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Summary of Question:Conversion/Marriage
Category:Sikh Practices
Date Posted:Tuesday, 8/10/1999 8:52 AM MDT

Sat sri akal. I have been studying the principles of Sikh Dharma for about 3 years. I was not raised Sikh and was wondering what the procedures are to convert. I don't feel ready to take amrit but I do consider myself Sikh. I have noticed that many people change their names. When and why do they do this? Some of my Sikh Indian friends tell me that once you feel Sikh, you are Sikh and that there are no formal procedures or an official name registry. Are they right?


Sorry, but I have another question. About a year ago I met an Indian Sikh male at my University and we both share a mutual attraction. I've read the other entries on the site but what I really want to know is why his parents won't accept me. Nothing has happened between us and they are Sikhs and if they follow the Guru's path, then how can their objections be valid. It is truly hurtful to both of us--he risks being thrown out of his family and I don't want him to have to suffer through that. On the other hand, he brings out the best in me and we are both full of support, kindness, and respect for the other. Is there anyway to solve this problem?

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions and doing such a great sewa
-I have learned so much!

With the Guru's grace, I am,
Beloved

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RESPONSE
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I would recommend that you read Victory & Virtue, especially chapter 2 relating to the Sikh Rehit Maryada. To adopt Sikhism you simply have to adopt the lifestyle and follow the teachings of the Gurus, which can be found in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib.

Your rejection by your friend's parents is a delicate issue and could be for a number of reasons. Many people feel a strong pride in their culture and feel that it is being diluted when their child marries someone of a different culture. People may also feel that it is important for their child to marry someone of the same religion. I would guess that adoption of Sikhism on your part would help ease the tension between you and his parents, but that would not be a good reason to adopt Sikhism. If you wish to adopt Sikhism, that desire should come from your heart and be independent of your desire to be with this man. If the cultural difference is problematic for his parents, then that is something they need to deal with. There is no reason for a Sikh to think of anyone of any caste, creed or color as inferior.

Humbly,
Mangala Sadhu Sangeet Singh



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