Still the unknown religion

Discussion in 'Sikhism' started by Gaven, May 5, 2016.

  1. Gaven

    Gaven New Member

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    Despite being one of the world’s largest world religions, Sikhism remains one of the most unknown traditions in America. Why?
     
  2. BigJoeNobody

    BigJoeNobody Professional Argument Attractor

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_religious_populations
    according to wiki, it would be tough to describe Sikhism as one of the largest (usually that phrase is used as top 5 in a list this size IMO) 23M adherents pales in comparison to the 4 groups with 1 Billion +, and the next 4 are over 100 Million adherents. Meaning it has less than 1/4 the followers as the 8th largest group. Most Americans can't grasp the most basic concepts of the 2nd largest group with 1.6B. Why would you expect them to know anything about one with 1/64th the followers?

    That being said, feel free to explain any detail of Sikh belief structure, and get in on one of the many topics looking for alternative views on religious topics.
     
  3. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Gaven,

    Among all eastern religions, only Buddhism has a 'reasonable' number of followers among westerners. Sikhism is just like all of the other eastern religions that have a very small number of followers who are westerners.

    I suppose part of this is because Buddhism had a lot of 'advertising' in America and elsewhere from some important western Buddhist authors who wrote several books back in the 1960's that became best-sellers.
     
  4. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    Largest or not, Sikhism is indeed almost entirely an unknown in this country. And that is very bad because most of the ignorant Muslim haters in America think Sikhs are a branch of Islam. It may not be going too far to suggest that to these people Sikhs actually look more like a Muslim than Muslims do! You've got the beard. You've got the Turban. Muslims. Obviously.
     
  5. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Where I live there is a Sikh temple about thirty minutes away which my son and I visited and I've known Sikhs in University and other places.. I had several Sikh friends...

    You might be interested in reading the following:

    http://www.sikhfoundation.org/sikh-...ury-of-sikhs-in-california-by-bruce-la-brack/

    We also have a Jain community and I've attended their summer programs.

    and I've had the good fortune of befriending a Zoroastrian as well!
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
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  6. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    Nice overview of their history in this country. Thanks, Arthra.
     
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  7. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    We've had Sikh representatives at our interfaith services... I don't see them as unknown...but not many are knowledgeable about them.

    but seems our Gavin bounced in and right back out eh?
     
  8. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    There is a Sikh Garudwara just down the street from me. There are quite a few Sikhs in my area.
     
  9. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Different in the UK, as we have such long ties with India, although I doubt most people have any idea what Sikhs believe.

    There was a huge temple erected in NW London, and my daughter was lucky enough to go with a school chum to its inauguration. Her friend's family dressed her in traditional Indian costume too, which I thought was really nice. She loved it. Course, stuff like that is really 'magic' for kids ... another time she came with me to Midnight Mass and spent the whole service mesmerised by the candles lighting up the church ... perhaps someone should start a 'thing' in education that gets groups of children to visit a range of faith practices to experience a taste at least ...
     
  10. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    We did this with our middle school kids... field trips to other religious services and during retreats brought in other practitioners to speak...very well received by the kids.

    My sons world religions class required him to attend and report on other services...he asked me to take him to a couple and others he went with friends...again quite interesting. I particularly liked the Hindu temple... their greeters set us up with a father and son (son his age) and encouraged asking questions and we got separate tours....quite cool.
     
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  11. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    Good idea!
     
  12. Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine

    Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine Junior Moderator, Intro Staff Member

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    There are two Sikh temples around here. In fact, the one in Oak Creek was in the news a few years ago (unfortunately not for a positive reason.)

    They lost nine members iirc to an active shooter, one being the temple's leader, before he, the shooter, was taken out. Turned out that he was quite active in the White Supremacist movement, even founding a neonazi "music" group (had about as much talent as a Styrofoam cup from what I've heard.) To make matters more "interesting", his then-girlfriend wasn't supposed to possess any firearms (she was a convicted felon [again, iirc].)

    I've been meaning to see the Oak Creek temple if I can figure a way to get there on one of my few free days...

    Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine
     

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