Sikh Saint-Soldiers And The Holy Duels Of Hola Mohalla

How and why I come up with some of these posts, I have no idea.

I start thinking about writing something. But what?  And then out of nowhere that something just finds me. Ha.

Just like with this post. I don’t think I have written that much about martial arts related to India and that’s just wrong. I will make up for it, I promise.

Let’s start with something that takes place every year in India.

When we say  ‘martial arts’, this is the real deal, meaning that it really refers to the art to carry out war and to come home alive from the battlefield.

The Punjabi term Hola Mohalla or just Hola is a Sikh Olympics event which starts on the first day of the lunar month of Chet in the Nanakshahi calendar. Most of the time it falls in March and at times it coincides with the Sikh New Year.

 It is a week-long event and attendees enjoy numerous martial arts, along  with music and poetry.

Hola ends with a long, military-style procession near Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib, one of the five seats of temporal authority of the Sikhs.

Maybe a word or two about the Sikhs.

Sikhism originated in the 15th century in the Punjabi region. A follower of this religion is considered a Sikh which means disciple or student of the Guru.

Most Sikh males’  family name is Singh (lion) and females’ is Kaur (princess).

Guru Gobind Singh introduced the “pure brotherhood”whereas Sikhs do not cut their hair which is covered with a turban. The belief is founded on the idea that humans are made in the image of God. To honor God would also mean to leave one’s hair intact as a symbol of honor and warriorhood. This acceptance of the natural form of our bodies allows believers to be at peace with themselves at all times and to get rid of vanity relating to outward appearance.

The Sikhs have been known to be truly fierce warriors and reportedly during the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh they were the only people to stand toe to toe with the forces of the British Empire.

Their fighting skills have been handed down through generations and I invite you to watch these impressive ’saint-soldiers’  during previous Hola Mohalla festivities.

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