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“Religious oppression is the reason I travelled halfway around the world with my family. In Kabul there is no respect for Sikhs.”

“Religious oppression is the reason I travelled halfway around the world with my family. In Kabul there is no respect for Sikhs.”

“We are Sikhs and do not cut our hair. That is not allowed. How long my hair is now? Roughly this long, halfway to my thighs. It’s all inside my turban.

My sons’ hair may also not be cut. Thamanpreet, the eldest, has his hair in a bun, just like I do. Hasimran, the youngest, has his hair hanging loose, it’s already to his shoulders. He wears it in a tail.  Further, Sikhs do not eat meat, so also no chicken.

I fled Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, with my wife and two children, and since November 2015 we have been in the Netherlands. The Sikhs are a small minority in Afghanistan, which is predominantly muslim. Religious oppression is the reason I travelled halfway around the world with my family. In Kabul the Sikhs are not respected.

Thamanpreet and Hasimran go to school every day. They already speak a little Dutch. I bring them in the morning and collect them in the afternoon. In between, I try to pray every day for an hour and a half. The children enjoy going to school. It is good here, it is safe.

I would really like to stay in the Netherlands and build a new life here. But first I want a roof over our heads and food for my family. That is the most important.

In Kabul I had a textile shop. I loved my job as a salesman. Whether I would like to have a shop in the Netherlands, too? Oh yes, if that is possible, definitely!”

 

Papinder (31), Thamanpreet (8) en Hasimran  (4) Singh Gurwara

 

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