Jump to content

Converting To Sikhism - Is It Something For Me?


Recommended Posts

Guest Gabriel

Hello, I will start with the fact that I'm a (male) teenager living in Denmark. Officially I'm a non-confirmed Catholic but mostly I was describing myself as an Agnostic.

At my school I have religion lessons but it's not so much about Christian religion as it is learning about any other religions. We had one lesson about Sikhism and I thought that the men wearing swords is an interesting thing and I began to make some research about it.

Since then I was reading really a lot about it and I'm very fascinated about it, since then I have a very great feeling that I found something for myself.

I really don't like the world like it is today, especially in Denmark (a Protestant country so not very religious) where people are beginning to party, drink alcohol and have sex when they reach the age of 13-14. I'm not such person so I don't really fit in the society, I'm a virgin which in a year or two might be seen as odd.

I'm thinking about a conversation, the ideology Sikhism is presenting seems perfect for me, it exactly matches my view on the world.

I'm still quite confused about everything, I read a lot of FAQ's about it and I would still like to ask someone who is a Sikh about an advice. I'm not an adult and it would be really hard to change my religion while my whole family is quite religious Christian (Catholic and Danish family Lutheran), could I do some steps in terms of Sikhism before becoming an adult and converting? I rather do such thing after I get independent, I don't really imagine my life today with Sikh looks.

I also want to mention that I was able to get confirmed 2 times and soon there will be a third "round" but there is always something wrong and I couldn't, I feel like it might be like this with a reason, destiny or something.

By the way I'm 15 and I still feel young for such decisions but still I'm confident, as a Christian I was able to confirm my faith already 2 years ago.

I also would like to ask about few things:

1. Hair, I completely understand it and I'm ready to do not cut it, of course official texts say a lot about not cutting it but how is it in every-day life? When I type in Google "Sikh man" it also shows me men who definitely cut their beards a little. There is also the hygiene thing, today almost all women shave their armpits and other places, are Sikh women doing it as well?

2. Turbans, I read that men take them off just when going to sleep and taking a bath but again they are the strict rules, how is it in practice?

3. Food, I read a lot of information which is saying different things, I understand that vegetarianism is recommended but I think it also might depend on the place you are from, the religion has got origins in India where carbohydrate-based diet was the whole time but in Europe it's different - people are used to fat-based diet. I'm thinking about reducing the amount of meat I'm eating. I thought that fish (white meat) would be preferred than red meat but I read a text where it was compared to drugs - WHY?

I wanted to ask here first but I'm thinking about going to a Gurdwara (there is a very small one near me) but then who should I ask and how should I behave there? I can speak Danish but not really on any serious topics, as probably the Sikhs in Denmark are foreigners I guess I could feel free to speak English?

What do you think about my case?

It was a lot of writing, thanks for all the answers :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, Welcome to SikhSangat.

First I would like you to tell you about this awesome youtube channel called "Basics of Sikhi". You should subscribe and watch all the videos. They are very informative and answer most of your questions.

Facebook link https://www.facebook.com/Everythings13.BasicsofSikhi

You can start reading Guru Granth Sahib ji. Dont focus on outer appearance yet, focus on your inner self

You do not have to convert or take Amrit unless you are really ready for it.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello, I will start with the fact that I'm a (male) teenager living in Denmark. Officially I'm a non-confirmed Catholic but mostly I was describing myself as an Agnostic.

At my school I have religion lessons but it's not so much about Christian religion as it is learning about any other religions. We had one lesson about Sikhism and I thought that the men wearing swords is an interesting thing and I began to make some research about it.

Since then I was reading really a lot about it and I'm very fascinated about it, since then I have a very great feeling that I found something for myself.

I really don't like the world like it is today, especially in Denmark (a Protestant country so not very religious) where people are beginning to party, drink alcohol and have sex when they reach the age of 13-14. I'm not such person so I don't really fit in the society, I'm a virgin which in a year or two might be seen as odd.

I'm thinking about a conversation, the ideology Sikhism is presenting seems perfect for me, it exactly matches my view on the world.

I'm still quite confused about everything, I read a lot of FAQ's about it and I would still like to ask someone who is a Sikh about an advice. I'm not an adult and it would be really hard to change my religion while my whole family is quite religious Christian (Catholic and Danish family Lutheran), could I do some steps in terms of Sikhism before becoming an adult and converting? I rather do such thing after I get independent, I don't really imagine my life today with Sikh looks.

I also want to mention that I was able to get confirmed 2 times and soon there will be a third "round" but there is always something wrong and I couldn't, I feel like it might be like this with a reason, destiny or something.

By the way I'm 15 and I still feel young for such decisions but still I'm confident, as a Christian I was able to confirm my faith already 2 years ago.

I also would like to ask about few things:

1. Hair, I completely understand it and I'm ready to do not cut it, of course official texts say a lot about not cutting it but how is it in every-day life? When I type in Google "Sikh man" it also shows me men who definitely cut their beards a little. There is also the hygiene thing, today almost all women shave their armpits and other places, are Sikh women doing it as well?

2. Turbans, I read that men take them off just when going to sleep and taking a bath but again they are the strict rules, how is it in practice?

3. Food, I read a lot of information which is saying different things, I understand that vegetarianism is recommended but I think it also might depend on the place you are from, the religion has got origins in India where carbohydrate-based diet was the whole time but in Europe it's different - people are used to fat-based diet. I'm thinking about reducing the amount of meat I'm eating. I thought that fish (white meat) would be preferred than red meat but I read a text where it was compared to drugs - WHY?

I wanted to ask here first but I'm thinking about going to a Gurdwara (there is a very small one near me) but then who should I ask and how should I behave there? I can speak Danish but not really on any serious topics, as probably the Sikhs in Denmark are foreigners I guess I could feel free to speak English?

What do you think about my case?

It was a lot of writing, thanks for all the answers :)

Hello Gabriel,

It is amazing that you are 15 and interested in Sikhism.

My advice, first learn about Religion.

Am going to suggest some links that you might find useful

http://www.sikh.dk/

http://manvirsingh.blogspot.in/search?q=Denmark

Bhai Manvir Singh is a really inspirational Gurmukh living in the United Kingdom. Born in a Sikh family as a mona (person with cut hair) Bhai Sahib came into Sikhi in his teenage years. Now he does a lot of Sewa for the youth, works as a Religious Studies teacher. Send him a mail, he will guide you in the right direction.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mr Future Singh, You are exactly the type of friend i would love to have :)

You could start with simplistics , you know like going to the local gurdwara and just getting a feel of it, I think the more reguarly you go the more people will notice you and you can slowly make friends :)

Then maybe listening to kirtan, I find youtube is great for that :) Also maybe going on the internet and searching gurbani and maybe if theres is a patricular scripture you like, You could print it out, stick it on your wall, and read it every now and then, before you go to bed is nice becuase you also end up memorising it:)

And after that who know... You might just find what you are looking for.... Your morals and standards seem great, you dont sound like a typical teenager, A GREAT WAY TO GO !! :D

Best Of Luck Mate

Fateh


I'm a virgin which in a year or two might be seen as odd.

This will Never seem odd mate..especially not to somoene who knows the value of it :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I also would like to ask about few things:

1. Hair, I completely understand it and I'm ready to do not cut it, of course official texts say a lot about not cutting it but how is it in every-day life? When I type in Google "Sikh man" it also shows me men who definitely cut their beards a little. There is also the hygiene thing, today almost all women shave their armpits and other places, are Sikh women doing it as well?

2. Turbans, I read that men take them off just when going to sleep and taking a bath but again they are the strict rules, how is it in practice?

3. Food, I read a lot of information which is saying different things, I understand that vegetarianism is recommended but I think it also might depend on the place you are from, the religion has got origins in India where carbohydrate-based diet was the whole time but in Europe it's different - people are used to fat-based diet. I'm thinking about reducing the amount of meat I'm eating. I thought that fish (white meat) would be preferred than red meat but I read a text where it was compared to drugs - WHY?

1. Orthodox Sikh men and women do not shave, trim or remove any hair. It is not unhygienic, and I find it a little strange that the norm has become for women to shave their armpits while most men don't - are the men not unhygienic then? In terms of hygiene, a Sikh must wash every day and keep clean. It's just natural, only seems weird to the unnatural Western world today.

2. A lot of Sikhs sleep, shower (unless washing hair) in a keski, which is a small turban. Some believe that the turban should be kept on whenever possible, while others may be more lenient.

3. There are lots of reasons that many Sikhs hold that eating any meat is unacceptable, I don't think it has anything to do with origin. For example, we're told that a Sikh must be truly compassionate, and accept a humble, healthy diet, and these things are incompatible with eating slaughtered animals.

Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Orthodox Sikh men and women do not shave, trim or remove any hair. It is not unhygienic, and I find it a little strange that the norm has become for women to shave their armpits while most men don't - are the men not unhygienic then? In terms of hygiene, a Sikh must wash every day and keep clean. It's just natural, only seems weird to the unnatural Western world today.

2. A lot of Sikhs sleep, shower (unless washing hair) in a keski, which is a small turban. Some believe that the turban should be kept on whenever possible, while others may be more lenient.

3. There are lots of reasons that many Sikhs hold that eating any meat is unacceptable, I don't think it has anything to do with origin. For example, we're told that a Sikh must be truly compassionate, and accept a humble, healthy diet, and these things are incompatible with eating slaughtered animals.

orthodox sikh ?? ae kitho a gye??? sikh is sikh in Guru's way of life... that's what I think and what I have read so far.. correct me if i m wrong?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Gabriel

Hey, Welcome to SikhSangat.

First I would like you to tell you about this awesome youtube channel called "Basics of Sikhi". You should subscribe and watch all the videos. They are very informative and answer most of your questions.

Facebook link https://www.facebook.com/Everythings13.BasicsofSikhi

You can start reading Guru Granth Sahib ji. Dont focus on outer appearance yet, focus on your inner self

You do not have to convert or take Amrit unless you are really ready for it.

Thanks for the link, his videos seem very interesting :)

Hello Gabriel,

It is amazing that you are 15 and interested in Sikhism.

My advice, first learn about Religion.

Am going to suggest some links that you might find useful

http://www.sikh.dk/

http://manvirsingh.blogspot.in/search?q=Denmark

Bhai Manvir Singh is a really inspirational Gurmukh living in the United Kingdom. Born in a Sikh family as a mona (person with cut hair) Bhai Sahib came into Sikhi in his teenage years. Now he does a lot of Sewa for the youth, works as a Religious Studies teacher. Send him a mail, he will guide you in the right direction.

Very interesting!

I have already checked this site out, that's where I got the Gurdwara location from.

I already learned so much as I could from sites like sikhs.org, I read a lot already :D Now I'm beginning to read the English translation of Siri Guru Granth Sahib.

Alright, I will ask this man, I read quite a bit of his blog and he seems like a really good guy :)

Mr Future Singh, You are exactly the type of friend i would love to have :)

You could start with simplistics , you know like going to the local gurdwara and just getting a feel of it, I think the more reguarly you go the more people will notice you and you can slowly make friends :)

Then maybe listening to kirtan, I find youtube is great for that :) Also maybe going on the internet and searching gurbani and maybe if theres is a patricular scripture you like, You could print it out, stick it on your wall, and read it every now and then, before you go to bed is nice becuase you also end up memorising it:)

And after that who know... You might just find what you are looking for.... Your morals and standards seem great, you dont sound like a typical teenager, A GREAT WAY TO GO !! :D

Best Of Luck Mate

Fateh

Thanks for all the good words and advices :)

This will Never seem odd mate..especially not to somoene who knows the value of it :)

Well, I think you haven't been in Denmark :/

1. Orthodox Sikh men and women do not shave, trim or remove any hair. It is not unhygienic, and I find it a little strange that the norm has become for women to shave their armpits while most men don't - are the men not unhygienic then? In terms of hygiene, a Sikh must wash every day and keep clean. It's just natural, only seems weird to the unnatural Western world today.

2. A lot of Sikhs sleep, shower (unless washing hair) in a keski, which is a small turban. Some believe that the turban should be kept on whenever possible, while others may be more lenient.

3. There are lots of reasons that many Sikhs hold that eating any meat is unacceptable, I don't think it has anything to do with origin. For example, we're told that a Sikh must be truly compassionate, and accept a humble, healthy diet, and these things are incompatible with eating slaughtered animals.

1. I'm sorry if I offended somebody with the "hygiene" thing, shaving some places in Europe is viewed as a standard, well - culture differences ;)

2. Sleeping in keski seems way more comfortable than sleeping in a turban ;) Thanks for the information :)

3. Sure, I understand them, Catholics aren't eating red meat in many periods of time, in saint days and every Friday. Fish are more humble in my opinion and they are quite non-smart animals which don't feel much but the comparison with drugs quite shocked me.

By the origin I meant that in different places people eat different food, for example it would be impossible to be a vegetarian in Greenland where are no plants at all and native people only ate whales.

What I try to ask with these points is how serious are Sikh people treating these rules? How many are like you said "orthodox" Sikhs? I was raised in Christian society where people don't really treat the Christian rules seriously.

Link to post
Share on other sites

hey... Gabriel.. I was same as like you... I was also monah (haircut).....I say you don't need to worry about this aspect "hair" for now. Because you are new you need to read only

Gurbani ..Just sit down today and start.. as you move day by day your heart becomes pure and clean...and sikhi will be blooming from your body one day....I had never thought I would

be a sikh some day.....but with Gurus blessings I felt to keep my unshorn hair and beard ..now I do wear turban....still not baptized but trying my best to achieve it.......best of luck and

yeah one thing more please beware of hypocrite sikhs....They would not want you to be sikh and wil aways direct you in wrong way......:)

Link to post
Share on other sites

orthodox sikh ?? ae kitho a gye??? sikh is sikh in Guru's way of life... that's what I think and what I have read so far.. correct me if i m wrong?

Well, if I were to simply say "Sikhs do this" then I'd probably be

a) criticised for making a sweeping statement by those Sikhs who do cut their hair, or

b) questioned as to why so many Sikhs then cut their hair.

Can't really win no matter what you say yo.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the link, his videos seem very interesting :)

Very interesting!

I have already checked this site out, that's where I got the Gurdwara location from.

I already learned so much as I could from sites like sikhs.org, I read a lot already :D Now I'm beginning to read the English translation of Siri Guru Granth Sahib.

Alright, I will ask this man, I read quite a bit of his blog and he seems like a really good guy :)

Thanks for all the good words and advices :)

Well, I think you haven't been in Denmark :/

1. I'm sorry if I offended somebody with the "hygiene" thing, shaving some places in Europe is viewed as a standard, well - culture differences ;)

2. Sleeping in keski seems way more comfortable than sleeping in a turban ;) Thanks for the information :)

3. Sure, I understand them, Catholics aren't eating red meat in many periods of time, in saint days and every Friday. Fish are more humble in my opinion and they are quite non-smart animals which don't feel much but the comparison with drugs quite shocked me.

By the origin I meant that in different places people eat different food, for example it would be impossible to be a vegetarian in Greenland where are no plants at all and native people only ate whales.

What I try to ask with these points is how serious are Sikh people treating these rules? How many are like you said "orthodox" Sikhs? I was raised in Christian society where people don't really treat the Christian rules seriously.

No not offended at all, these cultural norms are prevalent here too!

With regards to meat, I think most Sikhs would say that even eating fish is not OK- it's regarding as a sentient being, intelligent or not, and taking its life for your stomach isn't considered okay.

Well by orthodox Sikhs, I meant those who are actually following Sikhism to the T, and that usually infers amritdhari (baptised) Sikhs. They are the Sikhs of the Khalsa who follow of this strictly. However, outside of that, there are people who may not practice or may practice only aspects. I'm sure it's the same with all religious communities!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, if I were to simply say "Sikhs do this" then I'd probably be

a) criticised for making a sweeping statement by those Sikhs who do cut their hair, or

b) questioned as to why so many Sikhs then cut their hair.

Can't really win no matter what you say yo.

please hold the aspect of truth :(...who gets hurt or not it does not matter at all...The main thing we should remember our gurus should not be hurt...

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Gabriel

Thanks for all the answers :)

A thing which really interests me is how many % of Sikhs are the "orthodox" Sikhs?

If I go to a Gurdwara how should I behave there? I read that mostly there are masses about 10am on Sundays but I probably would like to go "after hours" instead of going to a mass right away. I guess all or almost all people there will be foreigners so should I speak with them in English? What do you think? I heard that at the entrance I need to take off my shoes and take something on my head - I read that mostly it is provided but what if it's not? I better take something with me, what's the best choice? I have short hair.

Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Orthodox Sikh men and women do not shave, trim or remove any hair. It is not unhygienic, and I find it a little strange that the norm has become for women to shave their armpits while most men don't - are the men not unhygienic then? In terms of hygiene, a Sikh must wash every day and keep clean. It's just natural, only seems weird to the unnatural Western world today.

2. A lot of Sikhs sleep, shower (unless washing hair) in a keski, which is a small turban. Some believe that the turban should be kept on whenever possible, while others may be more lenient.

3. There are lots of reasons that many Sikhs hold that eating any meat is unacceptable, I don't think it has anything to do with origin. For example, we're told that a Sikh must be truly compassionate, and accept a humble, healthy diet, and these things are incompatible with eating slaughtered animals.

Sikhs are Orthoprax. :-)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Gabriel

You are only 15 and such an independent thinker. That will serve you well throughout your life regardless of your path. As you may know if you’ve read about ‘Sikhi’ (Sikhism), the faith respects all paths and does not believe in a need to “convert”. At the same time, Sikhi is a path that is open to anyone to own for themselves.

For the above reasons it is only honorable as per Sikhi to first care for you as a young person ahead of caring for you as a potential Sikh. I note that you are only 15 years old. At this age as you are open to so many ideas. You are also potentially influenced by so much good, bad, and fleeting. Although Sikhi may be amazing for those on the path, ensure that it is the complete picture of Sikhi that is suitable to you. Take the time you need to explore. Sikh men and women do wear “swords”, but you should understand the origin and history of that to know precisely how sacred and meaningful that “kirpan” is. The uncut hair/beard and turban is all part of the required identity and part of living the faith. There is a deep history and spiritual tie in to Sikh living. Do it right and you become a radiant, benevolent, fearless, lion/lioness.

Most religions anxiously “love you” to increase numbers. Sikhi is not insecure. It is one of the few that at it’s very core and origin teaches to love, respect, and fight for all religions/paths (sarbat da balla). At the same time Sikhi says come on board here and you should commit to being saint soldier for all of humanity and a student (‘Sikh’) always.

Don’t get me wrong regarding your interest in Sikhi. Sikhs admire and even look up to a person who starts completely outside the faith to take an interest. That person’s commitment usually is the most akin to the commitment of the panj pyare.

A caution I will throw your way is that many who identify as Sikhs today, despite being good people are slaves to mediocre yawns of success. They have lost the plot and lack the subtle sophistication to live the symphony of Sikhi. They prefer the comfort of anonymity amongst the crowd. In addition there are also those who identify with Sikhi that insult Sikhi with asinine backwoods ethics and mere caste-like familial claims to the identity. By definition, there is no such thing as a familial claim to Sikhi.

Regardless, when you meet a person who actually endeavors to live as a Sikh, whether they are from a village or city in Punjab, London, or L.A., you will admire their powerful radiance for life.

Looking forward to seeing more of your posts. I'm sure you will teach us through your questions and curious mind.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use