I apologize for this post being so short, especially since it's the kind of topic that needs elaboration; I'm tired and just want to get this typed out and posted so I can view the responses in the morning. A question that's been on my mind, do you think Sikhism is really what it is made out to be? Is it what it should be? As someone whose first encounter with Sikhism was via the internet, I was subject at first to a very rose-tinted view of the religion. (No doubt this is the case with any religion one chooses to research online; the main resources for information are usually set-up by the adherents of the religion, so if you Google for information about Christianity, Buddhism, Islam etc. then those websites will all try to give an appetizing version of their beliefs.) You know the kind of "rose-tinted" view I mean; a lot of emphasis put on equality, avoiding ego, worshiping one God and no other, avoiding ritual, abstinence from tobacco & alcohol. These are things which are agreeable in religion, and we can all observe the positivity of them; great! Sikhism sounds amazing. Then we learn about the 5 kakkars, or tenets of the faith, each with both a practical use and spiritual importance; again, with a bit of thought we can come to a positive conclusion about the 5 Ks, and we end up thinking "hey, Sikhism makes a lot of sense". I am not sure if it is just me, or if we all go through a little stage of waking-up, but recently I've become a little disillusioned. It's true that the "faults" I'm about to mention are exclusively the fault of people who call themselves Sikhs, not necessarily of true Sikhs, and not the fault of Sikhi itself. I suppose then I've titled this thread wrong, but for me the actions of Sikhs still hold bearing on the religion itself; if there are so few true Sikhs, how much does that say about Sikhism? Today there are still Sikhs who only marry within caste, and treat others according to their caste; there are Sikhs who kill their own family members for reasons of honour, there are Sikhs holding on still to traditions from Hinduism, and a huge amount of Sikhs who take seemingly nothing away from the teachings of Shri Guru Granth Sahib and function instead on notions of tradition, or heritage. Has almost everything in Sikhism become little more than a ritual to modern-day Sikhs? I've had the pleasure of talking to some people on here who exhibit the pure positive image purveyed on the kind of Sikhi websites I read first, and that is extremely encouraging - but I'm starting to become disillusioned to that image and rapidly accustomed to the fact that the vast majority of modern-day Sikhs do not understand their own religion, and the rose-tinted picture of all Sikhs being spiritual, rational, ritual-free, equality-loving defenders of dharma just isn't accurate. Sorry if this thread is a little harsh, obviously it is not meant as an attack on anyone and as I said the faults are with people who have drifted from Sikhi and barely know the religion, not with Sikhi itself. What are your thoughts on what I have said, and how do you think it affects/reflects upon Sikhism?