By: Khalid Hashmani
The Washington DC chapter of SANA organized an evening of Sindhiat at a local community center on December 4, 2011. A large number of the members of the local Sindhi community and their friends attended this event. Almost every one was either wearing a Sindhi topi (Sindhi cap) or a traditional shawl called Ajrak or both.
Jabbar Siddiqui, on behalf of the office-bearers of the local SANA chapter thanked the community for their participation and enthusiastic support. He said although the original plan was to celebrate the Sindhi culture day more colorfully. However, as many Muslims are mourning the martyrdom of Imam Hussain this week, the program the program was intentionally kept subdued, simple and dedicated to the sacrifice of Imam Hussain. He, his family, and some friends scarified their lives to oppose tyranny and unjust rule. Commenting on the significance of wearing Topi and Ajrak, Siddiqui sahib said that “the Sindhi Topi is regarded as one of the most essential parts of the Sindhi culture and is usually offered to guests, along with a traditional Sindhi Ajrak, as a token of respect.” He said that with support and more and more community members volunteering to help, the present Chapter council (JABBAR SIDDIQUI, KANWAL SANGI, and NAZLI SIDDIQUI) would organize better get-togethers and undertake other community activities. He concluded by saying that “ours is a small community and there is no reason for any bad feelings.”
Munawar Soomro spoke about Sindhi poetry and great Sindhi poet of Sindh Shah Abdul Latif. He said Latif’s message about unity and universality is very much applicable today. He recited several short poems of Shah Abdul Latif that highlighted the impact of much needed rains on the people who live in arid areas of Sindh. He spoke about variety of ways that Shah Abdul Latif found to come closer to God. Soomro sahib talked about the pride of Sindhis in their culture and language and emphasized the role of doing only good things to become better human beings. Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai’s Poetry is divided into thirty-six SURs or Musical Compositions and each SUR is subdivided into divided into several sections. Each section Consists of several two or four line stanzas called “Bait” followed by one or two multiple line poems called “Waee”. In concluding his remarks, he read the famous poem that describes the cool breezes that touch many continents, countries, provinces, and cities bringing their blessing to the people who live there. The last two lines of this “bait” touched every one in the room:
God, may you always bestow your prosperity over Sindh.
Friend and beloved! Bless abundance over all other worlds!
Adi Yasmin Memon organized group photos of men, women, girls, and boys, all wearing Sindhi attire. It was quite an overwhelming scene to see so many people proudly displaying their Topis and Ajraks. It looked like an indoor gathering at a traditional Sindhi mella “country fair” reviving memories from Sindh.
The last item of the evening was to congratulate Adi Khurshid and Ada Badar Shaikh, who had recently returned from their Hajj pilgrimage. Badar Shaikh recited a collective prayer in Sindhi, Arabic, and English asking God to shower his blessings on every one.
A beautiful video of the gathering prepared by Ada Hanif Sangi and Adi Kanwal Sangi is attached to this report. I am sure other friends who a lot of snap shots will soon be sharing their collection with fellow Sindhis.
Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, December 4, 2011.