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Sikhs in America

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Getting to know the world's fifth largest religion

Getting to know the world's fifth largest religion

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  • Sikh battles against tyrany became known as great fighters, used by the british is ww1 & ww2 victoria cross winners

Sikhs in America Sikhs in America Presentation Transcript

  • Sikhs in America: Getting to know the worlds fifth largest religion…
  • Sikhs in America: Getting to know the worlds fifth largest religion…
    • The Sikh Faith
    • Born in the Punjab region of northern India more than 500 years ago.
    • Founded by Guru Nanak, who taught that there is one God, and that God dwells in each and every being and that all people are born and should live, free and equal.
    • The youngest of the worlds major religions, has grown to be the fifth largest, with more than 25 million Sikhs.
  • Sikhs in America: Getting to know the worlds fifth largest religion… The Sikh faith was born in India at a time when an oppressive caste system ruled the land. Guru Nanak Taught against caste and class distinction preaching that God lives and flows through all beings and that no one should be considered above or beneath another. At a time when women were treated more like property that human beings, Guru Nanak not only taught that women were equal and should have an equal voice and participation in life's matters, but that they should be treated with great respect, as all of mankind comes through women. Those who followed Guru Nanak, because they denied any caste distinction, became known as Sikhs of Guru Nanak (Sikh literally means one who seeks the truth) or just “Sikhs”
  • Sikhs in America: Getting to know the worlds fifth largest religion… Guru Nanak was succeeded by 9 more Sikh Gurus each bringing different divine attributes to the Sikh practice. When Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru, left his body he declared that there will be no more human gurus, and that all of the knowledge and inspiration needed by the Sikhs existed in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib and that the Siri Guru Granth shall be the Guru. To Sikhs the Guru Granth is not a book but a living Guru who guides each and every Sikh in his or her daily life.
  • Sikhs in America: Getting to know the worlds fifth largest religion… The Siri Guru Granth Sahib is a compilation of writings and teachings from the Sikh Gurus and from other enlightened Saints of the time. The Guru Granth is the divine guide and spiritual inspiration of the Sikhs. It is always treated with sacred reverence, as you treat a great master or enlightened being. To Sikhs it is the word of God spoken through the divinely inspired Gurus.
  • Sikhs in America: Getting to know the worlds fifth largest religion… Sikhs do not evangelize or believe in forceful conversion. Many Sikhs have fought and died, protecting the rights of other faiths to freely practice their religions as they choose. Sikhs believe that all beings should have a direct connection with God through whatever spiritual path they freely choose. Three fundamental principals: Rise early and meditate and pray, keep God in your heart and in your mind at all times, work hard and earn a good livelihood, share what you earn and serve and elevate those who are less fortunate . Sikhs believe that there is one God who created the universe and all beings, and that the worlds different religions are diverse, divinely inspired ways of praising that one true lord.
  • Sikhs in America: Getting to know the worlds fifth largest religion… Symbols Of the Sikh Faith Ek Ong Kar : translated literally means “There is one God who has created this creation” The Khunda: The most common of symbols representing the Sikh Faith. The center chakra or circle represents the infinite nature of God, the center sword the law of cause and effect, and the two swords on the side represent spiritual and temporal power and how they must always be kept in balance.
  • Sikhs in America: Getting to know the worlds fifth largest religion… Golden Temple in Amritsar, is the most significant shrine in the the Sikh faith. It was built in 1604 as a place of worship for men and women from all walks of life and all religions. It has become one of the wonders of the world for visitors around the globe as well as a spiritual pilgrimage site for Sikhs.
  • Sikhs in America: Getting to know the worlds fifth largest religion…
    • Anyone entering a Gurudwara must remove their shoes, cover their heads with a suitable head covering, and be free from intoxicants.
    • There is absolutely no smoking in or around Sikh Gurudwaras.
    • You are not obligated to participate in anything that makes you feel uncomfortable with your own beliefs, but are asked to reverently respect others as they worship.
    • The Sikh scriptures are revered by Sikhs as a living Guru or Master.
    • Sikh Temples
    • Sikh houses of worship are called Gurudwaras.
    • Gurudwaras are open to all people of all religions, races and ethnicities.
  • Sikhs in America: Getting to know the worlds fifth largest religion… From the very beginning of their existence Sikhs stood against social and religious oppression. Forced to fight against tyrannical Mogul rule, the Sikhs became known for their courage and cunning, often tremendously out numbered they won one victory after another until they defeated the Mogul emperor. Sikhs are known for courage and valor in battle. Over 100,000 Sikhs fought in WW1, more than 40,000 died. More than Half a million fought in WW2 over 100,000 died fighting the Germans and Japanese in China, Southeast Asia and Europe.
  • Sikhs in America: Getting to know the worlds fifth largest religion… Devout Sikhs have five symbols of faith that they keep on their person at all times. These are known as the five K’s. Sikhs are also recognized by their uncut hair and distinctive turbans. Although many other faith communities and cultures wear head coverings it is only the Sikh faith that mandates men to wear their turbans during all the waking hours. Women also in many cases wear turbans or dustars, but they may choose not to, or to wear a light scarf or chuni. A Sikhs turban represents his commitment to God and he will never remove it in public.
  • Sikhs in America: Getting to know the worlds fifth largest religion… Articles of the Sikh Faith “The 5 K’s” Kesh – uncut hair: devout Sikhs do not cut their hair or beards, that we may remain in the natural image that God gave us. Kuchha – a special undergarment to remind us of modesty and fidelity. Kanga – a comb, made of wood, represents cleanliness and respect for our bodies. Kara – a steel bracelet, to remind us of our bond to God and to live in nobility and grace. Kirpan – a small ceremonial sword, symbolizing our willingness to stand for freedom liberty and justice.
  • Sikhs in America: Getting to know the worlds fifth largest religion…
  • Sikhs in America: Getting to know the worlds fifth largest religion…
    • Covers a Sikh’s long uncut hair.
    • Is approximately 15 feet of cotton cloth wrapped neatly every time it is worn.
    • Symbolizes discipline, integrity, humility, and reverence to God.
    • Religious requirement, must be worn at all times during the day and anytime when in public.
    • Removal of a Sikhs turban in public is as or more humiliating as a strip search.
    The Sikh Turban
  • Sikhs in America: Getting to know the worlds fifth largest religion… Always avoid asking a Sikh to remove his or her turban. If for whatever reason, turban removal is absolutely required, provide a clean private area with a mirror and adequate lighting, and 5 to 10 minutes to re-tie. Treat the turban with respect, do not drop or throw on floor or ground, etc.
  • Sikhs in America: Getting to know the worlds fifth largest religion… The Kirpan Represents a Sikh’s duty to defend the weak and the innocent, symbolizes courage and the willingness to fight for justice and freedom. If you see a Sikh with a kirpan, please understand that it is an important religious symbol, and it is not carried with any malicious intent. The Kirpan is a legally recognized symbol of the Sikh faith and US Courts have always upheld the right of Sikhs to carry Kirpans.
  • Sikhs in America: Getting to know the worlds fifth largest religion…
    • Sikhs in the West
    • Sikhs first came to America over 100 years ago.
    • Currently over ½ million Sikhs live in the United States.
    • Some of the first Sikh settlers in the U.S. operated fruit farms in California’s Sacramento, San Joaquin, and Imperial Valleys in the late 1800s. Many American Sikh families still own and operate these farms.
    • Sikhs practice a distinctly separate and unique faith, but are often confused with Hindus or Muslims.
  • Sikhs in America: Getting to know the worlds fifth largest religion… Sikhs have strong family values and stress the importance of higher education and an ambitious and dedicated work ethic. Sikhs believe in and defend democracy, the US Constitution and our American freedom and values. Sikh men and women excel professionally as doctors, lawyers, scientists, engineers and in computer and technology fields. Sikhs believe in sharing what they gain in life with others in need.
  • Sikhs in America: Getting to know the worlds fifth largest religion… Although often facing ignorance, discrimination and harassment , Sikhs fight to participate and take their place in mainstream American culture and still maintain their religious practice. Turban phobia is alive and well in America and because of our religiously mandated appearance and an overall ignorance of who Sikhs are, Sikhs suffer discrimination when seeking employment, housing and experience other social exclusion.
  • Sikhs in America: Getting to know the worlds fifth largest religion…
  • Sikhs in America: Getting to know the worlds fifth largest religion… Since 9/11 Sikhs have been victims of homicide, assaults, arson, vandalism at places of worship and widespread attacks, harassment and discrimination, simply because of our appearance. Sikhs have suffered from misplaced racial profiling at airports, on trains, driving on highways, and in numerous public venues. More than 800 attacks against Sikhs have been reported since Sept 11.
  • Sikhs in America: Getting to know the worlds fifth largest religion… Questions?