“Oh topi bhaavey sone di lai la… pagg da muqabla ni koi.. (Even if you wear a cap made in gold, it is nowhere close to a turban)..’, writes Juhjar Singh Golian, in the Punjabi song ‘Pagg Da Muqabla’.
In the times when tying dastaar (turban) – a headgear that holds great relevance in Sikhism and symbolizes honor, respect and dignity – is slowly eroding even among Punjabis, some government school students from Punjab, while reigniting that Punjabiyat, have shown the way – in their own style.
On Thursday, the Punjab education department declared the results for the State Level Dastarbandi Muqabla (Turban tying competition) that was held for government school students as part of the events dedicated to the ongoing celebrations for the 400th birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur. And the students from as young as class 4 to those from class 11, won at the state level, with their turban tying skills impressing the judges on several parameters. From right technique to tie the turban, neatness in the pleats to overall look- they were judged on basis of several counts and marked out of 100.
And thanks to the pandemic that forced the education department to go online with every aspect this year, it was for the first time that it conducted dastarbandi competition online too. Teachers of the students who won the contest at block and district level, had to click five photos of their students in turban (from all angles such as front, back, sides etc) and shoot a video (of student tying turban themselves) and upload it on YouTube. Then all details of the student with YouTube video link and photos had to be submitted via Google Forms to the education department.
Some points on the basis of which students were judged include: Pagg da style (turban style), larhaan di ginti (number of pleats), siir dhakkan atey larh lagaun vich safaai (efficiency in covering head and neatness in tying pleats), pagg di shape atey mooh de akaar naal milaan (matching shape of the turban with face) and samuccha parbhaav (overall impact and appearance).
As per the state level results declared Thursday, Rajveer Singh from class-5, from Government elementary school, village Nandpur of Tarn Taran, got first rank securing 89 out of 100 in class 1-5 category.
Gurpartap Singh of class 8, Government senior secondary school, village Bhappal of Patiala got first rank in class 6-8 category with 86 out of 100 marks.
Anmolpreet Singh of class-11, from Government senior secondary school of village Dhupsari in Gurdaspur won first rank in class 9 to 12 category securing 80 out of 100 marks.
Also, in the category for children with special needs (CWSN), Pardeep Singh from Government senior secondary school, village Bhullerheri of Sangrur, won first rank securing in CWSN category.
Speaking to The Indian Express, the guide teachers of the winning students who helped them in practising for the contest and uploading their entries online, said that children showed great enthusiasm.
Kuldeep Singh, guide teacher for Gurpartap Singh from Bhappal of Patiala, said, “My student ties dastar beautifully with his own hands, at this young age. I only corrected him at some points where he went wrong or when I could see his head was visible. He first won at district level and then at state level. Students were judged on basis of how perfect their turban looked from left, right, front and back side, how neat they tied the pleats etc.”
Satinder Kaur Kahlon, vice-principal, GSSS Dhupsari of Gurdaspur, said, “Our student Anmolpreet from class 11 was helped by his guide teacher Jatinder Singh in learning the right technique to tie the turban. We uploaded all photos and videos online while tying the turban.”
Kuljit Kaur, guide teacher for Rajveer Singh from class-5, winner in class 1 to 5 category, said that her student practised and learnt to tie turban within days. “He practised rigorously for 10 days and adopts unique Gurmukhi style of tying dastar. We are very proud of how he ties the turban at this young age..”
Hearing and speech impaired child, Pardeep Singh (8) from class-4, is the youngest winner in the contest with first rank in CWSN category. His teacher Rajni said, “Tying a turban is not an easy job. My student is a special child with hearing and speech disability. Still he learnt to tie turban within ten days, and that too with near perfection..”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines