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Summary of Question:turban and discrimination
Category:Turban
Date Posted:Thursday, 9/21/2000 7:51 PM MDT

satsriakal,


I am a physician who recently came to the US and thanks to waheguru have'nt had any "problems" due to my beard and turban. But as somenone had talked about here, being the only turbaned sikh makes me stand out and gives me far more importance than i deserve! But I am an adult who can stand up for myself (and there have been a couplre of racist instances, outside the campus)
I wouldn't want my children to feel discriminated against in school(and grow up scared), so I've decided to return to India.
I would appreciate any feedback, especially from someone who had a turban while in school here in the US.

waheguruji ka khalsa, waheguruji ki fateh

amandeep singh khurana


****************
RESPONSE
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Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

If you don't want your children to grow up scared, then raise them with courage. There are plenty of good reasons to avoid sending your children to public schools here in the US, but I don't think avoiding discrimination is one of them. It often takes adversity for a person to learn strength, courage, and grace. If you keep them in the US and help them to overcome any challenges they face, then you will have served them well. However, it is definitely difficult to maintain the discipline and identity of the Khalsa in this country and many American Sikhs send their children to Miri Piri Academy in Amritsar. The reasoning here is not to avoid discrimination in the US, but to bring Khalsa children from all around the country together in one school where they can grow up together as Khalsa and integrate Sikh traditions into their schooling and daily activities.

I attended school here in the US from kindergarten through third grade. I wore my turban every day and was one of only several Sikhs attending the school. I ran into very few problems as a result of being a Sikh. I also attended high school in the US. During high school there were about thirty Sikhs in a school of 900, so I had a good group of friends with me, but once again, I didn't face many problems as a result of wearing a turban. During college I was one of two Sikhs in a school of about 20,000 and by that time I had formed my identity as Khalsa and my love for the Guru's gift of bana to us. I didn't have any problems in college either. I have friends who have been discriminated against much more heavily than I in schools in the US, but I think what is important is that you teach your children the beauty of the Guru's bana. A person should never feel apologetic or ashamed of their appearance. A Sikh should walk proudly and confidently in the identity given to us by the Guru.

May God bless you and Guru guide you in your decision.

Humbly,
Mangala Sadhu Sangeet Singh Khalsa



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