dallysingh101

'Haneri' A Short Film on Mental Health in the Punjabi Community

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Serious question: Is this how Punjabis behave behind closed doors? I'm not suggesting everyone's the same but is it accurate enough to develop certain community stereotypes and tropes? Or do videos like these over-dramatise certain aspects of our culture in order to get a point across? I ask because although I'm Punjabi and Sikh, i never had an atypical upbringing. Discipline, traditionalism, and religion were constants, but equally there was also a lot of serenity. It was very chilled and serene. No emotional distance but equally there was a sense of quiet reserve. Just watching the actors in that video quickens the pulse, lol. I can't imagine tolerating even 5 minutes of such annoying behaviour in real life.

Anyway, as for the subject of the video it's an important issue that needs to be highlighted. Unfortunately, it does so by pandering to any watching white people by reinforcing the idea that the problem lies not within the individual, but is a symptom of the apparently overwhelming regressive and unsophisticated Punjabi culture this girl belongs to. That would be true if youngsters from homes of white, upper middle class intellectuals didn't suffer from mental illness. Which culture can they blame for their ills? I applaud the efforts of people from our community who are highlighting these important issues, but there must be a way of doing so without giving the impression that we're backwards idiots. Unless we are mostly pendus, and in that case i take it all back, lol.

Edited by MisterrSingh

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1 hour ago, MisterrSingh said:

Serious question: Is this how Punjabis behave behind closed doors? I'm not suggesting everyone's the same but is it accurate enough to develop certain community stereotypes and tropes? Or do videos like these over-dramatise certain aspects of our culture in order to get a point across? I ask because although I'm Punjabi and Sikh, i never had an atypical upbringing. Discipline, traditionalism, and religion were constants, but equally there was also a lot of serenity. It was very chilled and serene. No emotional distance but equally there was a sense of quiet reserve. Just watching the actors in that video quickens the pulse, lol. I can't imagine tolerating even 5 minutes of such annoying behaviour in real life.

Anyway, as for the subject of the video it's an important issue that needs to be highlighted. Unfortunately, it does so by pandering to any watching white people by reinforcing the idea that the problem lies not within the individual, but is a symptom of the apparently overwhelming regressive and unsophisticated Punjabi culture this girl belongs to. That would be true if youngsters from homes of white, upper middle class intellectuals didn't suffer from mental illness. Which culture can they blame for their ills? I applaud the efforts of people from our community who are highlighting these important issues, but there must be a way of doing so without giving the impression that we're backwards idiots. Unless we are mostly pendus, and in that case i take it all back, lol.

Come on man. That kind of gruff behaviour is not unknown in our community. Yes, it might be slightly played up for effect (which is understandable given the objective of the video), but Panjabi apnay can be very abrupt and insensitive like this. This kind of behaviour is more common than someone who isn't raised in it might imagine.

And we are mostly pendus, and a lot of Panjabi men and women do have very strong, overriding personalities for whatever reasons. 

It isn't that much of a problem back home where it is normalised and people are accustomed to it, but bring it to the west, where children grown infinitely more sensitive than those back home - and have other more gentle models of families to compare to and bang - you get all sorts of disheartenment and depression stemming from it. Mainly because people feel they are not being heard. This type of thing can play havoc to the developing psyche and leads to all manner of negative emotions, especially to those who are more sensitive of disposition.

That's how it looks to me anyway.  

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20 minutes ago, dallysingh101 said:

Come on man. That kind of gruff behaviour is not unknown in our community. Yes, it might be slightly played up for effect (which is understandable given the objective of the video), but Panjabi apnay can be very abrupt and insensitive like this. This kind of behaviour is more common than someone who isn't raised in it might imagine.

And we are mostly pendus, and a lot of Panjabi men and women do have very strong, overriding personalities for whatever reasons. 

It isn't that much of a problem back home where it is normalised and people are accustomed to it, but bring it to the west, where children grown infinitely more sensitive than those back home - and have other more gentle models of families to compare to and bang - you get all sorts of disheartenment and depression stemming from it. Mainly because people feel they are not being heard. This type of thing can play havoc to the developing psyche and leads to all manner of negative emotions, especially to those who are more sensitive of disposition.

That's how it looks to me anyway.  

Honestly bro, I'm merely asking for my benefit. That type of behaviour for me is as alien as it would be for a non-Punjabi. Like i said I've been on the periphery of the community most of my life, and even when i wasn't, things weren't like this for me, so that's probably why i really don't have much experience of these type of people. I don't doubt the integrity of the message. 

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14 minutes ago, MisterrSingh said:

Honestly bro, I'm merely asking for my benefit. That type of behaviour for me is as alien as it would be for a non-Punjabi. Like i said I've been on the periphery of the community most of my life, and even when i wasn't, things weren't like this for me, so that's probably why i really don't have much experience of these type of people. I don't doubt the integrity of the message. 

Bro, this is like common rustic behaviour. A lot of us have got at least some of it in us (myself included...I'm not proud).

I think the harshness of some of our upbringings can make some of us like this, because the behaviour is normalised through experience. Often we've had to constantly fight to be heard in our families, which can effect our personalities. When people aren't aware of this it can be dangerous. Even for those that do become conscious of it, retraining your behaviour/thinking that has developed over years and served some logical purpose can be very difficult. 

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Punjabis , esp Punjabi Sikhs , esp pendu or previous generation are known to be for being unrefined people ! 

The whole world ridicules our burrrrraaaaahhhhhhhh , bakre balaune , and so many other things haha .

why don't we know it yet ?

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1 hour ago, dallysingh101 said:

Bro, this is like common rustic behaviour. A lot of us have got at least some of it in us (myself included...I'm not proud).

I think the harshness of some of our upbringings can make some of us like this, because the behaviour is normalised through experience. Often we've had to constantly fight to be heard in our families, which can effect our personalities. When people aren't aware of this it can be dangerous. Even for those that do become conscious of it, retraining your behaviour/thinking that has developed over years and served some logical purpose can be very difficult. 

All true. 

Whenever i, even as a child, inadvertently raised my voice above the ambient noise of a room i was immediately shot down with, "Talk like a human, not an animal" lol. This was all coming from Gursikh Punjabi parents, so it wasn't as if we were coconuts or middle class or anything like that. I suppose it's just personal family habits. I can imagine the sense of hopelessness and despair felt by someone who is struggling with their emotions and mental health, and all they hear is such coarse and raw ways of expression. It makes a terrible situation even tougher to cope with. Still, as i said earlier, best not to make this about, "The culture and methods of expression are coarse, hence these problems are happening" situation, because we know that isn't true. There is an element of that in the video in my opinion. It's why i struggle to identify with the message of the film no matter how noble the intentions. I'm sure there's many people like me out there who feel the same way. The creator of the piece would've been better served to highlight the issue at hand instead of reinforcing stereotypes. As it is, the video is less about the girl's mental health, and more about castigating the family for their pendupuna.

Edited by MisterrSingh

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People like to go in denial about things that makes them uncomfortable . 

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7 minutes ago, AjeetSinghPunjabi said:

People like to go in denial about things that makes them uncomfortable . 

So why do the offspring of white upper-middle class doctors, teachers, scientists, etc, suffer from mental illness? Does Grandmother Joan lament the influence of witchcraft when young Hannah is cutting herself? 

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14 minutes ago, MisterrSingh said:

All true. 

Whenever i, even as a child, inadvertently raised my voice above the ambient noise of a room i was immediately shot down with, "Talk like a human, not an animal" lol. This was all coming from Gursikh Punjabi parents, so it wasn't as if we were coconuts or middle class or anything like that. I suppose it's just personal family habits. I can imagine the sense of hopelessness and despair felt by someone who is struggling with their emotions and mental health, and all they hear is such coarse and raw ways of expression. It makes a terrible situation even tougher to cope with. Still, as i said earlier, best not to make this about, "The culture and methods of expression are coarse, hence these problems are happening" situation, because we know that isn't true. There is an element of that in the video in my opinion. It's why i struggle to identify with the message of the film no matter how noble the intentions. I'm sure there's many people like me out there who feel the same way. The creator of the piece would've been better served to highlight the issue at hand instead of reinforcing stereotypes. As it is, the video is less about the girl's mental health, and more about castigating the family for their pendupuna.

This 'pendupuna' has its advantages as well as disadvantages. For those of a strong disposition, it actually helps to teach one to hold their own. Which can be helpful if you later find yourself in tougher, challenging environments where people try and test you all the time (like say building sites). But for those of a more delicate disposition, yes, it can lead to mental health issues, depression, low-esteem etc. etc.

Maybe this also explains why so many Sikh girls are mouthy and obnoxious like they are (not all before people get excited!). Just a thought?

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4 minutes ago, MisterrSingh said:

So why do the offspring of white upper-middle class doctors, teachers, scientists, etc, suffer from mental illness? Does Grandmother Joan lament the influence of witchcraft when young Hannah is cutting herself? 

Come on, that grandma is spot on for many old biddys in our community. I've met loads like that over the years. 

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4 hours ago, MisterrSingh said:

Serious question: Is this how Punjabis behave behind closed doors? I'm not suggesting everyone's the same but is it accurate enough to develop certain community stereotypes and tropes? Or do videos like these over-dramatise certain aspects of our culture in order to get a point across? I ask because although I'm Punjabi and Sikh, i never had an atypical upbringing. Discipline, traditionalism, and religion were constants, but equally there was also a lot of serenity. It was very chilled and serene. No emotional distance but equally there was a sense of quiet reserve. Just watching the actors in that video quickens the pulse, lol. I can't imagine tolerating even 5 minutes of such annoying behaviour in real life.

Anyway, as for the subject of the video it's an important issue that needs to be highlighted. Unfortunately, it does so by pandering to any watching white people by reinforcing the idea that the problem lies not within the individual, but is a symptom of the apparently overwhelming regressive and unsophisticated Punjabi culture this girl belongs to. That would be true if youngsters from homes of white, upper middle class intellectuals didn't suffer from mental illness. Which culture can they blame for their ills? I applaud the efforts of people from our community who are highlighting these important issues, but there must be a way of doing so without giving the impression that we're backwards idiots. Unless we are mostly pendus, and in that case i take it all back, lol.

Not all Punjabis are like that but there are plenty that are.

Most of the people from villages are quite loud and abrupt like that. 

But sometimes I kind of prefer those types because you know where you stand with those types.

There are two ways to deal with them.

1.) Stand toe to toe with them and become more shouty than they are. They for some reason respect you more for being that way.

2.) Just become a complete theet and let it go in one ear and out the other. You develop a hide of a rhinoceros. 

Unfortunately for this girl, the big problem is not shoutiness and abruptness but the constant negging she is getting from everyone. That impacts your confidence, self esteem and self worth etc.

The energy from that household is very negative. 

I prefer those types compared to the passive aggressive types who may do the same thing but in a far more insidious way.

The video in question was made in Keneda and those Punjabis are complete pendus.

People in Punjab are not as bad as Kenedian pendus.

 

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3 hours ago, dallysingh101 said:

Come on, that grandma is spot on for many old biddys in our community. I've met loads like that over the years. 

Not disputing it (even though it may seem like i am, lol). 

There's a wider point my mind is trying to grasp, but I'm making a pig's ear of trying to explain myself. I'll make a better fist of it in a while. Trying to type one-handed on a touchscreen is a real pain.

Btw, i agree with everything you've said you regarding the video and the message contained therein, bro. I'm just trying to add my tuppence worth regarding a few connected thoughts that have sprung from watching it.

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39 minutes ago, MisterrSingh said:

Not disputing it (even though it may seem like i am, lol). 

There's a wider point my mind is trying to grasp, but I'm making a pig's ear of trying to explain myself. I'll make a better fist of it in a while. Trying to type one-handed on a touchscreen is a real pain.

Btw, i agree with everything you've said you regarding the video and the message contained therein, bro. I'm just trying to add my tuppence worth regarding a few connected thoughts that have sprung from watching it.

I think I get what you are getting at. Yes, we do have to be careful of representing ourselves in a way that can used by outsiders (mainly insidious goray) to bash us about the heads with. But in this case, from both my observations and personal experience, I don't think the video is at all remote from what does take place in many (not all) Panjabi families. Here, I'd say the video represents things well (purely my subjective opinion), and the benefits of producing it  far outweigh the negatives. It isn't your typical attack on some perceived evil 'patriarchy' that whitey likes to promote because even the old bibi is portrayed in a realistic way that doesn't deify or portray all women as innocent victims (as white people are wont to do).

Maybe it is less relevant to people like you than say people like me? 

You talk about white upper/middle class kids also suffering mental illnesses, but you have to realise that  this can sometimes stem from similar situations (but minus the overt coarseness). Maybe this is what Ranjeet is alluding to when he says:

Quote

I prefer those types compared to the passive aggressive types who may do the same thing but in a far more insidious way.

Those whites you are talking about also apply very strong pressure on their kids to be a certain ('sophisticated') way that their kids sometimes cannot mentally handle. They can be VERY restrictive in their own mind-game playing way.

The other thing is when they spoil the children so bad, that when the child (when older, maybe as a young adult) does face some (shockingly minor) boundaries on their wants and desires - the child goes mental because they haven't experienced that withholding before due to being spoilt rotten. I remember this one German bird I met from a very (long established) wealthy family who told me that she slit her own wrists as a teenager because she was so used to getting whatever she wanted - that one day when her parents said no to something (like having certain clothes) she went into a strop and did that thing! 

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Here's the difference between our people and the Christians when it comes to these issues, and that is they ackwolegde that it's a problem and they provide their Seva to help the best they can with good intentions. Sometimes our people are way too judging, sometimes this comes from those are Amritdharis judging Non-Amritdharis, (I'm Amritdhari, so in no way am saying it's not important). As a community if a Christian is dealing with Kaam, Krodh, or even personal problems like this: they will ensure their people are doing the best for their love of Jesus, (even though he's a Pakhandi), but their hearts are there. This is also the key reason our lot go to Deras. An example is of porn and masturbation addiction, there are entire organizations for Christians to combat this, yet, with Sikhs it's completely about saying stuff that doesn't help all the time. When it comes to alcohol our lot just say, "bad", with them they actually say extra stuff. (IN NO WAY AM I ENDORSING A FALSE RELIGION, BUT OUR WAY TO LEARN FROM CAN PROVE SOMETHING!)

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