is.

The other things the Sikhs have to do/wear is the bracelet all the time, and carry a dagger around all the time

SIKHS are NOT MUSLIMS. Is a different religion. Also is not Hindu.

Close but Sikh wimmens don’t cut their hair either.

I wore a steel bracelet for a while as a teen even though I wasn’t Sikh. I was heavily involved in our local Gurudwara, though (Sikh temple) and was close friends with the priest’s children, so I was given one as a gift.

I loved going to Gurudwara; they have the best halvah in the entire world. I finally learned how to make it in my twenties. It is BAD for you, BAD, BAD, BAD. But oh so good.

I adore halvah. I must visit a Gurudwara sometime and ask for some.

Just go to their Sunday service; they give it to you after as Prasad (holy blessed food). They just put it in a napkin in your hands and you eat it with your fingers.