Tuesday, May 3, 2011

In a Land of Another

The history of Sikhs and Great Britain has a series of ups and downs.  At points, the great empire had extended its power so vastly across the globe that they even engulfed the Sikh Empire through deceptive means.  At other times, Great Britain has served as a shelter for Sikhs fleeing the tyranny of the Indian government.

To see that the weapons of Maharaja Ranjit Singh are behind British museum glass, so far from their origin, so far from their own nature is an illustration of the Sikhs themselves--so far from their beliefs, so far from their roots.  The bonds and broken ties of all things and beings to their homeland is highly significant to their definition and placement.

Seeing parts of Sikh heritage in a London museum were at once heart-wrenching precious moments.  The belongings of the Maharaja in the British Museum that we visited in the summer of 2010 seem to be silently protesting their bondage.