During the Sweden Sikh Family Camp I met a young Swedish man and woman wearing a Dastaar and Kirpaan. I was able to talk to them and ask how they found Sikhi. Bhenji told me that she lived on one of Sweden’s islands. She had never seen or heard of a Sikh or the Sikh religion. Bhenji was an average young Swedish woman who cut her hair, drank alcohol, had boyfriends and liked clubbing. However, that soon changed.
One day Bhenji said an inner voice told her to stop cutting her Kes (hair). Bhenji began to keep her Kes and felt it was natural and the right thing. An inner voice and strong internal urge then made her give up eating meat and so she became a strict vegetarian. Then she had an inner urge to give up alcohol and she realized how meat and alcohol were bad for her body and mind. Following on from this her inner voice told her to tie up her hair on top of her head and wrap something around her head. She didn’t understand what a Dastaar (turban) was and used a scarf to wrap around her head. She felt at peace with herself looking this way. Without knowing, Bhenji had began to look like a Sikh and behave like a Sikh.
Bhenji then began to attend a yoga class. The yoga class was not taught by a Sikh and nor did he use Sikh Mantras. However, one day the yoga teacher decided to use some materials made by Bhai Harbhajan Singh Khalsa (Yogi Bhajan) for teaching yoga. The teacher decided to recite and chant Japji Sahib. Bhenji was a given a romanized version of Japji Sahib to read in the class during yoga. When Bhenji heard Japji Sahib for the first time, she connected straight away. She said, “It was as if I had gone back home and connected back to my roots.”
Since that day, Bhenji began to recite Japji Sahib every day from romanized text. She would get great peace and sanctification hearing Japji Sahib. Eventually, one day she came across a Sikh couple walking somewhere and as soon as she saw them she went up to them and hugged them. She said “When I saw Sikhs for the first time in my life, I thought – Wow! They are my people!” Bhenji immediately identified with the Sikhs and felt at home and at peace being around Sikhs.
The Sikhs invited bhenji to the Gurdwara Sahib just outside Stockholm city (where the camp was held) which was some distance from her home. Bhenji attended the Gurdwara and said, “I loved being around the Sikhs. It didn’t matter whether I could understand the language or know what was happening, I was just happy sitting amongst them and feeling like I had been reunited with my people. I feel that I must have been a Sikh in my past life and was reincarnated as a white Swedish lady.”