What is Sikhism? | 10tv.com


“People really noticed me at the airport and on the plane, didn’t they? It stands out. At the same time, people don’t know who we are. “

Members of the world’s fifth largest religion stand out in the United States. BAsk who the ut Sikhs are and what they believe in, study Indicates that up to 70% of Americans cannot respond.

“On the other hand, we stand out a lot with our unique identity, our turban and our beard,” said Simran Jeet Singh. Sikh Coalition, A non-profit organization created after September 11 the tragedy.

“People really noticed me at the airport and on the plane, didn’t they? It stands out. At the same time, people don’t know who we are. ”

today,Around 30 million Sikhs around the world.. About 1 million Sikhs live in North America.

“Whenever I have to explain who I am and what my identity is, I always tell them that Sikhs were once warriors.“” Said Deb Bhatia, the founder of a nonprofit organization. Sikhs of St. Louis..

One of the youngest great religions in the world

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Sikhism, which began in the 15th century in the region of northern India known as Punjab, was founded at a time when superstition and social inequality dominated the country.

The founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, was born into a Hindu family. From an early age he sought to establish the belief that all people, regardless of caste or gender, would consider equality.

They called themselves Sikhs. It means “student” in Sanskrit. The term “master” means “teacher”. In the 2.5th century, there were 10 Sikhs. At the beginning of 18e century, IncludeGuruFinally inherited from the 10th Guru to the SaintSikhsBible,Guru Glance SahibThis is now considered a living guru by Sikh followers.

“Sikhism is about believing in humanity. Sikhism means that there is only one god. We see humanity as one race, ”says Bhatia.

History (and meaning) behind the Sikh turban

Early in its history, Sikhs had to defend their beliefs against the tyranny that persecuted the Mughal Empire and minority religious groups.

At that time, Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh guru theFormally made of the turban a symbol of faith.

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“Basically only Sikhs wear turbans,” said Vik Singh Saluja of Chesterfield, Missouri.

Vik and his wife, Pav Kaur Saluja, are Sikhs living in Chesterfield, Missouri.
They explain that other cultures in the Middle East and Asia often wear headgear which may be similar, but Sikh turbans are unique. It was used in part to identify Sikh warriors during combat.

“when [Sikhs] During the war, they couldn’t even identify who the Hindus or Muslims they were fighting against, Guru Gobind Singh the He actually turned around and said, “The way you are identified is through your turban. And if someone sees a man with a turban, he needs it for protection. You know you are a person. ““The pub said.

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“Nothing has changed over the years. You see Sikhs standing in the crowd and needing help, go talk to them and say, “Hey man, I need help. You have to help me, ”Batia said.

Before the establishment of Sikhism, turbans were worn by the upper class and cultural elite of India. Both the king and the ruler once wore a turban. however, The central teaching of the Sikh faith is that all are equal.

To eliminate the turban-related class system, Guru Gobind Singh Ji said that all Sikh men or women should keep their hair uncut and wear turbans. Other purposes of the turban include the protection and cleanliness of the long hair of Sikhs.

“We don’t cut our hair because God told us we should keep our bodies as God gave it to us.“Said Batia. Not all Sikhs wear turbans. Some people choose to cut their hair for personal reasons.

The later Sikh gurus also rejected the caste system by giving all Sikhs the surname Singh (lion) or hood (princess). Today we can see that Sikhs mainly use “Shin” and “Cowl” as their middle name.

The later Sikh gurus also introduced five symbols which have become markers of Sikh identity. They are called the Five Ks and only the most enthusiastic and dedicated Sikhs retain these unique emblems of Sikh identity. They include: Uncut Hair (Kess), Short sword or knife (Kirpan), Steel bracelet (Karha), Wooden comb (Kangar) Shorts worn in underwear (Kacchera)..through Harvard University Pluralism Project, “The Five Ks are a constant reminder to Sikhs of the ethical and spiritual implications of matching their lives to the truth.”

The later Sikh gurus also introduced five symbols which have become markers of Sikh identity. They are called the Five Ks and only the most enthusiastic and dedicated Sikhs retain these unique emblems of Sikh identity. They include uncut hair (Kes), short swords or knives (Kirpan), steel bracelets (Karha), wooden combs (Kangha), and shorts worn as underwear (Kacchera). ..through Harvard University Pluralism Project, Five K constantly reminds Sikhs of the ethical and spiritual implications of matching their lives to the truth.

American Sikhs

Singh or hood, Sikhs have been in the United States since the 1890s. So why do so few people know about Sikhs?

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“In our religious tradition, we have no history of conversion. We advertise who we are and persuade others to be like us. As you know, there is no PR effort, at least traditionally in the Sikh religion, so maybe it has something to do with why people don’t even know us. ”Jeet Singh said.

Unfortunately, when we see Sikhs in the media it is often the day after the violence. Recent examples include a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indiana that killed eight people. Among them, 4 Sikh employees of FedEx.

target


According to FBI hate crime data, Sikhs are the third most targeted religious group in the United States, just behind Jews and Muslims.


“We have seen a significant increase in hatred and violence since September 11, but the increase has not slowed down.“Said Simran Jeet Singh.

“Since September 11, people have seen the face of the official wearing a turban,” Vik Saluja said. “Sikhs were fundamentally identified half-hearted or poorly targeted, and were essentially vouched for by anti-Muslim or anti-Muslim sentiments.

Different types of discrimination

The target of racism in the United States is constantly changing based on national and international events.

“When my father first arrived in the 1970s, he was seen as a threat, at least according to American sensibilities, because he looked like Ayatollah,” said Simran Jeet Singh.

“When I was growing up in the 80s and 90s the enemy moved to Iraq and my name was ‘Saddam’. Then the 9/11 incident happened, the game changed again and the insults we received were “Bin Laden”, “Taliban” and “Al Qaeda”. Racism is constantly changing and adapting, depending on who Americans perceive to be the threat. “

As Sikhs peacefully practice their religion, you will also find that they feed their hunger and give back to the communities in which they live.

Through Langar’s tradition of preparing and serving free meals to promote selfless service of Sikh beliefs, Sikhs serve approximately 7 million meals a day around the world.

The diet went to those in need and helped thousands of people facing food insecurity during the pandemic.

It is an important part of Batia’s work with the Sikhs of St. Louis, helping to serve thousands of meals in the area.

“WWhen we serve food, we don’t see caste, we don’t see color, we don’t see religion. It’s for everyone and for everyone. We all know actions speak louder than words. SSharing food with someone connects you to them, ”Batia said.

Recently founded by Sikhs from India “Oxygen Langer” For covid-19 patients who are having difficulty finding oxygen as the number of COVID cases continues to rise in the country. Drive-thru tents are also located outside the Sikh place of worship called Gurdwara. No one turns their back on him.

Thanks to these traditions, Sikhs continue to practice their religion peacefully across the world. At the heart of their religion is their responsibility to help others.

“There is something really deep about this simple teaching that divinity also exists in each of us,” said Simlan Ziet Singh. “If you truly appreciate the goodness of each other and the world around you, you will be able to find the silver lining and find hope, even in the most difficult times.”


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