A recent incident in which a Sikh couple was ejected from an AMC movie theater in Emeryville, California, because they each were wearing a kirpan, a small sword that is a recognized article of the Sikh faith (worn by Sikhs who are initiated into the Khalsa order), has raised the issues of religious freedom and racial profiling: On June 22, Manjot and Ikman Singh were preparing to watch the new Superman movie, “Man of Steel,” at AMC’s Bay 16 theater […]
In southern California, the Board of the Jurupa Unified School District recently enacted a provision allowing Sikh students to carry a kirpan — a sword or blade that is an article of the Sikh faith — on its school campuses: Under the new policy, parents agree to sign a statement that requires the kirpan — a daggerlike object that is a sacred article of faith — to be worn under clothing, to have the blade dulled, to be soldered or […]
In a thought-provoking article, Jodha, at the blog The Langar Hall, discusses the recent framing of Sikhism as a “peaceful” religion: My point isn’t whether Sikhs are peaceful or not, individuals come in all shapes and colors. The level of violence against women, against female fetuses, and often against one another, doesn’t seem to me that we are a particularly ‘peaceful’ people and should be so glib with our descriptions. Moving from Sikhs to Sikhi – I hope we never […]
In a recent talk at the 2012 TED Conference, Dr. Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist (and an atheist with an appreciation for religion), talks about the evolution of the human capacity for self-transcendence: “But every known religion has some sort of rite or procedure for taking people out of their ordinary lives and opening them up to something larger than themselves.” His talk is timely, as it comes around the season of Vaisakhi when Sikhs celebrate the transformation of their […]
Sikhs in Los Angeles, California celebrated Vaisakhi today with their annual Nagar Kirtan through downtown Los Angeles, led by the Panj Pyare (Five Beloved Ones), representing the first five Sikhs who were initiated into the Khalsa order by Guru Gobind Singh at this time in 1699. The institution of the Panj Pyare – a council of five ordained Khalsa Sikhs – permeates Sikh practices and significant events.
For the children aged 18 months to 15 years who file into the divaan hall each Sunday after class, we are fostering a sense of pride and stewardship for Sikh culture. And we’re teaching them that as long as we have the Khalsa, we don’t need Superman. — Educator Juspreet Kaur discusses the challenges that Sikh parents face in maintaining Sikh traditions, and what her local Sikh community did about it. Read more about the word Khalsa here.