What Are Some Interesting Facts About Sikhism?


Quick Answer

In Punjabi, the language of the Punjab and Sikhism's holy texts, Sikh means "seeker of knowledge." According to Sikhism, all human beings, regardless of gender, status or race, have equal worth before God. Furthermore, self-reliance, humility and generosity are esteemed as cardinal virtues in spiritual maturation.

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Full Answer

The first Sikh guru and prophet, Guru Nanak, died in 1539, and was followed by nine further gurus, the last dying in 1708. The holy meeting place of Sikhs is called a gurdwara, and it is the site where services are held and the holy texts are housed, though many Sikhs also have copies of these texts in their homes. Sikhs generally meet for a volunteer-produced communal meal after holding services, often made of Punjabi cuisine. The most important of all holy buildings in the Sikh world is the Harmandir Sahib, often called the Golden Temple, located in Amritsar, India.

Sikhs generally do not cut their hair, as it is deemed a symbol of living in harmony with the Divine. All men cover their heads with turbans as a mark of their faith, and some women cover their heads as well. All Sikh men also carry a ceremonial dagger, not for self-defense, but as a symbol of the Sikh commitment to fighting injustice and oppression. Although commonly pronounced "seek," the correct pronunciation is actually "sik," though a Sikh is unlikely to correct a person on this. There are around 30 million Sikhs worldwide, as of 2015.

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