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Guest Jack

Connecting with Sikhism, but white?

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Guest Jack

Hello. I'm a white guy, born and raised in the USA, baptized and confirmed Catholic, however I never really could accept what Catholicism/Christianity teaches. I always felt like I was reaching for something "out there" to understand know God. I've read about/researched other faiths, such as Wicca, Islam, Hinduism, other secs of Christianity, and for a while I studied Buddhism. But again, these always left me wanting more. They spoke about God, "The Divine", creator, etc, but they always spoke of different ways to identify with God, spoke about all these rituals to get closer to God, but those things feel inadequate to me. Reading the Guru Granth Sahib pulls something deep inside of me. At least, for me, it explains God in terms that I'm able to understand and connect with, and Sikhism, from what I've read, shares the same moral/ethical/world views that I do.

My only worry/concern is appropriating the culture of Sikhs. While I very much admire the ten Gurus and the immense struggle they and the people who lived during there time (and of course the struggle that Sikhs, and black/brown people and other people of color, still go through today), I will never be able to identify with that struggle because of my racial position in life, which I accept, but does that mean I'm not able to follow the words of the Gurus? I'm a solitary person, so I don't think I would go to Gurdwara, and I don't think I would ever be baptized/ take the 5 K's. I enjoy being a lay person, appreciating what the Guru Granth Sahib says, and experiencing/knowing God. I just want to have a relationship with God, and I know that means more than just reading from the Guru Granth Sahib, and I'm hoping with time I'll be able to do more with my faith.

I guess I'm posting this to get an idea if there's any white people on this forum who are Sikh, or if any black/brown or other people of color on here have had experiences with white people in the Gurdwara and if those experiences were satisfactory or cringe worthy?

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5 hours ago, Guest Jack said:

Hello. I'm a white guy, born and raised in the USA, baptized and confirmed Catholic, however I never really could accept what Catholicism/Christianity teaches. I always felt like I was reaching for something "out there" to understand know God. I've read about/researched other faiths, such as Wicca, Islam, Hinduism, other secs of Christianity, and for a while I studied Buddhism. But again, these always left me wanting more. They spoke about God, "The Divine", creator, etc, but they always spoke of different ways to identify with God, spoke about all these rituals to get closer to God, but those things feel inadequate to me. Reading the Guru Granth Sahib pulls something deep inside of me. At least, for me, it explains God in terms that I'm able to understand and connect with, and Sikhism, from what I've read, shares the same moral/ethical/world views that I do.

My only worry/concern is appropriating the culture of Sikhs. While I very much admire the ten Gurus and the immense struggle they and the people who lived during there time (and of course the struggle that Sikhs, and black/brown people and other people of color, still go through today), I will never be able to identify with that struggle because of my racial position in life, which I accept, but does that mean I'm not able to follow the words of the Gurus? I'm a solitary person, so I don't think I would go to Gurdwara, and I don't think I would ever be baptized/ take the 5 K's. I enjoy being a lay person, appreciating what the Guru Granth Sahib says, and experiencing/knowing God. I just want to have a relationship with God, and I know that means more than just reading from the Guru Granth Sahib, and I'm hoping with time I'll be able to do more with my faith.

I guess I'm posting this to get an idea if there's any white people on this forum who are Sikh, or if any black/brown or other people of color on here have had experiences with white people in the Gurdwara and if those experiences were satisfactory or cringe worthy?

bro,

sikhs come from all kinds of backgrounds these days and all  hues, nations  you will not ever hear a sikh criticise you wanting to learn or become closer to Guru ji/Akal Purakh/ Waheguru/ G-D . You would be a true sehajdhari , slow adopter as you are coming from a different background . When I had amrit as a kid a young sikh couple sikh man and his white wife came to be baptised also and everyone was accepting of them The way sikhs are taught to feel about the world is that we are all one family , brothers and sisters under Waheguru ji's care . Yes there will be the occasional buffoons who think they know better but I'm sure you can ignore their comments , take the journey slow , watch Basics of Sikhi YT channel  especially the series on Japji Sahib as that is the core precis of the sikh path , the steps to know and experience Waheguru . Good luck and enjoy

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I got more into Sikh dharam when i was encouraged to search for much deeper sikh dharam. It was under the guidance of pure gurmukh couple; former Hindu guy turned into khalsa and his wife, a former christian white turned into 24 hrs bana wearing sikh. Punjabi family born got into deep sikhi by non-sikh born couple. That proves that it is a very universal faith and speaks to everyone regardless of race, color/age/sex etc. 

One advice, i can give you and i hope you can understand it at early stages: You will see whole lot of majority of "sikhs" who will not be following the core principles of what our gurus taught inside Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji, so do not get discouraged by seeing that thing as they are not blessed.

On one hand you will see the beauty and strong message of life and its purpose from Sri Guru Granth Sahib and on the other side you will see majority followers not actually getting that message quite frankly. So, do not get confused. It is due to lack of preaching of the actual message of Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee to masses.

Socially, you will be greatly accepted and all Sikhs will feel proud of having you as sikh. Do not worry the actual first long stares by few old folks as that is part of indian culture lol. 

Which state you are from? 

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Guest daas guest singh
4 hours ago, puzzled said:

 

@puzzled you also watch embracing sikhism like mee. thats great cos she has some great resources.I was thinking that i am gonna introduce this channel and their website to the sikhsangat folks.but yeah great channel.She has helped many converts like me(i was born into a hindu family).Mr. Jack u shud watch this channel and hv a look at their website they hv great great great resources for converts and even ppl who r already sikh .

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Guest daas guest singh

 

u shud also watch his channel 

Soorma is an african american convert also does other vids.but he is da best

 

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Guest daas guest singh

also embracing sikhism,

u can also give ur suggestions as to what u want her to make a vid about u can just comment on this vid with ur sugesstions:

 

some more:

 

 

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Guest Gji
9 hours ago, jkvlondon said:

bro,

sikhs come from all kinds of backgrounds these days and all  hues, nations  you will not ever hear a sikh criticise you wanting to learn or become closer to Guru ji/Akal Purakh/ Waheguru/ G-D . You would be a true sehajdhari , slow adopter as you are coming from a different background . When I had amrit as a kid a young sikh couple sikh man and his white wife came to be baptised also and everyone was accepting of them The way sikhs are taught to feel about the world is that we are all one family , brothers and sisters under Waheguru ji's care . Yes there will be the occasional buffoons who think they know better but I'm sure you can ignore their comments , take the journey slow , watch Basics of Sikhi YT channel  especially the series on Japji Sahib as that is the core precis of the sikh path , the steps to know and experience Waheguru . Good luck and enjoy

I’m British, White and follow Sikh principles in my life daily, I wear Kara to remind me to live with God in my mind at all times, work hard and help others.

You should attend Gurdwara - I’ve never had anything but the warmest welcome at Gurdwaras. 
Attending will further cement your way of thinking about Sikhi and Waheguruji

 

 

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Guest Gji
10 hours ago, jkvlondon said:

First time posting on here so not sure if this’ll come through. 
 

I’m white British based in UK and follow Sikh principles throughout my daily life. 
I wear Kara to remind me to live with god in my mind at all times, work hard and help others.

you should attend Gurdwara, I’ve never had anything but a very warm welcome at Gurdwaras in the UK and Amritsar. 
visiting will only further cement your association with Sikhi. 
 

WGJKK-WGJKF

 

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8 hours ago, Guest daas guest singh said:

@puzzled you also watch embracing sikhism like mee. thats great cos she has some great resources.I was thinking that i am gonna introduce this channel and their website to the sikhsangat folks.but yeah great channel.She has helped many converts like me(i was born into a hindu family).Mr. Jack u shud watch this channel and hv a look at their website they hv great great great resources for converts and even ppl who r already sikh .

Welcome to sikhi:-) 

Yh she does really gd videos, really gd videos for someone who is new to sikhi. Explains everything really well. 

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17 hours ago, Guest Jack said:

Hello. I'm a white guy, born and raised in the USA, baptized and confirmed Catholic, however I never really could accept what Catholicism/Christianity teaches. I always felt like I was reaching for something "out there" to understand know God. I've read about/researched other faiths, such as Wicca, Islam, Hinduism, other secs of Christianity, and for a while I studied Buddhism. But again, these always left me wanting more. They spoke about God, "The Divine", creator, etc, but they always spoke of different ways to identify with God, spoke about all these rituals to get closer to God, but those things feel inadequate to me. Reading the Guru Granth Sahib pulls something deep inside of me. At least, for me, it explains God in terms that I'm able to understand and connect with, and Sikhism, from what I've read, shares the same moral/ethical/world views that I do.

My only worry/concern is appropriating the culture of Sikhs. While I very much admire the ten Gurus and the immense struggle they and the people who lived during there time (and of course the struggle that Sikhs, and black/brown people and other people of color, still go through today), I will never be able to identify with that struggle because of my racial position in life, which I accept, but does that mean I'm not able to follow the words of the Gurus? I'm a solitary person, so I don't think I would go to Gurdwara, and I don't think I would ever be baptized/ take the 5 K's. I enjoy being a lay person, appreciating what the Guru Granth Sahib says, and experiencing/knowing God. I just want to have a relationship with God, and I know that means more than just reading from the Guru Granth Sahib, and I'm hoping with time I'll be able to do more with my faith.

I guess I'm posting this to get an idea if there's any white people on this forum who are Sikh, or if any black/brown or other people of color on here have had experiences with white people in the Gurdwara and if those experiences were satisfactory or cringe worthy?

Be careful of 'Sikhism' which (to me and many others) appears to be a construct that developed under colonial rule, where elements of Sikhi were appropriated and manipulated to create a system which made colonial rule easier and surreptitiously brought in various outside victorian, protestant ideas to the unlettered rural masses of Panjab.

Sikhi is different and requires patience and strength and isn't spelled out for you in simplistic, dualistic notions. You have to experience it. 

The way of life was for everyone, not limited to any one race or community.  

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Guest daas guest singh
32 minutes ago, puzzled said:

Welcome to sikhi:-)

Thanks,been in this great Panth for about 4-5 yrs now .Absolute Bliss.Chardikala

 

34 minutes ago, puzzled said:

Yh she does really gd videos, really gd videos for someone who is new to sikhi. Explains everything really well.

agreed.Have u given ur suggestions in the latest vid which was asking for suggestions 

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Guest daas guest singh
25 minutes ago, dallysingh101 said:

Be careful of 'Sikhism' which (to me and many others) appears to be a construct that developed under colonial rule, where elements of Sikhi were appropriated and manipulated to create a system which made colonial rule easier and surreptitiously brought in various outside victorian, protestant ideas to the unlettered rural masses of Panjab.

Sikhi is different and requires patience and strength and isn't spelled out for you in simplistic, dualistic notions. You have to experience it. 

The way of life was for everyone, not limited to any one race or community. 

agreed totally 

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Another important thing re: the reception you might get from certain sections of the community/in Gurdwaras:

I'm from a Panjabi background and grew up single parent in a time when it really was considered....I don't know what the word I should use here is? 

In anycase, I fully understand why this (the single parent thing) is something a lot of the community were/are hawkish about. I understand why this is considered seriously undesirable. But be that as it may, (from my perspective) you don't really have much choice about these things, you just find yourself in them. Hukam. (For the record, believe it or not, this way of growing up can have some positives and benefits especially in terms of developing resilience in life and self-reliance). All this has probably made me mentally stronger and more streetwise than I would have been otherwise. 

Growing up, there were times when the reception I got from some of the sangat at the Gurdwara wasn't exactly friendly. There was a time when I was younger when I might of felt alienated enough to stay away for a bit, although I was continually trying to develop my understanding through reading throughout this (youtube weren't around then).

Now I don't know what experiences converts will have, I imagine they may get mixed ones. But the point I'm trying to make is that (for me) some degree of separation between people and Sikhi took place - and I believe for the better. Or else I could've let the negative experiences push me away from Sikhi (like I have seen happen to many, including in my own family), and I believe my life would have been infinitely poorer for this. 

This is no excuse for appalling behaviour by apnay by the way. Which is very concerning for some of us, because of the effect it has on cohesion. We can clearly see examples of the negative effects of inexcusable exclusionary attitudes in the villages of Panjab today. 

Just a heads up.  

This path was sealed by divinity in the form of a saint-soldier. By it's own admission it is "finer than a hair, sharper than the edge of double-edged sword" so if you go through any tough stages - take them with your chin up. 

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