My name is Sunny Singh and I am 33 years old. I was born in Uganda and I currently reside in Glen Oaks, New York.
As you can see, I wear a religious article of faith on my head. For many, it's just a turban or a 5 meter long cloth on my head. For me, it’s equivalent to my pride, my crown and my last name, ‘SINGH’. It’s also an article that is intermixed with other cultures, but they wear it differently. This has caused trouble and discrimination among many Sikh people; we are usually mistaken for Muslims because of our long beards and turbans. It is difficult to teach people the difference if they wish to be ignorant, but those who are curious will find a way to understand.
I grew up in the Bronx where the ratio of turbaned Sikhs is very low. High school with a community like this was strange, considering they didn’t really come across anyone with a turban before or even someone originating from India/Punjab. Knowing the kind of people that resided here, there was a lot of wariness among families and relatives in accordance to how they would react to us. Surprisingly, it was the opposite of what everyone feared; discrimination was absent from any communication. I was showered with love that I never even imagined by the Spanish and African American communities. It’s funny, however, because we ourselves cannot stand to live with other Punjabis and their nosy nature. Yet, we discriminate and talk about others as if our own community is superior. I’ve felt a more sense of comfort with those that are different from me than in the presence of those that are like to me, with auras of jealousy surrounding them. Regardless, there will always come a time when your friends will drift or go behind your back, and ethnicity is not factor. At times like these, I put faith in my guru and keep everyone else at a limit, so that when shit goes down, you’re not expecting anything from anyone besides the ONE.
Singhinthecity is just a social platform where I try to connect with other Singh’s just like me. Of course, there’s the added pride in watching the increasing number of followers and posts, but that’s not the end goal for the platform. My goal is to be successful in my core business: real estate; keeping up with fashion, though, feeds my soul. Singhinthecity came into existence with the help of Bikram Singh and our interest in bringing fashion to New York City. Since my personal Instagram page was set to ‘singhinthecity’, it was decided that it should be made public in order to promote Singh fashion. The accomplishments that we’ve had so far have kept our platform flowing. Veuve Clicquot assembled a fashion event by Ralph Lauren where Singhinthecity got recognition because the way I dressed drew their attention and they offered me a spot in their ad campaign. This was an unreal moment in my life because all my life I’ve heard that I didn’t know how to dress; and the confidence of a model wasn’t something that I possessed. But here I was, being requested by Veuve Clicquot to be a part of them. I took that as positive note and went ahead with it. That very day I met Dleak, a bowtie designer, who is now a friend, a brother, even if he is “black.” He’s the one who introduced me to the fashion world and even gave me an opportunity to do my first Bowtie & Turban fashion show in Philly. Pride overtook me when me made headlines at the Philly Fashion Week together. From there on, I participated in a couple more fashion shows. Just last year, I ended with the New York Fashion Week. Being on the cover page of Fashion Avenue News Magazine in New York was amazing and the response was unreal. All the connections I’ve made so far in life are credited to fashion, and that too because of my crown, my pride: my turban. I’ve made it this far with the positive mindset I’ve kept when interacting with people from different backgrounds; these connections are those that I will cherish for life. Peace and love is what unites us all; no one community is different from another in that aspect.
Throughout life, there will always be people that criticize and be jealous of your success. Cut them out. There’s no point wasting your time with people who will fake trust, but in the core of their being will never want you to be more successful than them. Ignoring them, be the best version of yourself, despite their hate. Be what you want to represent to the world when you walk out the door of your house; or when walking into a room that will decide your future. Make your dreams a reality; no one else is going to do that for you. Singinthecity has been my soul food and will continue to be it.
If you dare to dream, go out and get your dreams. If you are unhappy, go out and do what makes you happy. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT let anyone tell you otherwise. Love yourself, respect yourself, and your dreams. Then, execute. If you don’t do it, no one will hold your hand and do it for you. You will have to get out of your comfort zone and get what you want. I used to be this kid that didn’t know how to dress well. Now, Singhinthecity has become a legit fashion trend. If I can do it, you can do it as well.
My name is Sunny Singh and this is my Project Why.