Sikhism in a Nutshell

Sikhs are half a million strong in the U.S. and belong to the fifth largest organized religion in the world. Our faith was established in 1469 in present-day Northern India and Pakistan. Our first teacher, Guru Nanak, called for devotion to One God, equality between all people, and a commitment to service – all ideals compatible with the American ethic. We pray in houses of worship called gurdwaras, where we gather together to recite and sing our sacred scriptures, poetry in praise of God. Like other religious people, many of us wear articles of faith, including long uncut hair, which men and some women wrap in a turban. Our turbans represent our community’s long-standing commitment to stand up and serve people around us, fighting injustice in all forms. Sikhs have settled in the U.S. for more than one hundred years and have overcome a history of discrimination to become farmers, doctors, lawyers, engineers, entrepreneurs, academics, and leaders in their communities.

Watch Divided We Fall to learn more about Sikhs after 9/11:

Find resources at