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Sikhs core values and articles of faith

22 million Sikhs worldwide trace the origin of their religion to Panjab, meaning the ‘Land of the 5 rivers’, located in Northern India. Over 5 million Sikhs live outside of India in Australia, New Zealand, UK, Canada, United States and other countries.

All Sikh men are identifiable by their distinctive turbans and beards. Many Sikh women also wear ‘smaller’ turbans to keep their head covered as well. These days everyone may not follow the tradition.

Core Values

  • ‘Naam Japna’ – Remembrance and meditation on God

  • ‘Vand Kae Chhakna’ – meaning to share with others before partaking yourself. Encompasses the principles of living as an inspiration to others and supporting the community (i.e. giving to charity)

  • ‘Kirat Karni’ – Earning an honest living through hard work

Mandatory articles of Faith

Mandated by religion, all initiated Sikhs must carry the five articles of faith, which include the

  • Kesh – Long unshorn hair. The keeping of hair in its natural state is regarded as living in harmony with the will of God.

  • Kirpan – Article Of Faith, Represents dignity and the Sikh struggle against injustice Kachhehra – Long boxer-like underwear. Represents the commitment of a Sikh to monogamy and sexual restraint

  • Kanga – Small comb is worn in a Sikh’s hair. Represents the importance of discipline and is used to keep the hair clean and untangled.

  • Karha – Steel bracelet usually worn on the right hand. A symbolic reminder of the commitment of a Sikh to God.

— The Sikh Rehit Maryada (Sikh Code of Conduct)

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