New Delhi, I answer. "Oh, so you're Indian. So you must be Hindu right?" Punjabi, Sikh, I answer. At this point I receive a puzzled look from most because a lot of people in America have no clue about the Punjabi culture, or Sikhism for that matter. I try my best to explain myself but it's usually too tough to get all that information in during a session of small talk. It bothers me that our culture is so easily misconstrued and our identities are constantly being thrown around in all different types of categories but our own. A few years ago, a painting that I created to represent the Punjabi/Sikh culture was featured by an account that revolves around raising awareness about our culture, our religion, and our people to the world through the power of social media. With over 76k followers on instagram, @Sikhexpo has created a platform like no other where people of our culture, and people who want to learn about it, can come together to gain knowledge through a variety of different art. Ever since then it has been an absolute privilege to be able to see other artists' work be featured on their account, to be able to lead others to their website/account so that they can gain more knowledge, and even learn more myself through their posts. Recently, my brother and I had the honor to work with them again by styling their new "PANJAB" hoodies. Being two Sikh American kids in this country who don't necessarily look it has been tougher than it may seem because through our family, we have received so much wisdom and knowledge about our culture and religion. We have grown up reciting prayers, enjoying our traditions, music, and food - but still get misjudged so easily. Regardless of that struggle, we are proud of our people and where we come from. We always talk about how we would never want things any other way, and I am so thrilled that we got to collaborate with Sikhexpo and commend them for what they stand for and the awareness that they are raising.
These hoodies are so comfy, versatile, and can be styled up or down. In the picture my brother is wearing it as it comes and I've cropped mine by tying it in the back to fit the look I was going for.
I also think they're a great way to raise awareness because many people will ask us what the word on the hoodie means, and it gives us a reason to elaborate more and help broaden the perspective of those that don't know. To purchase this piece among many other great styles visit: www.sikhexpo.com
Thank you for reading.