Why I Love Punjabi People
Updated: Jan 9
Recently I have started to jog laps around the neighbourhood given that I have been warned by everyone that jogging in the scrub, where it is peaceful, is too dangerous. Crowds of people tend to congregate in the surrounds when I am jogging, in particular children. People will come out from behind their sizeable gates and stand there chuckling amongst themselves whilst staring at me in awe.
With every lap I make, another person has joined the crowds to stand and stare at me in amusement. Others will be peering down at me from their balconies and rooves pointing at the 'gori'. It isn’t everyday that they see a westerner, let alone one who is jogging laps of the neighbourhood.
However the children will actually join me, panting as they try to overtake their didi, which is the Punjabi word for sister and what they refer to me as. If I stop to do some exercises the children will all stop and join in, usually in hysterics as they compete against one another. Surprisingly they all speak relatively good English. After half an hour all the children are exhausted trying to keep up with me, though they don't want me to leave. So after my daily jogs I’d join them to play some games in the field.
By this point every household is usually standing out the front of their gates watching the gori play with their children. A term which I prefer not to use as it tends to be used in a derogatory way. Passersby find it amusing that I am playing with the children and stop to greet me. It's encounters like these that make my days interesting. Whilst there are some people who treat me with fear and disdain you can't beat the curiosity of a child.
Punjabi's are warm and inviting people, and I am always welcomed into their home for a cup of tea. Anytime that I am out walking down the street or jogging, there will be someone that recognises me and welcomes me inside for a cup of tea. Even when I am waiting outside for the courier to deliver my order, I am usually approached by someone who makes an attempt to speak to me and invite me over.
Children will always wave at me giggling amongst each other as they try to pluck up courage to come talk to me. Once I flash them a smile and wave back at them that tends to be enough for them to then come over and talk to me. Although there have been a few younger children who have screamed in fear at the sight of me as they’ve never seen a white person before and thought I must be an alien. You can’t beat the honesty of a child!
I also tend to receive numerous invitations to auspicious occasions such as birthdays or weddings. I don't always necessarily know the invitees, however this is just the generosity of the Punjabi nature. The other night was a friend's sister's birthday and her friends all wanted to meet me so she insisted that I attend. As I am her brother's best friend's wife they see me like a sister and therefore wanted to meet me. Everyone is either your brother or sister in Punjab and are treated just as so.
This is just what Punjabi's are like, everyone essentially is considered extended family and is treated as such.
It is this warm hearted nature of Punjabi people that have made me fall in love with them.
What is your take on the people of Punjab?
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