Sikhism & Sterotypes
Sikhism (Sikhi)- a monotheistic religion that originated in the Punjab region of India (subcontinent in South Asia) during the 15th century.
My family and I practice the religion Sikhism. A religion that is not as talked or known about yet it is the 5th largest religion in the world. The word Sikh means a "learner" or a "disciple".
The beliefs of Sikhism are expressed and written in the sacred scripture called the "Guru Granth Sahib". The Guru Granth Sahib includes faith and meditation in the name of the one creator, unity of all humankind, engaging in selfless service, striving for social justice for the benefit and prosperity of all, and honest conduct and livelihood while living a householder's life. Sikhism has 27-28 million adherents worldwide and is the fifth-largest religion in the world.
The word 'Sikhism' is derived from the Punjabi verb Sikhi, with roots in Sikhana (to learn), and Sikhi connotes the "temporal path of learning". Sikhism is a monistic religion and states that there is one supreme entity holding control of the entire universe. This entity is referred to as Ik Onkar.
Sikhism is based on the spiritual teachings of Guru Nanak, the first Guru, and the ten successive Sikh gurus. Guru Nanak was born in Kartarpur (Creator's town) around the 1500s and gathered the original core of the Sikh Panth (Sikh community) there. After the martyrdom of the tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, the Sikh scripture, Guru Granth Sahib, became the literal embodiment of the eternal, impersonal Guru, where the scripture's word serves as the spiritual guide for Sikhs. The majority of Sikh scriptures were originally written in the Gurmukhī alphabet, a script standardized by Guru Angad (Second Guru).
Sikhism emphasizes meditation on the words of the Guru Granth Sahib, that can be expressed musically through kirtan (hymns) or internally through Nam Japo (repetition of God's name) as a means to feel God's presence, and to have control over the "Five Thieves" (lust, rage, greed, attachment and conceit). Guru Nanak taught that living an "active, creative, and practical life" of "truthfulness, fidelity, self-control and purity" is above the metaphysical truth, and that the ideal man is one who "establishes union with God, knows His Will, and carries out that Will". Guru Hargobind, the sixth Sikh Guru, established the political/temporal (Miri) and spiritual (Piri) realms to be mutually coexistent.
Sikhism developed while the region was being ruled by the Mughal Empire. Two of the Sikh gurus – Guru Arjan and Guru Tegh Bahadur, after they refused to convert to Islam, were tortured and executed by the Mughal rulers. The Islamic era persecution of Sikhs triggered the founding of the Khalsa (the body or company of fully initiated Sikhs), as an order for freedom of conscience and religion. A Sikh is expected to embody the qualities of a saint-soldier.
In the 1670s a Mughal Emperor forced Hindus (followers of Hinduism) to convert their religion from Hinduism to Muslim until the ninth Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur sacrificed his life to save the Hindus and their freedom of their religion in 1675. This is just one of the events in Sikhism but there have been many more.
When Guru Gobind Singh inaugurated the Khalsa he infused the Kaur and Singh element upon us. A Sikh female's last name is Kaur (princess) and a male's last name is Singh (prince/king). Even though my parents are married (to each other) my mom's last name is Kaur and so is mine. My dad and brother on the other hand, their last name is Singh.
Sikh men wear a turban as a crown given by the Guru for honor and bravery and a constant reminder for a Sikh to remember to live a pure, healthy, honest and earning life.
Honestly it is impossible to explain an entire religion to you in a few words and my usual blog post length but that was a little bit of information about Sikhism just so you know some of the religion before I dive into something slightly different.
Sikhs are often misunderstood/stereotypically stated as Muslims and then therefore stereotyped as terrorists. First of all, there is nothing wrong with being a Muslim. It is the same as any other religion like Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, etc. Secondly, Muslims are not terrorists. A infant is not born a terrorist if he/she is Muslim. Later in life if they chose to be one, that is that. Not all Muslims are terrorists, a fact that EVERYONE should understand. Next, a Sikh and a Muslim are often stereotyped the same because Sikh men wear a turban and so do some Muslims. Stereotyping brown men who wear a turban is wrong and has lead to, does lead to hate crime. It's like saying every human with an asian (Korean/Chinese/Japanese/Vietnamese, etc.) eye structure is Korean or specified from just one of those countries and labeled. I'm sorry I don't know what that eye structure is but hopefully you get the point.
So here's a video from someone who I know and grew up calling a brother and he's made a difference with this. Watch it if you'd like, Angad Singh:
A Sikh should not be threatened by others because they are wearing a turban, which may I say, they have the right to wear, living in the United States of America.
Please understand that just because this post is about Sikhism/ Sikhs doesn't mean I don't support or believe in other faiths and topics of hate crime and other issues in our world, I do. I'm just focusing on this one thing for right now.
Thanks you for reading and watching this post.