Importance of the turban to Sikh religion emphasised
Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi
Importance of the turban to Sikh
National List MP Kanwaljit
Singh Bakshi sees a recent incident in Queenstown where a
Sikh restaurant employee had his turban removed by an
inebriated tourist, as a reminder of the importance of
recognising cultural differences.
“I’m pleased the
police are handling this unfortunate case, however such
incidents highlight the need to remember the multicultural
nature of our society. It also serves to remind us that we
must be more understanding and tolerant of the different
cultural practices undertaken within our
“All cultures, religions, and ethnic groups
have unique practices and protocols. One of the most
significant for the Sikh religion is the requirement of Sikh
men to wear a turban. This tradition dates back to 1469,”
Mr Bakshi says.
The turban stands as recognition of the
high moral standards that Guru Gobind Singhji, the tenth
Sikh Guru, charted out for the Sikh community.
Sikh, a turban is not a piece of cloth. Rather, it becomes
the person’s head. For a Sikh the turban represents
sovereignty, dedication, self-respect, courage and piety. It
is a sacred symbol, based on the Guru’s teachings.
“New Zealand is a truly multi-cultural place, and
it’s important to remember that isolated incidents like
this do not represent the views of most New Zealanders,”
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