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Sikhism Problems In A Foreign Land

brown3yes

SPNer
Nov 7, 2006
1
0
Curious non-sikh student wanting to know what sort of problems a Sikh faces while trying to maintain his cultural identity in a foreign land? :)


Any help will be appreciated, Thank you.


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May 16, 2005
341
11
38
Vernon, BC Canada
Thanks for asking! Very good question, are you referring to Sikhs of Punjab background? If so, what is can be done is just research your background and keep in touch with the older folks to learn more about your culture.

What is hardest, is for a Sikh of non Punjab background, is maintaining your culture and language in a religion that doesn't have allot of "contrast and diversity", and this is for even in sikhi communities not in Punjab.

In those cases like me, i just keep on researching my past, respect others, and try to move on with sikhi.

Hopes this answers your question :)
 
why is this in the philosophy section? lols


"Curious non-sikh student wanting to know what sort of problems a Sikh faces while trying to maintain his cultural identity in a foreign land? "

tough to integrate into a western country simply because the traditions that come with the Sikh faith are so polarizing.

Turbans, beards, kirpans, traditional dress.....trust me....no matter how liberal/secular your society...theirs no way that person can fit into the mainstream if the mainstream itself isnt sikh.
You stand out at every corner, face prejudice and discrimination (always at a disadvantage...be it jobs..or..getting onto a plane) and lately many people in the west are intimidated by bearded men especially with the events of 9/11. Many just dont feel comfortable around sikhs because the culture is just too polar. The differences stand out not with a whisper but with a shout.

and that is the summed up version of what happens if you try to retain your culture in a foreign land.... It will effect your socio-economic status regardless!
 

anders

SPNer
Jul 13, 2004
51
13
80
Sweden
tough to integrate into a western country simply because the traditions that come with the Sikh faith are so polarizing.
Turbans, beards, kirpans, traditional dress.....trust me....no matter how liberal/secular your society...theirs no way that person can fit into the mainstream if the mainstream itself isnt sikh.
Why go for the mainstream? There is no standard headgear in Sweden, and beards signify nothing special. One Sikh who showed his kirpan in class caused a court process, in which it was decided that the kirpan is not a weapon banned by the (very severe) Swedish laws on carrying potentially dangerous items. The Swedish climate isn't very friendly towards Panjabi dress. A pity. I would love to see shalwar kamiiz on Swedish women as well as on the (so far, proportionally very few) Sikh women.

You stand out at every corner, face prejudice and discrimination (always at a disadvantage...be it jobs..or..getting onto a plane) and lately many people in the west are intimidated by bearded men especially with the events of 9/11. Many just dont feel comfortable around sikhs because the culture is just too polar.

Very minor problems in my country. If you're discriminated against, for reasons like gender, skin colour, faith, or whatever, there's our Discrimination Ombudsman, who in the vast majority of cases wins the trial for the offended party. There was a case, several years ago, when a Sikh was forced to quit his job as a tram driver, because he couldn't wear the compulsory uniform cap with his turban. Later, the tram company changed its rules. Evemn in the army, there are solutions for turban wearing. I also think that here, as in Britain, Sikhs are exempted from the law on motor cyclists having to wear crash helmets.

9/11, or, as we write it, 11/9, has had no major impact in any way, anywhere. The tram turban example mentioned, and the fact that Sikhs often are associated with yummy food places, link turbans to positive feelings. I don't think that Swedes in general link turbans to other groups, and in such a case discrimination still would be illegal.

and that is the summed up version of what happens if you try to retain your culture in a foreign land.... It will effect your socio-economic status regardless!

I'm not a sociologist, but I'm convinced that religion (if any) has no bearing on your social status in Sweden. It might affect your economic status - if you're in the restaurant business, a keshdari Sikh running an Indian restaurant would probably be regarded as more genuine than plain-clothes Indians and would thus attract more customers.
 

navroopsingh

SPNer
Nov 15, 2006
84
4
I would love to move to sweden hearing this but i find that living here in Surrey, Canada the amount of Sikh's in the area are much more than the other races but i do go to a private school with many white people and punjabi kids(not real Sikh's...cut hair,drunk/etc w/e) and i find that the people cutting their hair is getting more and more because there parents havent taught them because they themselves don't know anything. Along with this are many cultural and language differences/barriers making it hard for them to learn much on Sikhi...what a shame though
 
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