Sikhism

Sikhs, finding religious freedom on the road, take outsize role in American trucking

July 16, 2021

(RNS) — More and more of America’s truck drivers are wearing turbans, as a growing community of Punjabi-born drivers, the majority of whom are Sikhs, play an increasingly outsize role in one of America’s fastest-growing industries. 

The trucking industry has attracted generations of Americans by offering good salaries for work that allows drivers to essentially be their own bosses. That workplace freedom has drawn many Sikhs in the Sikh American community to pursue trucking. Beginning in the early 1990s and picking up steam after 2009, Sikhs have become an important part...

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Denominations have begun creating special prayers for fatal mass shootings

July 16, 2021

When there are mass shootings, like this week in Chicago, or the previous week in Toledo — or, really, any week in this country — Episcopal Bishop Scott Hayashi thinks of that split second in a Tacoma record store decades ago. The beat when he turned toward a man with a gun to ask, “What did you say?” and saw his own 19-year-old face in the man’s mirrored shades before his body hit the floor.

Hayashi spent two months in the ICU and almost died after being shot in the stomach during the robbery. He now advocates with a group of other U.S. Episcopal bishops on the issue of gun...

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‘I Can’t See Myself Doing Anything Else’

July 11, 2021

KERMAN, Calif. — Simranjit Singh is a second-generation American farmer, but his agricultural roots go back 900 years.

Before his father moved to California from India in 1991, before India gained independence from Britain in 1947, before his Sikh culture took root in 1469, the civilizations of Northern India worked various agricultural lands, and Mr. Singh, 28, is part that unbroken lineage.

On a secluded 100-acre farm in the San Joaquin Valley of California, he and his father tend the family’s raisin and almond orchards, determined to keep their heritage vital....

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Sikh American soldier fights to honor his religion and country

June 21, 2021

U.S. Army 1st Lt. Kanwar Singh considers his hair and turban an essential part of his religious faith. "We believe God's creation is perfect. And so, that's why I keep my hair unshorn." But in order to serve in the U.S. military, rules state that Singh would have to cut his hair and remove his turban.

"For a Sikh, to cut your hair, to remove your turban would be like asking to remove a body part," says Harsimran Kaur, Senior Counsel at the Sikh Coalition.

Source: ...

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Randeep S. Arora: Include us Sikhs in Minnesota social studies standards. A broader view really matters.

June 17, 2021

Just two months ago, on April 15, eight people were murdered and others were injured at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis. In the wake of the attack, the country joined the families of the victims in mourning the tragic loss of life that occurred that night. For Sikh Americans, it was an all-too-familiar and still extraordinary pain to learn that four of the eight victims murdered were members of our faith.

Whether the shooter targeted this attack toward the Sikh FedEx employees is still being investigated by Indianapolis authorities. Yet the collective trauma felt by Sikhs...

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Keeping the Faith

June 7, 2021

Samrath Singh ’22 grew up in New Jersey in a loving family, starred at sports, excelled in school, and even learned to play the viola. He was also raised as an observant Sikh, which is why Boston College struck his parents as an odd fit when it came time for their son, by then a standout baseball player and student, to decide on a university.

In June 2017, Singh and his parents made the drive to Chestnut Hill to learn about BC, which had been heavily recruiting the tall lefthanded pitcher. After touring the campus and the athletic facilities, they found themselves sitting in...

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Sikh Teen Says He Was Harassed, Attacked By Older Teens At Long Island Mall

June 2, 2021

SOUTH HUNTINGTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Two Sikh teenagers say they were the targets of a hate crime at a Long Island mall over the weekend.

CBS2’s Alice Gainer spoke with one of the teens and his father.

“Physically I’m OK, but mentally… I have a 3-year-old brother. I don’t want this happening to him,” 13-year-old Chaz Bedi said.

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First Sikh in N.J. fire department serves for his religion and as a source of inspiration

June 1, 2021

Some people decide to join a volunteer fire company to learn a new trade, fill spare time in their days, or form bonds with a new pack of people.

For Khushwant S. Pall, becoming a first responder is a reflection of his own religion.

“The reason why we wear our turbans is if anyone is ever in need of anything, we’re always there to render aid. We can easily spot it ... and I wanted to bring that towards an organization in my community that gives back,” Pall said. “It’s an obligation that we have: to help others.”

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Local Sikhs build ties 1 turban at a time at fest

May 31, 2021

People at Promenade Park waited Sunday for members of the Sikh community to wrap fabric in vibrant colors – including red, orange, pink and blue – around their heads to form turbans.

This sharing of culture was part of Allen County's first Sikh Turban Fest, a three-hour event presented by Indiana Sikh Outreach Mission.

Its goal was simple: raise awareness about the Sikh identity, which people often misidentify, said Jesse Singh, the organization's founder.

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Community groups celebrate the opening of Singh and Kaur Park in Elk Grove

May 29, 2021

ELK GROVE, Calif. — Community groups on Saturday celebrated the opening of Singh and Kaur Park in Elk Grove, dedicated in honor of two Sikh men, Gurmej Atwal and Surinder Singh, who were killed in a yet unsolved double homicide in 2011.

"Thanks to the community and all the hard work of everyone, this park has come to fruition," said community organizer Mandeep Singh. "To honor the community of Elk Grove, honor those that were slain who we still seek justice for, and it’s really just a way to bring everyone together."

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