Meeting the Sikhs: Slang and Cultural Expressions

Approx. time Expression Explanation
0:50 Sikh Punjabi word for disciple or follower
1:33 inauguration special ceremony to mark the beginning of a system, policy, or person
1:36 devotees people who are committed (devoted) to a certain idea or belief
2:09 holy scripture sacred written teachings of a religion
3:30 congregation local membership of a religious group
4:38 tie a turban wrap a cloth turban on one’s head
5:30 white supremacist white person who believes his race is superior to all others
6:18 seva act of selfless service, that is, helping others without expecting payment in return
7:08 bhai sahib priest (in Punjabi, literally “brother-sir”)
8:20 premise underlying statement of policy or belief
9:27 qualms problems, doubts, issues
9:59 converts people who switch over to another way of believing
10:01 proselytizing recruiting people to come over to a different way of believing
10:13 Mogul Empire an Islamic empire ruling the areas that today include India, Iran, and Afghanistan between 1526 and 1857 (also Moghul or Mughal)
10:23 asylum shelter, protection
10:29 slaughtered violently killed many people
10:16 pondered thought about very deeply
10:53 beheaded killed by cutting off the head
11:12 Granth Sahib the collection of holy writings, hymns, and poetry by the ten Sikh gurus (also by Hindu and Muslim saints)
12:38 maligning criticizing, speaking poorly of someone or something
13:12 devoid absent, lacking
13:43 convocation gathering
13:59 langar feeding in communal kitchen
14:31 stomach is growling stomach making noises when hungry

Alan Headbloom

Alan advises Americans how to be global citizens and expats how to fit in to Michigan culture without annoying their native coworkers and clients. He also tweets and blogs at the intersection of language and culture. Over decades, he's traveled, studied, or lived on six continents, putting strange foods into his mouth and emitting strange sounds from it. His use of English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Swedish, Hausa, and Japanese all improve with alcohol use. He gives invited public presentations on culture and unsolicited private advice on English grammar and usage; the latter isn't always appreciated. Visit his website for information on consulting, coaching, or speaking engagements.