1947: Bloodlines

by Phavanjit Kaur


According to my Nanaji (maternal grandfather), our roots trace all the way back to Punjab, Pakistan and when the partition plan was introduced, my bloodlines moved to Punjab, India. See the difference? You’re right. None at all. Our Land of the Five Rivers (Punjab) was flowing with blood and despair instead of clear blue waters. Don’t get me started on Punjab today.

I may only be a third generation Malaysian Sikh-Punjabi and I shouldn’t be saying much about this according to my peers but somehow, over the past two years, I grew hungry. Hungry to know about the blood running through my veins, the earth of my fathers and the politics behind it all. It saddens me that it took so long for me to realize that so much has happened to our people yet the generations before us, chose silence.

Coming to the States has definitely given me a bigger picture of how identity matters. I’m as Malaysian as a Malaysian can be but I find it so interesting how there are so many branches to one sole person.

To my five sisters
To my five pillars
To my five dreams
To my Punjab ♡















The first photo is from the LIFE magazine photo archives of the 1947 Punjab Partition.

The second photo, entitled “Bloodlines” is from Phavanjit Kaur’s personal collection.