What is Sikh?

A Sikh (/ˈsiːk/ or /ˈsɪk/; Punjabi: ਸਿੱਖ, sikkh [ˈsɪkkʰ]) is a follower of Sikhism. It primarily originated in the 15th century in the Punjab region of South Asia. The term "Sikh" has its origin in Sanskrit term शिष्य (śiṣya), meaning "disciple, student" or शिक्ष (śikṣa), meaning "instruction".[24][25] A Sikh is a disciple/subject of the Guru.

According to Article I of the "Rehat Maryada" (the Sikh code of conduct and conventions), a Sikh is defined as "any human being who faithfully believes in One Immortal Being; ten Gurus, from Guru Nanak Dev to Sri Guru Gobind Singh; Sri Guru Granth Sahib; the teachings of the ten Gurus and the baptism bequeathed by the tenth Guru; and who does not owe allegiance to any other religion".[26] Sikhs believe in the equality of humankind, the concept of universal brotherhood of man and One Supreme God (Ik Onkar).

Most male Sikhs have Singh (lion) and most female Sikhs Kaur (princess) as their surname. Sikhs who have undergone the khanḍe-kī-pahul, the Sikh initiation ceremony, can also be recognized by the Five Ks: uncut hair (Kesh); an iron/steel bracelet (kara); a Kirpan, a sword tucked in a gatra strap; Kachehra, a type of special shorts; and a Kanga, a small comb to keep the hair clean. Male Sikhs cover their hair with a turban, while female Sikhs may wear a turban or a scarf.


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