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Is Western culture bringing about degeneration in Sikhism?

Discussion in 'Gurmat Vichaar' started by Sikh80, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. Sikh80

    Sikh80
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    Is Western culture bringing about degeneration in Sikhism?



    Different cultures and way of life to affect one another but religion is more than mere culture. The strength or weakness of a person lies in his faith and convictions. Only those fall who have a wavering mind or faltering faith and there is no dearth of such people in any religion. A religion does not stand by numbers but by principles. The history of the Jews and that of the Sikhs bears witness to this fact. True Sikhism is as strong now as before. It is better to have only a few faithfuls than to have even one Judas iscariot instrumental in impaling a Christ or a faithless Gangu being the cause of bricking up the master's sons alive. A wavering mind and pretentiousness are dangerous for any person and any religion. I feel Sikhism has always been shaking off its undesirable paraphernalia and is even now putting faith to the test. Don't forget that only five could pass the great test set by Guru Gobind Singh to a gathering of 80,000 in the year 1699. I have heard of very few Sikhs who have renounced their faith and accepted any other religion and perhaps as many have accepted Sikhism by renouncing other religions. It is erroneous to think that those who cut off their hair are no more Sikhs. As long as they believe in the Gurus and the Gurubani and are ready to follow Sikh way of life they are as much the members of Sikh community as the baptised Sikhs but of course they are not true "Singhs." To be a true "Singh" they must follow the Guru's instructions in their entirety. The writer knows quite a number of shaven Sikhs who are very deeply devoted and pious have a very firm faith in the Gurus and their philosophy. What we can say about these brothers is that under some circumstances they have been compelled to take a retrogressive step and are not lost to Sikhism for ever. There is already a marked trend towards coming back to the fold like the prodigal son and the well-known forty disclaimers of Guru Gobind Singh. It is never too late to mend and never too late to get baptised. "To fall is neither dangerous nor disgraceful, but to remain prostate is both." (Konrad Adenauer)
    Introduction to Sikhism - Questions and Answers on Sikhism
     
    #1 Sikh80, Jan 2, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2008
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  3. Sikh80

    Sikh80
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    I am not in a position to comment upon the overall figures including non-indians who might have adopted this religion.

    However, it can be safely stated that Indian Sikhs who migrate to USA cut off their hairs. This is for sure. Members may like to offer their comments.
     
  4. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Sikh80 ji

    Some Sikhs who have migrated cut their hair. But it is hard to say whether most do. Just about all the Sikhs I know in the vicinity of where I live and work keep kesh. And converts to Sikhism also keep kesh for the most part. Even if they are not baptized. So there is a lot of individual variation.

    When Sikhs first migrated to the US, they settled in California, Oregon, and Washington State -- a few other places. This was from about 1880 to about 1920. Many of them did cut their hair, but remained Sikhs. They build gurdwaras soon after they arrived in the states, but did not keep the 5 K's. Their children and their children's children remain Sikhs and retain their Sikh identity. Later arrivals to those areas from the Punjab and other parts of Asia settled alongside the earlier immigrants. They do keep kesh -- of course with exceptions. So the result is a very diverse group of Sikhs living and working together, proud of their heritage, and of their identity.

    Punjabi Heritage is a great online magazine that you can read if you are interested in the history of Sikh immigrants in North America.
     
  5. Sikh80

    Sikh80
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    aadji,
    Thanks for quoting as above. However, we have to draw conclusion based on a larger sample size that would include overall sikh population including Canada,UK and US. But most imporatantly we have to consider the figures Of Indian sikhs as wel who would contribute about 90 percent or so of the sikhs.

    It is there that one observes the fall in general level of Sikhi.
    We find that in Punjab, the hub of sikhi, is not faring well so far as sikhism is concerned. Punjab is the state with skewed men:women ratio.It is about 1.2, this should be at the worst 1 i.e men=women.
    like wise addiction is another problem.
    There are other problems as well regarding identity of sikhs and lack of sikh icons. In India we have no one to identify with.We cannot identify ourself with our PM , Mr manmohan singh.
    I have not crystallised my mind.Hope with few more replies we shall get focussed.
     
  6. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    One of the bitter truth is that turbaned sikhs are and will face lot of problem in U.S.A and
    other western countries.The reason is that islamic terrorism is growing at fast pace and majority of world have no clue about sikhism.and whenever they will strike there is going to be a strong reaction and as a most visible persons turbaned sikhs will be worst.So future is not so bright for turbaned sikhs in west as well as in india.
     
  7. Sikh80

    Sikh80
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    sikhs are also not treated well. The French turban issue is the case.Kds ji what do you think can be a possible solution.?In Us we have the problem of hate crimes. The problems in INdia have already been highlighted.
     
  8. Sikh80

    Sikh80
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    There may be chances that the 'white sikhs' grow.With the growth of this phenomenon there are chances that some white sikh may become icon like Bill gates,Ln Mittal, Swaraj pal etc, so as to name a few. In that case there are chances that the sikhi may get some impetus as young sikhs will have some one to identify with.
    however, it is my opinion.
     
  9. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    The french turban law is not against sikhism or sikhs.It is mainly against islam.Let me show you something

    News | Pakistan | Cleric’s chilling warning to UK | The Sun |HomePage|News

    Rehamn, in a flowing grey beard and turban, explained Islamic, or Sharia Law as we sat surrounded by some of his 250 students.

    He said: “Adulterers who are married should be buried in earth to the waist and stoned to death.

    “Homosexuals must be killed – it’s the only way to stop them spreading. It should be by beheading or stoning, which the general public can do.

    “Thieves should have their hands cut off. Women should remain indoors and films and pop music should be banned.”

    So what does he think of Britain? The dad insisted: “The nonbelievers must be converted to Islam. Morals in your society, with women wearing revealing clothes, have gone wrong.”



    Scary ... playground nuke

    Phil Hannaford

    The spot where enriched uranium is produced for Pakistan’s 80 to 120 nuclear warheads is behind razor wire less than five miles from where we spoke.

    A dummy missile even sits in a children’s playground in Kahuta.

    Only this month, doomed opposition leader Benazir Bhutto raised the spectre of al-Qaeda-linked Islamic militants seizing control of Pakistan’s nuclear warheads – and activity by radicals near Kahuta.

    Despite the efforts of politicians such as her to champion democracy, the country has long been a hotbed of Islamic extremism and there is no shortage of potential martyrs.

    At the Red Mosque in the heart of the capital Islamabad, Maulana Mohavya Irshad, 24, stared coldly at me. He said: “I’m ready to become a suicide bomber and lay down my life for Islam. Democracy is wrong. Earth belongs to God and God’s law must be implemented.

    “I hope Britain and the rest of the world will have Sharia Law this century. We will continue to sacrifice our lives to achieve this.”

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Now If these mullah's give these types of speeches in turban and beard then hatred against beards and turbans is obvious.
     
  10. Sikh80

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    #9 Sikh80, Jan 2, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2008
  11. Sikh80

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    #10 Sikh80, Jan 2, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2008
  12. Sikh80

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  13. Archived_Member1

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    this is a cop-out. a pathetic excuse used by weak willed sikhs who just want an excuse to cut off their kes. it's simply untrue. the vast majority of turbaned sikhs in the US enjoy a normal life. it's only a handful of very highly publicized incidents which makes people in india think that americans hate turbans.

    i live in texas, the heart of racist, christian america, and NONE of my turbaned sikh friends have suffered serious harassment over their turbans or ethnicity. this includes people who have lived their whole life here. maybe an offhand comment once in a while from an ignorant jerk... but everyone who is at all "different" has to suffer through that once in a while, regardless of turban or race.

    i suffer FAR more harassment for being a woman than i ever will for wearing a turban.

    the fact of the matter is that young guys want to look like bollywood heroes and bhangra stars. it's not "western culture" that's causing problems among sikhs, it's bollywood, the indian media, and the hinduization of india.
     
  14. Archived_Member1

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    that's a pretty sweeping generalization. i'd say it depends on the community. many of those who came here for political asylum in the 80s had already cut their kes to escape persecution while in india.

    most of those who cut their kes in the US are laborers and farmers who want to "fit in" to their new community. most harassment, after all, comes from uneducated laborers these sikhs will encounter at work. many of these people are second and third generation american sikhs.

    among highly educated sikhs, you'll see far more keeping turbans and full beards. walk around a company like microsoft and see for your self the large number of turbaned sikhs in technical and managerial positions.

    and among white sikh converts, you'll see nearly 100% keeping kes and wearing turbans. :)
     
  15. Sikh80

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    You should be right about that you have stated. I have seven male members from my nearest relation sides who have shred ofh their hairs.

    They earn in dollars and spend minimum
    amoun there and send the money back to India. Indian sikhs are getting rich and have disposable money that they did not have earlier.It might be one of the reasons that the Indian sikhs are affected by the western Dollar.

    The problem may not have any direct linkage with the westernisation of indian sikhs who move to US but the money thet generate degenerates sikhi, to some extent, in Punjab as persons here are prune to become lax and lazy when the cream costs nothing.
     
  16. punjabikiren

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    i am a 17 year old sikh girl born and brought up in england mums religious dad isent at all drinks smokes everyfin n i have respected my religion bcuz i am the only girl in the area dat i live who hasent cut her hair yes i wear english clothes but no revealing ones but never shown my legs or cut my hair i have also never drank and smoked but will not lie i have been tempted just because everyone else does but havent
     
  17. Archived_Member1

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    ask them what harassment or abuse they suffered to make them cut their hair.

    i bet they'll say they just wanted to "fit in", or they thought they'd get a job easier.

    trust me, all of my turban wearing friends have VERY good jobs at high-tech and financial institutions, as well as government jobs, while the cut surds i know of are usually working in gas stations and liquor stores and driving taxis.

    it's just an excuse.
     
  18. drkhalsa

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    I agree with you Jasleen .

    My experience also says the same .

    BUT

    The for some one who is traveling for first time there are lot of concerns that he might carry just due to Odd media reports .
    This happened with me when I travelled to Florida with my friends( all with short hairs). I was all woried the moment I left London that something can spoil our holiday .
    There were lot of worries like something at airport security Check in New york so something like that in Florida . I was bit apprehensive as I had read a lot of Amricans in general Ignorance about world outside America

    But inspite of all these worries nothin happened in my 15day trip .Absolutely nothin at all .May be I was Lucky I thought at that time .But I know now that this is very usual outcome and not something that is comsidered lucky .

    But still being a turbaned sikh does give you some extra hardships at mental level when travelling to new places .I still hold this Idea but now I consider it all part of the game
     
  19. Sinister

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    what's wrong with working on a gas station, liqour store or driving a taxi?

    nothing personal, but I think putting a negative spin on jobs is a show of elitism and i think you might have offended half the taxi drivers in New york, chicago and toronto....(who are amritdharis) (which is a low blow...shallow to say the least)

    questions:

    do amritdhari 'high-tech/ financial workers' think their shyte stinks? or is it custom amongst people like this to pretend like it doesnt?

    is your boss a 'cut surd'? is that how you view different people? (ie: every punjabi gone mona is a person who has been harrased and abused? no offense but that is a weird conception of reality, discounting the fact that it might have been a rational and conscious choice)

    hinduization of india? not so much 'hinduization' as it is the natural course of human evolution to reject and negate ritual, ornamentation and most importantly religion.
    do your parents still wear their bell bottoms with platform shoes?

    Cheers Kelly
    and lets try to keep the anti-GOI rants at minimums...they're a little embarrasing to read especially if they are inconclusive and false.

    All hail Mcdonalds and our Western Corporate overlords.
     
  20. Archived_Member1

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    nothing personal? then why do you insist on reading so much into my words? i never said there was anything negative about working a low paying job. those are YOUR words. my point was that if people think they cannot get high paying or high skilled jobs because of a turban, they are wrong.

    i mean no offense to blue collar workers.


    i apologize if this offends you.
     
  21. Archived_Member1

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    not sure what this is in reference to. perhaps you could direct your comments at my actual posts. i don't see anything about GOI in the post you quoted.


    thanks.
     

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