What means Sikh?
Did you know that if you see a man wearing a turban on his head, he is most likely to be a Sikh? Sikh women usually prefer to wear a head scarf. Being a Sikh means to follow Sikhism, a religion with origins in India. Sikhs believe for example that it is important never to cut their hair. Remaining as close as possible to their natural appearance is seen as a way of showing respect to God.
Sikhism was founded by a holy man named Guru Nanak during the sixteenth century, in the old Indian and Pakistani Province of Punjab. Of the 20 million Sikhs in the world today, most still live in this same part of India, though there are many thousands of Sikhs from the US, the UK and right across the world.
What do Sikhs believe?
If you were a Sikh, you would worship one god and do your best to live a moral life. A very important part of being a Sikh is in doing kind deeds for others. Each day, life centers around remembering God in all things, being honest and working hard, treating everyone equally, showing kindness to those in need and helping others.
On Sundays, you would attend a religious service in the holy building, called a Gurdwara. Services are based upon the lessons of Guru Nanak and the teachers who came after him. Everyone is welcome to come along and once the service is finished, you would share a special meal with everybody, called Langar.
What are The Five Ks?
As a Sikh, there are five items you would wear or carry on you to show that you are a Sikh. These are known as The Five Ks:
1) Kachhera — a type of loose undergarment;
2) Kanga — a wooden comb;
3) Kara — an iron or steel bangle worn around the wrist;
4) Kes/Keski — uncut hair and turban;
5) Kirpan — a ceremonial dagger.
By Deborah L. Caine (Whyzz writer)