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Summary of Question:I Am Confused About The Issue Of The Sikh's Hair...
Date Posted:Sunday, 12/03/2000 3:07 PM MST

I am a 15 year old sikh, who has grown up and lived in the UK. My parents are both sikhs too, originating from india.

I am at a very confused point in my life, about sikhism. The religion has always played a major part in my life - I try to follow what I beleive to be morally correct, but for the past few years now, I have had doubts about my hair. I know the theories on the energy it creates with you, but I find when I want to go swimming every day, or paticipate in activities which require a helmet, that I cannot. What I have gathered is that a turban is for distinction - isn't this an out-dated thing? It was made during the time of the war, to serve the purpose of making a clear distinction of a sikh, so he could not hide from his enemies, and so others new that he is a sikh - a person with strong morals. But this is not needed now days - there is no war, and nobody needs to know that you are a sikh. It is too much work and sacrifice keeping the hair just for that reason. Also, it goes back to the thing of 'judging someone on their appearance'. If a sikh boy has a turban and hair, and he is compared to another sikh boy wi

thout the hair, he will almost always be chosen favourite by the elders, just because of his appearance. He could have absolutely no morals whatsoever, but people will think he is good as he has a turban.
Where I live, (Swindon, UK), there are many Sikhs children. Most of my relations are in London, and there is a large community there too, and almost every sikh boy has a patka, but does not know why. He is just simply born into a sikh family, and is brought up with it. He does not have any idea of what it means. I find this to be a false sense of religion.
I do not know what to do. My hair is making me feel very down and depressed, as it is restricting me from my activities, and is more of a nusience than anyhting, but if I do cut it, I will be 'betraying' my family - especially my grandmother who is very religious. Personally, I see no point in keeping hair, which does nothing but distinct you from a crowd. Anything involving water (walking/riding a bike in the rain [it rains a lot here], swimming, canoeing - all the things I enjoy) are restricted because of my hair and turban.
Could I cut my hair but keep a turban for the distinction? That way, I could wear the turban, but take it off when swimming or doing other such activities, or if I need to wear a helmet for something. I still believe firmly in the teachings of sikhism, and I have read the english translation of The Granth Sahib. I found nothing mentioned about ones hair in it - does this mean it is not an essential part of Sikhism - only if you are a khalsa (which I am not, I have not been baptised). And a final point - why does evryone wear a turban and have hair when they haven't been baptised (or initiated), but they do none of the other 5 k's (apart from maybe wear a kara). Nobody walks around town with a Kirpan - that was needed at the time the 5 k's were invented, because of the 'war', so WHY do we still carry traditions like that and the hair with us today? It is out-dated. What makes a person is what is INSIDE, and what the beleive in - what morals the carry. Not whether they have long hair or short hair.

I hope you can provide me with answers to some of the questions I have posed here - I really don't know what to do.

Thank you
Greetings to you in the name of God the light of every soul and in the Name of Guru the life of every Sikh.

I am so sorry to hear that you have so little information on the modern relevence to our Sikh technological practices. What Guru gave us to be our strength and radiance is very relevant to our presant modern existance...and even more so as our values in Western society are becoming blurred and confused.

First of all, I would like to direct you to do a search on hair, as I have answered all your concerns that you list. You will find a wealth of information to address all your concerns.

Secondly, I come from a family of Athletes, swimming, tennis, racketball, martial arts, golf, cross country, bicycling....husband, sons, daughters have all found no restriction from our long hair. Hair is a source of strength. Your turban is a crown of dignity and grace. Sure, it is easy to chop off your hair and jump in a pool and ignore why the hair was given to you in the first place.

Rather that live in the ease of unconsciousness, I suggest that you spend some time researching the value and importance of our form. Turn your irritation into illumination and be a great person rather than a shallow person with a short easy hair style.

God bless you to dive deep into the search engine of the Sikhnet Youth Forum and educate yourself.

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