THE success of the early Sikhs is due to their steadfast belief in the Golden Rules of Sikhism, Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia (Penang branch) vice-president Kirpal Singh said.
“Whatever they did — whether they were watchmen or milkmen, they were successful because they practised the teachings of Sikhism.
“Being responsible and accountable for your actions, sharing and caring for everyone and everything around you, living honestly and being grateful for God’s blessings — these religious philosophies led to their success despite the fact that they were a small community,” he said.
However, the college lecturer said over the last 20 years, the influence of Bollywood movies, peer pressure, social ills, and the mass media had gradually contributed to making Sikhism seem uncool.
“These days, about 80% of the youths don’t wear turbans.
“Some even start adopting Christian names and even drop the Singh or Kaur from their names thinking that they will be more hip and more acceptable to the community at large,” he said.
“The problem is that they are ashamed of adopting the Sikh identity. This inferiority complex stems from a lack of knowledge about their faith, culture and language.
“The younger generation needs people to look up to. As a community, we have always emphasised on education even in the very early days of Sikhs in Malaya.
“These days, we have many successful Sikhs who are lawyers, doctors and engineers. Now, many are taking on management positions as well,” he added.
He said the Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia was a nationwide body aimed at “inspiring and guiding” young Sikhs.
“This year, the Penang branch organised the Vasakhi Fest 2009 and mini youth camp here and we will be having a fellowship camp on Penang Hill this month.
“Among the objectives are to help participants come to terms with who they are. We already have 30 participants registered for the event,” he explained.
For details about the association and its activities, call 016-4145848.