All About the Sikh Family

The Role of Family Members in Sikhism

Many Sikhs live in extended families. Sikh families often face social challenges. Because of their distinct appearance, Sikh children encounter discrimination in school and adults may experience difficulties with bias in the workplace. Parents and grandparents are vital role models in the Sikh family. Education, including spiritual tutoring, is important to the Sikh family.

The Role of the Mother in Sikhism

"From her Kings are born."
"From her Kings are born.". Photo © [Gurumustuk Singh Khalsa]

A Khalsa mother nurtures her family providing both material and spiritual sustenance. Mother is the first teacher and a model of righteous living.

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The Role of Fathers in Sikhism

A Singh teaches Kirtan to a Child.
A singh teaches kirtan to a child. Photo © [Kulpreet Singh]

A Sikh father takes an active role in family life and in the upbringing of children. Guru Granth Sahib, Sikhism's holy scripture, compares the relationship of the creator and creation to that of father and child.

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The Role of Grandparents and Grandchildren in Sikhism

Grandfather Dedicates Newborn Grandchild to the Guru
Grandfather Dedicates Newborn Grandchild to the Guru. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Gursikh grandparents nurture their grandchildren by providing spiritual experiences and enriching opportunities to enjoy treasured traditions. Many Sikh grandparents play an active role in the upbringing and education of grandchildren in Sikhism.

Childbirth and Naming a Newborn

Sikh Mother and Newborn at Hospital
Sikh Mother and Newborn at Hospital. Photo © [Courtesy Rajnarind Kaur]

In the Sikh tradition a newborn infant is formally presented to Guru Granth Sahib. This occasion may be used as an opportunity to conduct a Sikh baby naming ceremony and sing hymns to bless the newborn.

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Create a Healthy Environment for Sikh Students

Sikh Student
Sikh Student. Photo © [Kulpreet Singh]

Many Sikh students who wear turbans to cover long hair which has never been cut since birth endure verbal torment and physical assault at school.

It's important to be aware of civil rights regarding bias and safety issues in schools. Federal Law protects civil and religious liberties, and prohibits discrimination due to race, religion, ethnic or national origin.

Education is a very powerful tool for promoting cross cultural understanding and reducing bias incidents. Teachers have a unique opportunity to provide Sikh students with a positive learning environment.

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The Sikh Face of America and Their Challenges

Sikh Americans and the Statue of Liberty
Sikh Americans and the Statue of Liberty. Photo © [Kulpreet Singh]

In a quest for freedom Sikhs have spread out around the world. More than half a million Sikhs have settled in the US over the past 20 -30 years.

Many Sikh children in America are the first generation of their families to be born on American soil, and are proud of their American citizenship.

Turban, beard, and sword cause the Sikh to stand out visually. The martial nature of Sikhism is often misunderstood by the onlooker. Sikhs have at times been subjected to harassment and discrimination. Since September 11, 2008, Sikhs have been targeted and victimized by violence. Such incidents are largely due to ignorance of who Sikhs are, and what it is that the Khalsa stand for.

Games Puzzles and Activities Resources For Sikh Families

One Jack O Lantern Two Smiles
One Jack O Lantern Two Smiles. Photo © [Courtesy Satmandir Kaur]

Sikhism trivia games, jigsaw puzzles, coloring pages, story books, animated movies and other activities can provide hours of fun and educational entertainment for families looking for things to do together. Learn kirtan together or make favorite recipes. It's all about togetherness and family fun.