Chuni- The honor of a Woman

When it comes down to the Chuni, it is no longer about equal rights but purpose. Sikh women aren’t given chuni’s to make them look different than their male counterparts or to take away their right to wear a turban. Chuni is an addition to the turban and the bana for women because of its purpose. The purpose is to protect the modesty of a woman that can’t be fully covered with the regular bana. To understand that properly we have to understand why, how and when Sikh women are supposed to wear the chuni.

The chuni covers us up in a way no other piece of clothing can and we have to respect that. As Sikhs we wear well-fitting clothes as they allow easier movement and don’t get caught in anything. The clothes also make highlight our bodies in ways that can be unappealing. In this day and age of Kaljug it does not take much for someone’s mind to drift in that direction. So even though we feel that we look fine and modest, doesn’t mean everyone views us in the same fashion. It is important to make sure that we never think bad thoughts, nor do we provoke anyone to think them. For that it is important to wear the chuni properly.

A chuni properly worn serves to cover anything that might be considered provoking aka your chest. The fold of chuni covers the curves of the body and brings the focus back on the face. Traditionally the chuni is worn so it is covering the head and the chest but the face is showing. It is actually very pretty and effective way to wear the chuni as it brings your audience aka the worlds focus to you, your face not you, your body. As a Sikh woman, we want to be treated equally, to get that treatment we have to keep the focus on our thoughts, our words and not our body.

We always want the focus on our ideals, so it is ideal never to go without the chuni. Chuni has the image of being cumbersome and getting in the way when working but that depends on how it is worn. You can wear chuni at all times and if you find it cumbersome, just pin it to your shirt, so it doesn’t drape down and you don’t constantly have to fix it. Over time it will become a habit to wear the chuni and you won’t even need to pin it back. The chuni can be worn all day at home and at work. It can be worn with almost any type of clothing that is not skimpy to give the clothing more grace. It not only gives the wearer an image of being graceful, it can also be fashion statement if you color coordinate it. There is nothing really stopping us from wearing a chuni at all times, expect the fact we aren’t use it and it seems hard.

The fact that wearing chuni is not our habit, sometimes weighs down the fact the chuni is important part of our bana and we go without it. When we go without the chuni, we must be extra careful with our clothing. That means we have to make sure the clothing we are wearing is in no way provoking and that our head is covered with a dastar. After getting dressed, if the first thoughts that come to the mind are I look pretty, sexy and etc, either pick up a chuni or go change. The image we should go for is presentable, so people focus on our thoughts, not our bodies. Chuni is the respect of a woman, never look down upon it.

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