My Turbaned Head

Observing the Spinning Globe Through My Turbaned Head!

When I changed my telescope, I observed my surrounding through a new lens and saw different and magnificent stars. I began to realize the entire universe is breathtaking!

Stigma comes from deep-rooted, preconceived ideas. Sometimes, it can feel as though people choose to be stuck in a whirlpool of confined and limited thoughts. Stigma or phobia is a “self-censorship”  that blocks others experiences, leading to opinions being formed with a biased perspective. In my opinion, those are who are stuck in their ways would greatly benefit from developing an outlet that would provide an opportunity to open one’s mind and see the bigger picture. Those who are able to form modern perspectives with fresh comprehension truly recognize the joy of change and experience a better world. Living your life with stigmas towards others can hinder your growth as a human being while blocking your overall happiness and ability to form meaningful friendships.

A digital-painting of Gurdeep Pandher by Ashley Riot
A digital-painting of Gurdeep Pandher by Ashley Riot (2011)

In the western world, I have been stigmatized due to my turban. Based solely on my outward appearance, those around me treat me differently. My dance and art pieces were done in hopes of spreading happiness and harmony, but instead, I received racist comments targeting my turban. As a result, I made the decision to start wearing my turban again, to highlight “Turban Awareness”. In 2007, I had adopted a clean-shaven and short-hair style to fit in more with western style and culture. When I came to the realization of the mass amount of stereotypes/ hate/ xenophobia/ racism/ sectarianism present in our current society, I decided to resume wearing my turban to challenge that mentality. As opposed to expressing my discomfort in anger or rants, I  chose a coherent and thoughtful path, wearing my turban-draped fashion every day and broadcasting a powerful message to the world around me. To this day, I am still so happy to have made that decision. I am thankful for my close friends who continue to support me in my mission to bring an enlightened and progressive change in the world.

Disclosure ♥ :- The information provided on this page is not to inspire people to wear turbans. That is NOT my purpose. On this page, I am not interested in promoting my religion or beliefs. Your faith, your choices and your values are equally important and valid. I am a scientific and rational thinking human inspired by open-minds, equality and care for others. My page is used to promote and advocate for social change and acceptance of diverse values. By posting these photos, my main goal is to eliminate deep-rooted stigmas/ stereotypes that are present towards the customs of people from the other side of the globe. I hope that my experiences will support the formation of long-lasting and meaningful, cross-cultural connections. I am not interested in converting the reader’s religion. However, I am definitely interested in bringing awareness to the reader, and their view of people from cultures, communities or faiths that are distinct from their own. To further my main objective, I feel that the issues facing our world today would not be solved through everyone converting to Sikhism. Similarly, if the whole world starts to follow your religion, it would not solve all global issues. We will create a better world for everyone when we start to accept and respect each other’s faiths. I am working towards creating respect and acceptance for your faith and mine, your world and mine, your beliefs and mine. “Turban Awareness” is a special project to build bridges over the barriers that previously divided us. Love over fear. I believe that the root-cause of hateful actions is fear. I want to brighten fearful hearts with “outlook-shifting opportunities”. I hope to create love and respect for the humanity of others and to promote a welcoming-world for of all kinds of appearances and styles. The goal of the information on this page is to develop a safe and companionable coexistence, that I think all humans deserve!

I think it would be beneficial for everyone to move past our ‘closed’ outlooks and view the world with greater depth and a wider lens! Even ‘huge-huge’ buildings appear like children’s ‘tiny-tiny’ homes when we look at them from the window of a flight.

⇒ Dan Curtis | Mayor of Whitehorse

The Mayor of the City of Whitehorse, Yukon Mr. Dan Curtis made history in early 2017 by becoming the first Canadian Mayor to learn the art of wearing a Sikh turban. After I gave him the Sikh turban and taught him a Bhangra lesson, he wore it on his head with pride and danced Punjabi Bhangra with myself. Then, with the turban on his head, the mayor declared the City of Whitehorse to be a diversity-friendly city. The video of this fun-filled adventure was published by BBC News, CBC National, USA Today, and travelled around the whole world. Please click here to read the full article on a remarkable story of change with this wonderful human which social media now ‘cutely’ calls “The Mayor of Canada”!Mayor of Whitehorse, Mr. Dan Curtis Mayor of Whitehorse, Mr. Dan Curtis became famous in a turban.

⇒ Melanie Hackett | Geologist

When Melanie wore a turban for the first time, she was thrilled. Instantly, she forwarded the photo to her mom in Burnaby, BC, who  was equally excited. Melanie continued to wear the turban for the entire day. She is passionate about dancing and started practicing Irish dance when she was 12 years old. Growing up as a competitive athlete and competing in the World Championships of Irish Dancing led her to be inspired body movement and complete a B.Sc. in Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology at Simon Fraser University. Furthering this, Melanie also accomplished a degree in Geology from the same University. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the fiddle and flute. She also an experienced traveller who participates in and enjoys many outdoor sports. She has spent several months cycling through volcanoes in  Hawaii, hiking and rock climbing through Utah’s canyons, and has even kayaked beside icebergs in Alaska. On top of that, Melanie has biked the entire Dempster Highway in the Yukon while recording great bear stories during her adventure. In addition to these endeavours, Melanie made time to learn the art of Bhangra dancing and participated in a Bhangra-Irish dance combo video with myself. Check out the video here!

A somewhat cultural exchange … “You wear my cap and I will wear your turban” – Geologist and Irish Dancer Melanie Hackett wearing her turban look!

⇒ Jacob Zimmer | Artistic Director- Nakai Theatre

Jacob Zimmer is a theatre creator, process designer, facilitator and dramaturge. Born in Cape Breton and growing up in Halifax, Jacob has 15 years experience in producing theatre productions and facilitating conferences across Canada.

⇒ Avid Traveler | Lili in Turban

Lili in Turban
Lili has journeyed to many destinations all across the world and still continues to pursue her passion for travelling. She is pictured here wearing a red, Sikh turban


It is my hope that people will be accepting and educate themselves and, in the future, acts of hate will no longer burden those who choose to wear headdresses or other prefered attire: –

Tweet from Daily Hive reporter, Simran Roohi.

Skin is the thinnest layer on the human body. It does not take a needle even a second to go through it. But it is the reason behind huge divisions. Under the skin, we have same emotions, hopes, fears and dreams.
Skin is the thinnest layer on the human body. Faster than a second, a thin needle can pierce through our entire layer of skin. However, it is the reason behind huge divisions. Underneath the skin, we are the same, we all have emotions, hopes, fears and dreams.