This from a Canadian formerly posted in India….
Trudeau’s Indian visit has far too many idiotic moments to catalog but let me focus on one very tiny aspect of it and give my perspective. The UK Daily Mail reported that the “outfit that seemed to cause most offense was this golden number he wore on Tuesday to meet Bollywood stars, with newspapers describing it as ‘tacky’”.
Trudeau is obviously pandering to the Sikh population in Canada who are almost exclusively from the state of Punjab. There are two things to note.
First, most of the intellectuals in India, like the physicist Satyendra Nath Bose and the polymath Rabindranath Tagore are from Bengal. In fact, latter has a unique accomplishment in that he wrote the national anthem for two countries, India and Bangladesh. One can read more about this aspect of Bengalis in this article.
That brings us to the Punjabis, who are from the state of Punjab. It was divided after 1947 between India and Pakistan. This pre-partition state was where Sikhism emanated from. In fact, Guru Nanak was born in and died in present day Punjab in Pakistan even though the faith’s holiest place, the Golden Temple, is in Amritsar, India. Punjab was and is central to Pakistan, and in fact the original capital of Pakistan was Lahore which is in Pakistani Punjab. Why is all this important? Take a look at this map of present day Pakistani Punjab.
When the Muslim invasions came from the West they didn’t hit civilization till they got to Punjab after going through the current Tribal Areas of Pakistan, a “shithole” to borrow a word from Trump. Punjabis were the first meaningful contact with these invaders and this imbued in them the diplomatic and administrative skills necessary to interact with them.
The Sikhs have always been diplomatically skilled in ascertaining key players in political power which was exemplified by their aligning with the British in the Indian Rebellion of 1857. The alignment of establishment Sikhs can also be seen in the action of the priests of the Golden Temple who invited Colonel Reginald Edward Harry Dyer, the architect of Jallianwala Bagh massacre, to the Golden Temple and presented him with a turban and sword after the massacre.
How do these facts tie together? Punjabis, as well as the Sikhs, are not the smartest, but they are successful in the political and business world, which leads them to gravitate towards the center of power. They are also a tight knit community, which leads to them having political power that is disproportionate to their size. That is why you see so many of them represented in Canadian politics. Many of the immigrants, like the Sikhs, still view things the way thing were when they migrated with the same mores and fashion sense. Their homeland has moved on but they still have the same tacky fashion sense that was prevalent in India back then when it was fashionable to wear flashy clothing. In the above picture Shah Rukh Kan, the “King of Bollywood”, is wearing what is currently fashionable but Trudeau is wearing what was considered fashionable a long time ago, and his Sikh entourage still views that as the current day fashion. To get a perspective on how fashionable Sikhs dress today, do a search on images of Jagmeet Singh. You won’t see any flashy gold or silver outfits. Photos of him from his pre-marriage ceremony show him wearing a subdued gray-silver outfit, which keeps with the tradition of bright colors, but is severely toned down.
As for the Bhangra, I will grant that he has rhythm but his arms are too low. Lastly, why is it that we see Canadian PMs like Harper and Trudeau in mosques, temples and gurdwaras, but never in churches?