SIKHISM OVERVIEW:

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You can find more information the Sikh Coalition here.

FUNDAMENTALS AND VIRTUES OF SIKHISM:

Sikhi teaches a message based on the principles of love and oneness, calling on all followers to be spiritual warriors: meditation, service, and justice are core aspects of the Sikh way of life.

 

 

 












COMMUNITY:

Sikhs live all over the world are embedded within their local and national communities, remaining committed to the core values of spiritual growth and social justice. Sikhs continue to establish Gurdwaras with and for their communities, and Sikhs strive to maintain basic aspects of the tradition within these contexts. Sikhs establish themselves as active contributors to civic societies of all places around the world.

THE FIVE K’s:

The Five Ks are the articles of faith that Sikhs wear as ordered by the 10th Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. Most Sikhs wear one or more of the articles, but only Sikhs who have taken amrit sanchar, a ritual analogous to baptism, wear all.

To learn more about Five K’s articles of Sikhism look here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THEY INCLUDE: Kesh (unshorn long hair), Kanha (a wooden comb), Kara (an iron bangle), Kachera (undergarment), Kirpan (a short dagger).

  • Kesh is protected by a dastaar, or turban. The dastaar is worn by men and some women to cover their long hair. Most women keep their hair long and uncovered, except for when entering a Gurdwara.

  • A kangha keeps the hair combed twice a day.

  • A kara is an iron bangle to be worn on the hand used most. It is a constant reminder that everything you do with your hands has to be in agreement given by Guru.

  • A kachera is a specific undergarment for men and women. Originally meant a soldier’s willingness to be ready for a battle instantly.

  • A kirpan is a short dagger. It symbolizes a Sikh’s duty to come to defense of those in peril.

 

FESTIVALS AND CELEBRATIONS:

Vaisakhi (also spelled Baisakhi) is the festival which celebrates the founding of the Sikh community known as the Khalsa. It is celebrated on April 14 each year. On Vaisakhi day in 1699, Guru Gobind Singh summoned Sikhs from all over India to the city of Anandpur Sahib. At this gathering, the Guru called upon Sikhs to uphold their faith and preserve the Sikh religion.







 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GENDER EQUALITY:

Sikhism is rather progressive in terms of recognizing and respecting all genders as equally capable and valuable. Women can wear turbans just like men, as a symbol of being equal to them. In Langar kitchens as a rule, everybody sits on the floor being on the same level and eats together. Of course we still have a lot of work to do to create atmosphere of truly positive and equal understanding of each other and project it throughout all generations and minds. Here you can find an article that debates the idea.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SIKHISM IN UNITED STATES:

Sikhs began immigrating to the United States 150 years ago to build better lives for themselves and their families. Despite successful leadership in diverse fields, people still admit to knowing very little or nothing at all about Sikhism. A description of Sikh religion, beliefs, and history in America evokes a strongly positive reaction among adults. Nearly 65% of adults rate their feelings as highly favorable to the descriptions once they are given facts. Sikh values are American values. You can find more on the topic here.

  • The Sikhism tradition is  a relatively young tradition, founded about 500 hundred years ago in the Punjab region of South Asia.

  • With more than 25 million practitioners, Sikhism is the world’s fifth largest religion.

  • Sikhs believe in the equality of all humankind, rejecting discrimination based on caste, faith, and gender.

  • Three core practices of Sikhism are meditation of God, earning an honest living, and sharing with others.

  • Sikhs hold as sacred the spiritual teachings of ten successive Sikh gurus, starting with Guru Nanak in the 15th century.

  • Observant Sikhs keep five articles of faith (the 5 K’s) with them, which bind Sikhs together and remind them of their religious commitments.