On April 16, 2005, the Sikh (pronounced “seek”) community had a parade that honored their religious beginnings.
About 900 men, women and children marched in the streets of Lansing.
They shared a complimentary lunch with all of the attendees and entertainment.
Lansing Michigan has a growing Sikh community. The Guru Nanak Sikh Centre is located at 4701 Pleasant Grove Road (formerly Mt. Calvary Baptist Church).
Center President Gurdev Singh said that they were proud of the number of supporters that came to march and hope that it is a yearly event.
Sikhism is a monotheistic (a belief that there is only one deity) religion based on a definitive revelation. With over 25 million followers worldwide, it is one of the youngest major world religions. Sikhism was revealed to Guru Nanak over 500 years ago in the Punjab, the Sikh Homeland in South Asia. Sikhism preaches a message of devotion, remembrance of God at all times, truthful living, equality between all human beings, social justice, while emphatically denouncing superstitions and blind rituals.
The Sikhs pray twice a day for the whole of humanity.
According to the Sikh Network, there are many misconceptions regarding the religion:
Misconception 1: The Sikh religion is a blend of Islam and Hinduism or it is a sect of Hinduism.
Truth 1: Sikhism is a unique revealed religion. It is not derived from any other religion. It is not a blend of any two or three religions. Guru Nanak started a new faith.
Misconception 2: Sikhism supports the patriarchal model.
Truth 2: The tenets of Sikhism apply to all Sikhs, regardless of whether one is a Sikh man or a Sikh woman. Sikhism demands the equal treatment and involvement of men and women.
Misconception 3: Sikhs are Indian.
Truth 3: Sikhism is a religion. Indian is a nationality. Those Sikhs born in the United States, Canada, UK or any other place adopt the nationality of that country. Sikhism as a religion spans any such geo-political boundaries.
Misconception 4: Sikhs are Hindu.
Truth 4: Sikhism is a unique faith and is not derived from Hinduism. Sikhism challenges and rejects many precepts of the Hindu religion. It is only due to a shared geographic culture that some ideas or methods may be similar.
Misconception 5: Anyone who wears a turban and sports a beard is Muslim and from the Middle East.
Truth 5: Not all turban-wearers are Sikhs, but all Sikhs must cover their heads at all times (most often done with a turban.) Sikhs are required to keep unshorn hair, but non-Sikhs may have long hair, unshaved legs, or beards out of personal choice.
Misconception 6: Sikhs are terrorists
Truth 6: Sikhs are against terrorism. Sikhs strongly condemn killing innocent people. In fact, Sikhs are commanded to defend the innocent and fight against oppression.
Information regarding Sikh religion was reprinted with permission from The Sikh Network.