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Somnambulist

American Converts

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Since 2009 I have studied Sikhi off and on. I met some that year from Fresno while we were all camping in Sequoia. They told me about their religion and I visited their Gurdwara once down from the mountain. At the time it was so new I never thought to ask, how do the majority of Ethnically Punjabi Sikhs feel about non Punjabi converts? Guru Nanak traveled all the way to Mecca. It seems like a universal religion.



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Sikhism is about your relationship with Guru and GOD. All are welcome to be SIkhs. I will not put weight in what ethnical punjabi Sikhs or any others opinion, they do not have a monopoly over who they let in.

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Since 2009 I have studied Sikhi off and on. I met some that year from Fresno while we were all camping in Sequoia. They told me about their religion and I visited their Gurdwara once down from the mountain. At the time it was so new I never thought to ask, how do the majority of Ethnically Punjabi Sikhs feel about non Punjabi converts? Guru Nanak traveled all the way to Mecca. It seems like a universal religion.

We actually encourage people to join our religion, and would appreciate to assist them with Community and getting to know their journey. My ancestors converted to Sikhi just before independence of India. There are Sikhs of all colors now and nationalities. I personally don't like 3HO, but normally if yoga is their thing, it their thing(I don't like creating divisions). Ultimately, it is hard to convert to Sikhi because you have to deal with family, society, and friends: we want to make the process as simple as possible.

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VAHEGURU JI KA KHALSA, VAHEGURU JI KI FATEH

There are more and more non Punjabi Sikhs coming into Sikhi outside of 3HO and joining the mainstream Sikh faith. You will note a couple of reactions - one is the initial novelty awe or hesitation (language/cultural barrier) of someone coming from outside of Punjab becoming a Sikh - more typical from the elder generation. The younger generation is more familiar with non Punjabi Sikhs and therefore don't get as awestruck and look for the person to make progress in Sikhi just like a Punjabi Sikh. Overall, if the person makes an effort to become a Sikh and understands that there is a different language, culture (Sikh culture, not Punjabi - two very different things) and is willing to express patience and work at becoming one with the local Sangat (congregation), then they will be accorded with the same respect as another Sikh.

One thing to always be mindful of as a person who comes to the faith from a non Punjabi background - be grounded in reality and Gurbani. It is a serious path of God worship and meditation. It is straightforward in comparison to other faiths, but that does not imply it is easy. Don't buy into the novelty aspect of the faith - seriously research (which means read Gurbani and history) to make sure this is a path you want to take. Unfortunately, is does happen many pursue the faith (Punjabi and non-Punjabi alike), lose interest and become somewhat disillusioned because things don't always turn out as they wanted from their motivations (look different, feel special, shiny weapons, etc.).

If you truly like Sikhi for Sikhi - Gurbani appeals to you, the concept of remembering the Almighty with each and every breath and even more where each passing moment is spent contemplating the Almighty and you are willing to surrender yourself to Sikhi, then pursue Sikhi. Otherwise, it may prove to be a fruitless effort if you get into something that was not quite as you had expected.

Consequently, I am a resident of the Fresno area - let me know if you need any help. I heavily advise attending Gurudwara Gur Nanak Parkash in Fresno and meeting up with the California Gatka Dal teachers there - they are all basically American raised youth who have good command of the English language, are professionals and have a good foundation in Sikhi (and don't take themselves too seriously - they are good humans, good Gursikhs and despite all the joking and laughing, know what they are talking about in terms of Sikhi). Don't expect BrahmGyanis (those who are essentially one with the Almighty ), but their approach will be practical and based on the experience of being a Sikh in America. That and they also have had plenty of experience in interacting with non Punjabi Sikhs.

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Shiny weapons, funny. I would more likely call Shastars as that thing that protectors others, and if someone is in America they probably won't just become a Sikh to look different: especially in America, it makes a lot of things hard; it can also make it easy, really depends.

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This is good, hopefully Punjabi's who have lost their Sikhi way, will get inspired to come back to Sikhi. The more non-Punjabis that become Sikhs and follow Guru Ji's path the better.

The more PEOPLE in general from all backgrounds that become Gursikhs the better for the world as a whole , The world needs the Khalsa right now ...

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This is good, hopefully Punjabi's who have lost their Sikhi way, will get inspired to come back to Sikhi. The more non-Punjabis that become Sikhs and follow Guru Ji's path the better.

the Khalsa is truly part of the solution: Raj Kaerga Khalsa Agai Rahe Na Koi.

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