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Ravinder and Paramjit sit before the Guru Granth Sahib, the Holy Book, which embodies God. The text lays down moral and ethical rules for development of the soul, spiritual salvation, and unity with God. The language is Punjabi written in Gurmakhi.
Katrina Thomas's notes: Sikh culture is based on a distinctive religion, founded more than 500 years ago by a mystic in the Punjab, a region of the northwest Indian subcontinent. It is a monotheistic creed which bridges the gap between Hinduism and Islam. In the 19th century many Sikhs emigrated, specifically to California, looking for work in lumbering and railroad construction. Their temples, known as gurdwaras, are centers of religious, communal, and political activities. Many couples are matched. They have faith in the wisdom of their families, who match them, and tend to stay together because of the parental support they receive in times of marital trouble. I photograph first in Richmond Hill, Queens, NY, where many Sikhs reside, and later in Yuba City, CA, where there are three gurdwaras. The course of a wedding includes the arrival of the barat/the groom's party, the milni/the greeting of the two families, the anand karaj/the nuptial rite which is followed by lunch and dancing in the bride's home or rented hall, and the doli, being the sad departure of the bride, leaving her family for her husband's home.