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The Five K’s

Why do you wear a turban? Does the colour of your turban represent something? How do you wear it?


Founded in the 16th Century in the Punjab district in India, Sikhism is a monotheistic religion, meaning god is one. Sikhs believe that all different races, religion and gender are equal in the eyes of god. It teaches the full equality of men and women. Sikhs do not believe in idol worship but rather emphasis is placed on respect of the holy book for the writings which appear within – the living guru of the Sikhs is a holy book called ‘The Guru Granth Sahib’, which is held in great reverence by Sikhs and treated with utmost respect. It’s the only scripture which does not only contain works of it’s own religious founders but also writings from other faith’s founders. It is a collection of devotional hymns and poetry proclaiming god, lays stress on meditation on the true guru and lays down moral and ethical rules for the development of the soul, spiritual and unity.


A baptised Sikh or a Khalsa (Embodiment of the Guru) will have the five K’s;


Kesh – Uncut hair kept covered with a distinctive turban. Also a symbol of leadership. Kara – A steel bracelet symbolising strength and integrity. Kanga – A small wooden comb symbolising cleanliness and order. Kaccha – also spelt, Kachh, Kachera – A cotton boxer shorts symbolising self-control, chastity and prohibition of adultery. Kirpan – A steel knife or sword symbolising readiness to protect the weak and defend against the injustice.


Does the colour of my turban represent something?


Some colours – yes, they do but otherwise it’s more of a personal preference on what you like or if you want to match it with the colour of your clothes. For example; Saffron orange (represents wisdom and courage) and navy blue (worn by Gyani or in simple words priests) are more commonly worn and are traditional colours of Sikhism. And according to our customs, red colour turbans are worn for a wedding ceremony and other days of celebration. Apart from these, white and black are the most commonly worn meaning purity and humility respectively.

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