Meaning: noun: Cummerbund or waistband, a sash worn around the waist.
ਕਮਰਬੰਦੁ ਸੰਤੋਖ ਕਾ ਧਨੁ ਜੋਬਨੁ ਤੇਰਾ ਨਾਮੁ॥
kamarbaňd saňtokh kaa dhan joban teraa naam.
(O Divine! Cultivation) of contentment is the true cummerbund, (and contemplation upon) Your Name is the true (enjoyment of) wealth and youth
– Guru Nanak Sahib, Guru Granth Sahib, 16
People in India often wore sashes around their waist before it was adopted by the British in India. Especially the military in British India used it for their dining wear and later generally as part of a man’s formal suit.
Some Sikhs also wear it (as kamar-kassa) around their chola (a long outfit similar to a gown). Besides supporting the waist, it provides a sense of preparedness and strength.
However, without acquiring contentment, no external sash or band can provide us true satisfaction and strength. In fact, the real control or cummerbund we should have is to restrain our desires after reflecting upon Gurbani. That is the true disciplined enjoyment of wealth and youth.
Contentment is the only one substitute for happiness. – Anonymous
Etymology: From Persian kamar-band, from kamar (waist) and band (band, strap). The sash was formerly worn in the Indian subcontinent by domestic workers and low-status office workers. All practitioners of Karate (karatekas) wear belts. The colour of the belt denotes the grade. See more