Your Sikh Neighbors Who Are Sikhs? Articles of Faith Kesh - uncut hair: Sikhs do not cut hair or beards to remain in the image that god gave us Kuchha under-shorts (boxers) to represent
modesty and fidelity Kanga - comb, made of wood - to keep uncut hair neat and clean Kara - bracelet, made of steel worn on right hand a reminder of noble actions, a symbol of eternity Kirpan - ceremonial small blunt knife symbolizing freedom, liberty and justice Sikh Turbans
Mideast headcoverings different 99% of people with turbans in US are Sikhs, not Muslims or Hindus Covers long, uncut hair Approx. 15 feet of cloth wrapped neatly around the head every time it is put on Symbolizes discipline, integrity, humility, and spirituality Religious requirement - must be worn at all times in public
Importance of Identity Sikhs feel severely humiliated if asked to remove their turban in public, as this breaks a sacred covenant with god and exposes an intimate part of the body It is very insulting and disrespectful to a Sikh to remove his or her turban Turbans are a mandatory part of Sikh faith A turban is not a hat. It cannot be casually taken on
and off. It must be carefully retied each time it is removed Treat the turban with respect Historical Origins Sikhism CHINA IRAN
22 million Sikhs worldwide 20 million Sikhs in India AFGHANISTAN PAKISTAN INDIA INDIA
Guru Nanak Founded Sikhism Born in 1469 10 Gurus provided spiritual guidance Guru Nanak founded Sikhism based on
equality and justice for all Golden Temple Golden Temple, Amritsar Harmandir Sahib1588 Fifth Guru Sentiment of Sikhs Symbol of strength &
endurance Survived tyrannical raids Guru Gobind Singh Father Martyred to protect the Hindus Created the Sikh Nation: Khalsa legion of the pure with Saint/Soldier qualities to
protect anyone from oppression and injustice Amrit - Sikh Baptism Ceremony in 1699 Prescribed the 5 Articles of Faith Declared Guru Granth Sahib Beliefs of the Sikhs One god/creator
All humans created equal Goal is to be one with god Human life a precious blessing All carry a spark of divine light: consequently no race, pigmentation, gender, is intrinsically superior to others Defenders of social and spiritual justice, Truth, fearless,non-hateful spirit are important in attaining salvation
Beliefs of the Sikhs Freedom of speech, religion Equal rights in all walks of life for all persons of all faiths and external looks Note that many countries still ask require religion, race, or nationality on employment applications Elsewhere, people discriminate based on looks Compensation based on merit rather than outward differences
Justice and liberty for all Origin of universe is from one light source Life is by gods evolution There are many planets, solar systems and galaxies Values & Practices Seva: Daily selfless service to humanity Vand Chakna: sharing with others Langar: Community Kitchen, An expression of service to community
Kirat Kamaiyee: Honest Labor Honest earnings by hard work Do not become burden on the society Daily Prayers & Meditation No passive mediation Maintain channel of knowledge by actively engaging in the society. Prevent stagnation of social and
intellectual skills Introspection connect now, dont wait for later Bhai Kanyia pioneer of the Red Cross & humanitarian aide organizations Respect for All
Protectors of social and spiritual justice for ALL Believers of non-violence Equality of all religions Give relevance to god rather than religion Believers of interfaith diversity Equality of persons Social, spiritual, political rights for all women GURDWARA (Place of
Worship) Guru Granth Sahib Nishan Sahib Architecture 2001 Sikh Communications Council, Inc. Inside the Gurdwara All welcome Hymns
Heads covered Shoes removed Sit on floor; meditate Community kitchen Gurdwara Functions Education Initially schools were started in Gurdwaras. Now Khalsa schools are held in Gurdwaras, where religion, language, history, art, and other subjects are taught
Shelter for stomach, mind, and soul Community kitchen: shelter from hunger Tranquility: safe place to stay to travelers Prayers, meditation, & introspection for soul Implementation of equality 4 doors: one on each side Open to all persons without from all directions, religions, Even the holiest Sikh shrines are open to persons of all faiths
September 11, 2001 Sikhs grieve with America. Like many, Sikhs lost friends, loved ones and colleagues Sikhs unequivocally condemn the recent terrorist attacks Sikhs continue to donate blood, food, and money, and participate in memorial services
At the WTC, Sikh doctors were first on the scene helping save lives First to Help Dr. Navinderdeep Singh Nijher, a fourth year resident Set up the first triage center at ground zero, just in front of one of the collapsed towers.
He also helped organize a makeshift morgue in the lobby of the American Express building. An American Hero? Dr Nijher stayed until 2 a.m., mostly treating injured firefighters who had been pulled from the rubble. From there, he went back to the hospital, slept for an hour, and reported for his regular
shift at 6 a.m. A Heros Welcome? "Every person was staring at me" "People were saying 'There goes one of them now.' Someone yelled 'Go back to your own country!'" Mesa, Arizona Balbir S. Sodhi Former Bay Area Resident
Small Businessman Why? "On Sept. 11, America was attacked from abroad," said Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley "However, with the murder of Mr. Sodhi, we have now been attacked from within."
Facts More than 200 Incidents against Sikhs alone have been reported since Sept 11th Swaran Kaur Bhullar's car was idling at a red light when two men on a motorcycle pulled up beside her, yanked open her door and shouted, "This is what you get for what you've done to us!" And then, "I'm going to slash your throat!" She was stabbed in the head at least twice before the men, hearing a car approach, sped off.
Victims of Sept 11 Victims: Sikhs have been victims of a hate backlash and harassment because of their appearance Profiling: Sikhs have been victims of racial profiling at airports & on highways Discrimination: harassment, racial profiling and employment discrimination is making it much harder for Sikhs to
wear turbans and other articles of faith a basic constitutional right Mr. Balbir Sodhi was killed in Arizona Why Are Sikhs Targets? HATE
BLIND RAGE IGNORANCE MISCONCEPTIONS Similarities? 19 Terrorists 0 with Turbans 0 with Beards 0 were Sikhs
Where is the cause for concern? Similarities? Head Coverings? Compare the Turbans Muslim Headcoverings Mideast headcoverings
different Not a mandatory religious requirement Very rarely seen in the western hemisphere Viewed as pass by some Muslims Summarizing
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