SILVER SPRING, Md. (RNS) Throughout elementary, center and high school, Prabhdeep Suri has been a usually Sikh in his class, and it’s been obvious.
Like all Sikh boys, he wore a patka, a conduct covering for his untouched hair that’s ragged out of honour for his gurus. To his classmates, a patka was a permit to stare, taunt, isolate, punch and flog him. It was a aim to hit off his head. It was a reason they called him “Osama bin Laden” and “terrorist.”
“He came home great 3 days out of five,” his mother, Harpreet Suri remembered. “They were holding his patka off roughly each day.”
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Bullying is a prohibited subject in a U.S. today, and affects children and teenagers who for any series of reasons seem or act differently. But distinct others who can censor their sacrament during propagandize — by wearing a ball top instead of a yarmulke, or never mentioning that their family celebrates Ramadan — Sikhs literally wear their sacrament on their sleeves.
The kara, a steel bracelet, symbolizes strength, and togetherness with God. Sikhs trust God combined a star and all religions, and done organisation and women equal. More apparent is a patka, that covers a Sikh boy’s conduct from a day his hair is prolonged adequate to tie into a topknot, and is traded for a turban during his coming-of-age ceremony, around age 12.
Prabhdeep, now 17, credits his relatives and his eremite village during a gurdwara (or temple) here for giving him a strength to tarry a torture with his honour and eremite temperament intact. His relatives sought to teach that honour with a assistance of eremite propagandize teachers during a gurdwara and counselors during a Sikh summer camp.
But they dealt with a written and earthy assaults during propagandize mostly on their own, holding large meetings with often-disinterested principals. They enrolled Prabhdeep in a private propagandize in a vain wish of a critical response. Once, during a propagandize assembly, they wrapped their son’s hair in his patka as they explained a sanctification of a ritual.
“I was really resistant,” Pradhdeep said, recalling a open patka tying. But he conspicuous he understands a significance of demystifying Sikhism for non-Sikhs. “We mount adult for ourselves,” he said, “by revelation others about a religion.”
Increasingly, in new years, Sikhs have banded together to call courtesy to a predicament faced by their school-age children, so that families such as a Suris do not have to deflect for themselves.
The Maryland-based Kaur Foundation, for example, has distributed sleek, upbeat anti-bullying videos and doctrine skeleton to a teachers of 1.3 million American facile and delegate propagandize students given 2008. The video, “Cultural Safari,” explains Sikh culture, including a patka-tying proof and a sharp-witted low-pitched number, yet also creates a box for toleration of anyone from an unknown background.
“You don’t have to have Sikhs in a propagandize to comprehend this is a profitable curriculum,” conspicuous Nina Lamba, a Kaur Foundation’s executive of vital partnerships and a owners of a record association in northeastern Maryland.
But children are not a usually victims of stupidity among a 500,000 Americans who use Sikhism, a world’s fifth-largest religion. Incidents opposite Sikhs in new years include:
- Four days after 9/11, an Arizona male bragged that he would take reprisal by murdering Iranians, Middle Eastern people, and Arabs, and afterwards pulled adult to a gas hire and shot and killed a turban-wearing Sikh owner.
- A gunman looking to kill Muslims killed 6 and bleeding 3 during a Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Aug 2012, as they prepared for Sunday services.
- A think cheering anti-Muslim slurs pounded a Sikh alloy and Columbia University highbrow in Manhattan in September, violation his jaw.
Because of their turbans — of all American organisation who wear turbans, a immeasurable infancy are Sikhs – many mistake Sikhs for Muslims, who infrequently wear turbans, yet not ordinarily in a U.S. Sikhs — scrupulously conspicuous “siks,” yet some-more ordinarily “seeks” — are also mistaken for Hindus, given Hinduism dominates India, where Sikhism was founded and many of a world’s 25 million Sikhs live.
In response to a violence, conspicuous Amardeep Singh, co-founder of a largest Sikh polite rights organisation in a U.S., Sikhs have come together to explain who they are, not by resisting themselves to Muslims, yet by vocalization adult about their possess beliefs and practices.
“One of a core beliefs of Sikh tradition is to have honour for all eremite traditions,” conspicuous Singh, whose Sikh Coalition was founded on a night of 9/11, after a male seeking reprisal pounded a Sikh family in Queens, N.Y.
“How can we chuck Muslims underneath a bus,” he said, “when there are papers of Muslims in a possess holy books?”
Singh and other American Sikh leaders have worked, generally given 9/11, to press a box of Sikh eremite leisure before courts, sovereign agencies and Congress.
They successfully lobbied a Transportation Security Administration in 2007 to concede passengers to pass by airfield confidence but stealing their turbans. They helped remonstrate a FBI in Jun to collect information on hatred crimes committed opposite Sikhs. Before a congressional subcommittee this week, they testified opposite a “presumptive anathema on Sikh articles of faith” in a U.S. military.
“It was 9/11 that put a emanate out there for a Sikhs that, as Martin Luther King showed us, no one is going to quarrel your quarrel for polite rights,” conspicuous Mirin Phool, a Kaur Foundation’s owner and president. “You have to do it for yourself.”
KRE/AMB END MARKOE
An anti-bullying video from a Kaur Foundation.