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And so did I. Divorce is shameful in the Sikh community, especially for women. There are more than 22, Sikhs in Hounslow, so probably 11, are men.

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The turban is important to me, though. Only a small proportion of them are in the right age group, and unmarried.

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I felt dirty and used. These are the kinds of things people say to me: "You are too old to have kids, you are going to find it hard to meet someone now - you've left it too late. Some of those who admit to having been divorced may have remarried, but I'm quite sure that a larger tick the "single" box even though they are divorced - it's such a taboo. At 27, Minreet Kaur married a man she had met through a Sikh temple in west London. But what I didn't know was that, since I was a divorcee, they would only introduce me to divorced men.

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Some of my friends have already taken this step. He said it to hurt me, but he knew it could turn out to be true. I knew the temple would only introduce me to members of my own caste, even though caste isn't important to me. It was a familiar story. But actually Sikhs do get divorced sometimes, just like everyone else.

As divorce becomes more common, attitudes will most likely change.

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Southall Divorce laws Sikhism Marriage. My dad's family in India said they were disappointed that I was home; I was a disgrace to them. It was a look that said, "we can't help you". By telling my story I am hoping I will help to remove the stigma of being a divorced woman. They would start asking questions - how old I was, where I lived, where I worked - but as soon as told them I was divorced, their facial expression changed.

Maybe it will encourage more women to speak up. It turned out to be a disaster, and within a year she was back home with her parents.

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Faith is important to me - the Sikh faith that says that men and women are equal and that we should not judge one another. He said he wasn't interested in a divorcee. But nor do I want to meet men who want a housekeeper rather than a wife, and ask questions like, "can you cook?

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I asked the man in charge of the Hounslow temple's matrimonial service, Mr Grewal, to explain this to me and he told me it wasn't his choice - it was the men looking for a bride, and their parents, who said they didn't want a divorcee. Younger people have told me it's not such a big issue for them. And if women are trapped in an abusive marriage because of the taboo of divorce, I would urge them to leave. After meeting about 40 different men over the last 10 years, it's only in the last few months that I have begun to think about considering non-turbanned Sikhs, and even non-Sikhs. I know I have made things difficult for myself by looking not just for a Sikh but for a turbanned Sikh.

We are human beings, and we deserve to be treated equally.

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Sometimes I'm told: "Min, it's going to be very difficult to meet someone in the UK, you're better off meeting someone in India. After my divorce, when I started looking for a new husband, I went to the Hounslow temple to register in its matrimonial book. He was in his 40s, but he expected women to come with no history.

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For five years I hardly went out, but in I started to look again for a partner. It's just another prejudice. To begin with I was ashamed myself. People kept telling me I was getting old and putting pressure on me to marry, so I asked the temple in Southall to introduce me to someone.

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My grandma in London told me I should have worked at my marriage, even though she knew what I had been through. Minreet Kaur is a henna artist and a freelance journalist who works for the BBC. Other people reinforced this feeling.

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And of those who are, many don't wear a turban. Last month I was introduced to someone through a friend. My marriage had been semi-arranged. Related Topics.

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I am an independent person who wants a partner for companionship. How could I look at another man when I knew he would regard me as used goods?

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I don't want to meet men who are just out for a laugh and don't want to settle down. When my mum asked one of her friend's sons if he knew anyone for me, he told us I was like a "scratched car". It's as though men can never be responsible for a divorce, only women. Actually, at 38 I'm not too old to have children. Once the volunteer saw my details on the form I had filled in he said: "Here are two men who are divorced - they are the only ones suitable for you.

You should just find anyone and marry them. So why can't divorced women be introduced to men who have not been married before? When I asked people to look out for a suitable man for me they would often be happy to help.

'i'm divorced, so sikh men don't want me'

But in my generation, even people who have divorced sisters or daughters in their own family will still judge another divorced woman outside their family. But in at least two temples I have seen divorced men being introduced to women who have never ly married. For 10 years now she has been hoping to find another husband, but has reached a bitter conclusion: most Sikh men don't want to marry a divorcee.