Sikh Population

Discussion in 'Essays on Sikhism' started by etinder, Aug 27, 2004.

  1. etinder

    etinder SPNer

    Jul 26, 2004
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    From: DhartiPanjNadDi@a...
    Date: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:44 pm
    Subject: Re: Sikh population

    It is estimated there are 3,750.000 sikhs outside India,which itself has an estimated population of about 25 million Sikhs.The main countries of sikh population are:

    afgahnistan-had 250,000 but most have since left to germany,Uk canada US and India and other counntries mostly in the west.

    malaysia-100,000 (or just under)
    Thailand 45,000
    kenya -30,000
    Italy 28,000
    tanzania 14,000
    thare also many significant communities of Sikhs to be found in australia 28,000,new zealand 12,000,South American countries of argentina /Vanuezuela 20,000.There are two Gurduaras in caracas,and a third being built in another city cobota,I think.
    Sikhs are also known to be living in numbers in greece- 5,000,abu dhai and Kuwait (35,000),Lebanon -3000,France(7000)Sweden ,danmark,Norway,spain ,Portugal all have some Gurduaras etc ..5000---15,000 in all these countrie, where they have 2-5 gurduaras.Smaller communities are found in South africa,malawi,Zambi,Nigeria,where they have one to two gurduaras.There are two gurduaras in panama.Belize,gutemala each have two gurduaras.Japan has about 5,000 sikhs ,Korea has two gurduaras ( about three thousand Sikhs).Fiji had about 10,000 sikhs in its prime time with five gurduaras.Philipines has a significant Sikh community of about 20,000.
    Singapore has about 23,000.Indonesia has 7 gurduaras , about 10,000 Sikhs in medan alone.Jakarta has three Gurduaras with about 4000.Brunei has a tiny Sikh community of about 1000.Brazil, chile,and Bolivia are also known to have sikh communities.Mexico has two Gurduaras.

    Beleive or not there is a Sikh community of about twenty sikh families in reyjavik,Iceland.The last I was there about three years ago they were trying to build their own Gurduara.Moscow is known to have about 3000 sikhs.there is a Gurduara in Dushanbe too in kazakhstan with about three hundered sikh families.Iran has about 2000 Sikh families mostly in Tehran ( about 200)and southern Iran bordering sistaan province -pakistan where there are two gurduaras.

    I hope this helps.

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  3. Neutral Singh

    Neutral Singh SPNer Supporter

    Jun 1, 2004
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    Oh! wow!! Cool info !! last time i read the figure to be 19 millions in 1991...
  4. Arvind

    Arvind SPNer Supporter

    Jul 13, 2004
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    Put it this way: Name a country, and you will find sikhs there.

  5. anders

    anders SPNer

    Jul 13, 2004
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    Yes, Sweden for example. There are some 1000 Sikhs in Sweden, and two gurdwaras. I know of one Swede who has converted to Sikhism. If I could believe in reincarnation, I might have as well.
  6. singh99

    singh99 SPNer

    Jun 21, 2004
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    i have a Sikh friend who lives in Stockholm. This is not an attempt to convert you to Sikhism but I would interested to know the reasons why you do not believe in reincarnation? To prevent this thread from going off topic maybe you could start a thread and give us the reasons why you do not believe in reincarnation?

  7. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh Mentor Writer SPNer

    Jun 30, 2004
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    That's why they call Sikhi a Universal religion. In other words, whichever part of the globe you go to, you will find a Sikh..:).

    On a personal note:-

    As mentioned I lived in Brasil for about 9 years. I found one turbaned sikh who was the vice president of Mcdonald's there. This was in year 1976.

    I used to teach english as a second language at a well known school in Sao Paulo, Brasil. I was the first to teach there whose native language was not english which was the prerequisite at that time. An interesting thing happened one day while I was at school. I saw a turbaned sikh walking into the school with his suitcase. I was surprised to see him there. It so happened that when he landed at the airport in Sao Paulo, one of the employees of the airline, who was studying at the school I was teaching at, told Joginder Singh that he knew another Turbaned Sikh who taught at the school. Hence there he was. He had come from Canada to get his permanent status permit for Canada. This was the second encounter with a Sikh in Brasil. He was supposed to stay for a couple of days but ended up staying with me for 6 months before moving to his own flat.

  8. Ssingh101

    Ssingh101 SPNer

    Apr 9, 2006
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    There are still around - 3-4000 Sikhs in Fiji, although many are Sikhs in name only. The majority left for the States and Canada during the 60s, 70s, and80s. Of those remaining (and even in the diaspora), many have taken Hindu wives and husbands out of necessity, since the majority of Indians there are Hindus from North and South India. Very few families go to India to look for Sikh spouses for their children. And the majority are now mixed Hindu-Sikh familes .

    Consequently, children are raised as Hindus and/ or families start following Hinduism because there was no Gurdwara near them or anyone to teach them about Sikhi. Some of my own cousins there did not even know how to matha teek until I showed them, despite having two "Sikh" parents. Even many of "Sikhs" who do go to the Gurdwara go to the mandir as well.

    I visited twice last year, as my granparents had settled there, my parents were born there (but they came to Canada when they were very young). I undertook sahaj Path and Akhand Path Sewa at two of the main Gurdwaras.

    There are five active Gurdwaras, including a Ravidasia Gurdwara & a Khalsa school, which is open to Sikhs and non-Sikhs (publicly funded but run by the Fiji Sikh Society). Punjabi isn't really taught due to a lack of teachers, although the Pradhan at one of the Gurdwaras was trying to start a Guru Gobind Singh Ji study camp during the school holidays. I think he is still working on it.

    The Gurdwaras are supported, to a large extent, by the generosity of ex-pats who go back from time-to-time and make donations of goods money.Actually, I was schocked by the ego of some of these donors. They actually have their names written on everything from pictures to ceiling fans to the front gates & water tanks!! I told them I wanted my name on nothing that I donated. Actually, I was schocked by the ego of some of these donors. They actually have their names written on everything from pictures to ceiling fans to the front gates & water tanks!! I told them I wanted my name on nothing that I donated.

    The Bhai's there are generally more interested in sitting and yacking with their friends while drinking "grog" (a kind of mind-numbing drink made from kava root) on Gurdwara premises rather than doing path. This was particularly true in the capital city. I drove three hours to get there with donations from home comprising of rumala, Chaur Sahib, and gutka , yet the bhai couldn't be bothered to do Ardas for me because he was too intoxicated on grog, no doubt. He claimed Maharaj was "Sukhasan" (at 3PM in the afternoon). I had to insist upon Ardas (which he didn't do properly anyway).

    When I asked him, out of curiosity, why they lit incense in front of Guru Granth Sahib Jee, he became all defensive and started questioning me on my "goat" (caste). I refused to answer such a silly question.

    There was no prashad nor was I offered a glass of water or anything to eat (they just had Akhand Path) even though I had come from so far for darshan because my grandfather had helped build the Gurdwara in the 1930s. When I mentioned this to him, I was told that I had not come at the "proper time" for food or tea. He wouldn't even call me a taxi, telling me I could 'find lots of them outside'.

    This same Bhai then came to the Gurdwara where I had my sahaj path in order to help with the reading.There he was very nice to me. I guess he was worried that I would spill the beans about his poor conduct. They are not used to being questioned because they are treated there like Brahmin priests, given that they are the only ones who know how to really read Gurmukhi. The "Bhai" is always offered food and drink first before the Sangat because he is the "Bhai". One Bhai even reads peoples' hands on Gurdwara premises and gives them Mool Mantra to read before they go to bed. I didn't believe it until a Hindu aunt of mine took her daughter to be "seen".

    Nevertheless, regardless of the above,those who follow Gurmat in Fiji do so wholeheartedly. They are the ones doing much of the Sewa, and are very loving, giving, people. The others just seem to take advantage.There are no jathas or anything like that (although one of the Gurdwaras just brough two bhais from India), and sangat does its own kirtan, often comprising of devotional songs as opposed to Gurbani (at least in one of the Gurdwara's I attended). The younger generation doesn't seem interested in learning about Sikhi, Keertan, and Most of the commmunity there are sahejdhari Sikhs, who only wear karas.

    Generally, Sangat attends Gurdwara on Sangrand, Gurpurabs, and if someone is having an akhand path, bhog or wedding. They are informed of Sikh events via Radio Fiji, which gives free air time. The community is very spread-out, so it is not possible for many to visit Gurdwara regularly due to transportation issues. Sewa seems to be a thing of the past (my cousins and I spent 12 hours cleaning one of the temples. We were told no one comes to do sewa anymore). No one comes to cook langar unless someone coordinates for a big event, as no one wants to work in a hot kitchen.
    Very few read Gurmukhi let alone speak Punjabi. Thus having Akhand Path can be very difficult. I think I was one of the very few present who could both speak and write. Everyone speaks Fiji Hindi.

    It was interesting to see how Akhand Path was conducted there. Path is read in the main hall on a loudspeaker (you can hear it throughout the sugar can fields), while pothi da path is read alongside. They are is also someone doing the sewa of "dhoop" continuously. I was vehemently against the latter, but that is the way things are done there & one can only 'fight' so many battles.

    What the Sikhs of Fiji need is resurgance. They need to be led away from ritualism and becoming Hindus. There needs to be more interest in the Gurdwaras there, books sent to the Khalsa school, proper Granthis and ragis sent from India at the expense of the SGPC, and teachers sent to teach Punjabi and Gurbani at the Khalsa school. Boarding facilities need to be built so Sikh children from all over the Island can attend the school, and scholarships need to set-up so that Sikh children can complete their eduction.

    There are so many rich Sikhs in Fiji and from Fiji, but very few do anything for Sikh Quom there.

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