This is not a religious article. This article hasn’t been written to offend other religions or faith systems and it certainly doesn’t talk about how my religion as well as the culture of Sikhism is better than your faith system.
This is just my experience as a Sikh and how I, despite being skeptical about God (or any other form of higher power) embraced Sikhism as a culture and how it holds a positive outlook in my daily life.
Here, I use the word “culture” instead of “religion” because to talk about religious teachings won’t be fair on my part, given their broad narrative. The tid-bits of how Sikhism has influenced me as a person though shall be briefly (as well as explicitly) discussed in this piece.
Starting off with some debunking: A large percentage of modern Sikhs intend to trim their beard. Some may refer to it as a matter of choice and liberalism but I intend to maintain my beard as it is.
Now, the preached and false religious narrative may lead you to believe that Sikhism “orders” you to maintain a beard to solidify your faith but the cultural juxtaposition is fairly simple: We believe in maintaining our body as it is. Natural, unedited and un-airbrushed.
Here, the culture is more open-minded and far less complex as opposed to being regressive and demanding a “display of faith”.
What I learn from this is that Sikhism doesn’t tie me down to religious misappropriations and instead, it merely shows me a way to have minimal superficial needs, embrace my true self along with my naturally intended appearance and be confident about it, which is.. quite awesome.
*Also, here’ another article from our website which details how Sikhism is different from Hinduism and you can read it here.*
Secondly, let’s talk about the idea of “preaching”. I’ve seen and read a lot of examples where people tend to convert other people to their faith system via brainwashing or bribery.
In my experience, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Sikh person do that.
This makes me infer that my culture openly asserts the relatively basic idea of “live and let live”. Again, this is something most of us need to learn instead of meddling in the business of others.
Talking about stereotypes: Most people would have you believe that Sikhs are “crazy” and their idea of fun is always extreme but my upbringing in a modern Sikh family talks about the same “craziness” as an act of selflessness, where one should always try and spread a positive and cheerful vibe in his/her surroundings.
Humor is an important element of life and that’s what my culture teaches me. Life is too short to be sad and gloomy anyway, isn’t it?
Lastly, I’m gonna address the idea of wearing a turban which religious misappropriation might lead you to believe is a stringent practice compared to a matter of “preservation of identity” and uniqueness among your circle.
It is widely known that the 10th Guru of Sikh religion, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji made turban the most prominent clothing attire in the Sikh culture.
A large percentage of the modern generation views it as a hassle to wear the turban but little do they know that standing out among the generic crowd is a totally different feeling.
My experience of the Sikh culture teaches me to not be proud of my culture or religion based solely on the clothing that I wear. Instead, it teaches me to build an identity of my own and allow my attire to be the physical exhibition of it since it does strike the eye first as a defining factor of my dressing.
Also, I do look pretty great in a turban. Haha.
Anyway, it’s needless to say that I’ve embraced Sikhism with open arms as my culture and I’m proud of it.
My upbringing in a modern Sikh family has taught me nothing but good things and this was just a little demonstration of what I’ve learned over the years.
Think you have more such experiences? Do share in the comments!
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