Sohail Abid

Writer exploring tradition, art, and music of the people of Punjab

Punjabi women and religion

My mother doesn’t actively listen to music. She also doesn’t mind when it’s playing on TV or by one of us. She enjoys when a good tune is on but it’s more like passive listening. Agar TV pe chal raha hai tau good, otherwise current affairs is just fine.

But the only time she has ever asked us to switch back to a channel was when Abida’s “Array logo tumhara kya, main janun mera khuda jaane” was playing.

Yes, that’s one song she would want to be repeated and the one matter where she doesn’t want others to intervene: her religious practices, or their lack thereof in her case.

I keep hearing — from men, of course — that “Punjabi women are more religious and more superstitious.” I think that this might actually be the general sense of superiority our educated men have about being more rational than other. Because they are more intelligent and more rational, others are of course more superstitious.

I think Punjabi women are less bigoted when it comes to the religious beliefs and practices they care about.

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