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Who Are the White Sikhs?

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by spnadmin, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Sangat ji

    About a week ago I argued in a Sikhnet discussion that we should stop using the phrase "white" Sikhs. I never returned to the thread to see what others replied.

    What are White Sikhs? It is a strange label. When was it first used? Who are 'they?' Are White Sikhs only 3HO Sikhs? Are White Sikhs any Sikhs who come from an Anglo or European background? Are White Sikhs any Sikhs who wear white as a matter of routine (3HO or Nirmala).

    So far the label has made little sense to me because membership in the White Sikh category is never clear-cut. Sometimes it means 3HO because they wear white. But so do Nirmalas and so do members of other sects within Sikhism. Sometimes it means Sikhs who are from Anglo or European heritage. That however poses a problem as a category because what then do we call African American Sikhs or Chinese, Japanese or Vietnamese Sikhs. We don't have categories for Black and Yellow Sikhs (and really should we?).

    I did not know that Punjabi Sikhs were not "white." I thought that Punjabi peoples migrated originally from the middle of the 6th Century from the Caucasus (Scythia and the Ural steps) -- through Afghanistan and into northern India and what is now Pakistan. That would make Punjabi Sikhs genetically caucasian or "white.":welcome:

    Many Punjabi Sikhs are darker in color on a continuum of tan to brown. Are they "brown Sikhs?" If they are, then why don't we group 3HO Sikhs who are African American with them --in the Brown Sikh category - using skin color as our way of classifying.

    Dr. Lonnie Smith is a Sikh jazz musician in New York. Where does he fit?

    [​IMG]

    Please clear up my confusion.

    What about this problem of categories and labels? How does it fit with the Banee of the Gurus? What is the likelihood that at some point in time we will give it up?

    Related threads

    http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/new-to-sikhism/25944-white-sikhs.html

    http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/business-and-lifestyle/20441-white-sikhs-white-clothes.html
     
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  3. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Narayanjot ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    Thanks for your introspective great essay with the rainbow of questions, no pun intended.

    There are Indian, Chinese, English, American etc etc Christians, Buddhists,Zoroastrians and Muslims. Some lost Jewish tribes can also be categorised in the same manner with different kinds of names.

    The unique thing about Sikhi is in the name. A Sikh defines a pragmatist, as you know is a student, a seeker, a learner and we all know that learning has no hue, no creed, no faith, nada- just a deep desire to get better from all aspects.

    So, rather than we Sikhs constructing our own different burrows in the quick sands of life, we should address all as Sikhs. This needs an effort from all- Gurdwaras, SGPC and other factions, internet forums as this one.


    We, at SPN can invite Sikhs from different origins and start a dialogue of Gurmat integration and urge them to share their good and bad expereinces with the Sikhs from other ethnicities and walks of life. We here have the capacity and more important the Gurmat desire to make this happen.

    No body is a better example than yourself.:)

    Just thinking aloud as usual....

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  4. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
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  5. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    NamJap ji - How is the relevant to the thread topic? As OP the point was to examine the concept of White Sikhs. Not interfaith dialog. Please help with your understanding.
     
  6. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
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    Narayanjot Kaur Ji,


    Sikhs who mainly came from northern India were called white skinned. But now they are called wheatish brown sikhs because the Americans are fairer skinned who became sikhs. Nevertheless, the two commentators are really white, aren't they ?
     
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  7. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    namjap ji

    Yes I now get what you were trying to express. That is the crux of my criticism. Although there is a lot of genetic diversity in India, Sikhs from the north are considered in the same genetic group (badly labeled as "race") as Europeans. To a great extent the term "race" is both misleading and divisive because everything depends on the genetic map for blood type, dental structures that are unique to some groups/not others, pelvis measurements, and a lot of other physical features. By and large the two commentators are "caucasian" and that covers a lot of shades of pink, tan and brown. Skin color is a poor determiner of "race."

    My father was darker than either of those two Singhs. And my grandmother called him "nu Turq!" which is the Neapolitan dialect for The Turk! And a lot of Turks are fair, blond a blue-eyed.
     
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  8. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    I wanted to add. At an autopsy race can be/and often is determined from measurements of the skeleton, teeth and cranium measurements. No skin is needed. So why is skin color so important?
     
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  9. Sikh royalist

    Sikh royalist
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    i don't know what are we promising the new converts to Sikhism i don't think with the present mind set we will be able to give them equal respect when a Punjabi Sikh cannot give respect to another Punjabi Sikh from different caste ethnicity is far away.i have seen some new converts to Sikhism specially the biharis(native of bihar state of India) and they are just like Sikhs a bit darker though and i don't have any problem in considering them as equal how ever poor they may be........
     
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  10. dushanka

    dushanka
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    Sat Sri Akal -Ji

    well , i can't answer your question directly but can tell you from own experiance
    whenever i enter any Indian Restaurant in Germany i have heard people
    whispering : look , look a white Sikh !
    Even i onmyself wear not always Shalwar kameez , and have not tied a ladie's Turban
    i wear Kara and a chain with Khanda only . Yes my skin is a bit lighter but since i live in India now, i have seen all kind of coloured people lighter and darker Sikhs ( also Hindus)
    In beginning that has confused me but now i do not take care more about what people say, in contrary i am proud to be a Sikh. Also in Serbia where i am born we have all kinds of coloured people , what reminds me very much on Punjab.
    I personally have a request to anybody who maybe can help me :
    I would like to know how to tie a ladies Turban properly where in Delhi , G. Noida / Amritsar i can learn it?
    Thank you .khandaa
     
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  11. prakash.s.bagga

    prakash.s.bagga
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    A SIKH IS A SIKH ONLY.
    There should be no classification of Sikhs based on Caste,Color and Creeds,
    This is against the Basic Concept Of Sikh Philosophy and the tenents established by our revered GURUs.

    Prakash.S.Bagga
     
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  12. dushanka

    dushanka
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    Sat Sri Akal Ji ,

    As i said before i can't give you the answer directly , i only can guess onmyself
    what some people mean by saying ,,white Sikh " .
    Being now continously for 2 years in India i have noticed that many people ( mostly non Sikhs) call white skinned non-indian born in Sikhism converted People ,, white Sikhs" . My own opinion is a Sikh is a Sikh like you've already mentioned above.
    Myself am proud to have Indian ancestors and i'm proud to be a Sikh.
    What i have written is only my experiance i don't know if everywhere they say same .:happykaur:
     
  13. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    dushanka ji thanks for your post.

    Anyone can be white with enough Fair & Lovely,

    [​IMG]

    The color of the soul is more important (Oh is the soul colorless or it has color winkingmunda).

    How do you develop or purify your soul? Through a well tried method of studying Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji.

    Sat Sri Akal.
     

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