Inspiring Sikh Cultural Contribution to Society

Sunday, June 29, 2014: “With determination, I will be triumphant” is the motto of the Sikh infantry regiment of the Indian Army. In over 500 years the 25 million Sikhs around the world with a rich ancient culture plus strong traditions have shown an extraordinary ability to protect their communities as well as defend their lands and adopt to new environments. Sikhism, founded by Guru Nanak begins during the 15th century in the fertile farm lands of Punjab region where the five rivers flow in the Indian Sub-continent.

Many cities in Punjab, Delhi and in Haryana states have been vigorous Sikh cultural and religious centers for centuries. Sikhism’s holiest site the Darbar Sahib also known as the Golden Temple in Amritsar built in 1604 by Guru Arjun the fifth Sikh Guru is where the holy scripture of Sikhism Guru Granth Sahib, is retained . The majestic Golden Temple surrounded by a large lake near the river Ravi is visited by millions of devotees annually. Since the earliest times, pilgrimages to Sikh Gurudwaras have been made as acts of devotion.



Visiting Sri Tarn Taran Sahib Temple founded by the Fifth Sikh Guru, Shri Guru Arjan Dev Ji, Gurudwara Baba Bakala and Gurudwara Darbar Sahib are among the most sacred Sikh sights devotes can ever see in Punjab. Most spectacular Sikh holy cities worth visiting in Delhi are Gurudwara Bangla Sahib known for its association with the eighth Sikh Guru in the heart of New Delhi’s, Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahibin established in 1783 and Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib. Journey into the past happenings and unquestionable loyalty to the Sikhism by courageous Sikh men and women date backs from birth of Sikhism’s founder, Guru Nanak, in 1469 till the partition of India in 1947 was inspiring. Sikhs know the lessons of their past all too well.

Even today when tourist visits a Sikh Gurudwara the cultural revival of Sikh history, literary history, ethno-history, and so forth can be seen. Sikhism, is still close to the hearts of many Sikhs. There are five articles of faith, known as five kakars required to be worn by a Sikh. Sikh turban or Dastar is a mark of visual identity and is , important part of the unique Sikh identity which conveys royalty, grace and partly to cover their long hair. The Kirpan a ceremonial sword ,Sikh Comb or Kanga and the Kara a steel bangle worn on the wrist are the other the three articles of faith worn by a Sikh. Sikhs believes that the name holds the power to shape a child’s self-esteem , identity and influence others. Many Sikh parents, use “Singh” meaning “Lion” for a male child and “Kaur” meaning princes for a female child.

Today the Sikh traditions, customs and culture dress style, views on life are making headway. Bollywood is an historical center of movie studios and for Sikh film stars. Poonam Dhillon, Kaur Panag, Mandira Bedi and Dara Singh a Indian wrestler-turned-actor, are some of the greatest Sikh stars that hit the Bollywood big screens . Bhangra a lively form of folk music and dance, the Giddha and Jhoomer dances that originates from Punjab are enduring popularity among Sikhs. Teachings of Guru Nanak is what attracts many followers that can inspire us to think imaginatively about what Sikhism means and about the Sikh culture.

~ Source: Daily Mirror – Impulse

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