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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Tie-A-Turban Day raises Sikh awareness

After a presentation at the Brazos Valley WorldFest, the Sikh Students Association (SSA) put on Tie-A-Turban Day in the Memorial Student Center breezeway April 23. As a new organization on campus, the students wanted to promote Sikh religious awareness.
“A lot of people on campus are unaware and some have heard of it but have misconceptions” said Jaspreet Kaur, a junior genetics major and president of SSA. “Being a minority on campus, we want to promote awareness so that when you look at a Sikh, you know what he stands for.”
The religion is monotheistic and is centered on the idea that God is one eternal deity. It began in Panjab, India, more than 100 years ago, Kaur said.
Sikhs share a temple called the Golden Temple. It is located in Western India and is built from 24-karat gold.
Tie-A-Turban day also gave insight into why Sikhs wear turbans or, as they call them, “Dastars.”
Sikhs must keep body hair uncut to be as natural as possible. The turban keeps hair in place and serves to distinguish Sikhs from non-Sikhs.
“I have been wearing a turban for many years now,” Baljeet Singh, SSA advisor and co-founder, said. “Coming to America, you expect to be accepted and not to be afraid so there should be no reason, to remove my turban. Civil rights should be of the highest priority.”
For Sikh followers, it is optional to wear a head covering, or “chunni,” a scarf, over their head, Kaur said. Many women, especially in America, choose not to wear turbans or chunnis due to personal reasons or societal pressure.
“Culturally, women are put down a lot,” said Harkiran Kaur, a sophomore biomedical science major. “Some women don’t wear them because of peer pressure. It’s hard to be yourself around people when you’re different. I started wearing mine two years ago after questioning myself and my faith. But if you want to stick to something, you do it.”
There are many misconceptions that go along with Sikhism, Harkiran said. One myth is that everyone who wears a turban is Muslim and from the Middle East.
It is more culture or convenience for Muslims to wear a turban, whereas for the Sikhs, it is religious, Harkiran said.
The turban is a “Spiritual Crown,” reminding believers that they sit on the “throne of consciousness” and of a commitment to living their principles.

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