Sikhism was founded by Guru Nanak, who was born in the year 1469 of the Common Era (CE) in the Punjab region of South Asia. Punjab is a geographic area currently split between the country India and the country Pakistan. Sikhism is a unique religion, and is not a branch of, or a blend of any other faith traditions. Many mark the Sikh faith as beginning in about the year 1500 CE, when Guru Nanak began to teach about faith principals that were very distinct from all other religious traditions of the time in India. Guru Nanak witnessed tremendous human suffering and offered a revolutionary method of living that gave equality and freedom to all. Nine different Gurus came after Guru Nanak and each helped develop the Sikh faith and community over the next several centuries.
There are over 10,000 Sikh Americans living in the Metro Detroit area. Let’s take a deeper look at the history, beliefs, and practices of these wonderful members of our community.
Sikhism is the fifth largest religion with over 20 million followers worldwide.
Sikhs believe in one God, equality of all humankind and social justice.
The main pillars of Sikhism are Simren- meditation on God’s name and Seva- service to God’s creations.
Sikhism Learning Resources
Test Your Knowledge!
We are curious about what you already know about Sikhism. Please complete this short, 100% anonymous, True/False activity to get started.
RDJ Textbook: Sikhism
The RDJ textbook is a great way to start learning about each of RDJ’s five faiths. Read the chapter on Sikhism before continuing your Journey.
Virtual Journey to a Sikh Gurdwara
In partnership with the Detroit Public Television, Journey with 7th grader Kennedy on her first visit to a Sikh Gurdwara.
What is Seva?
Selfless Service to others is a core Sikh value. This video looks at the food truck that helped inspire Michigan’s own Seva food truck you saw during the virtual visit to the Rochester Hills Gurdwara.
Who are the Sikhs?
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Sikhs in Metro Detroit
In partnership with Detroit Experience Factory, RDJ students will learn about the South East Michigan Sikh community has flourished. Through archival images and map-based storytelling you will understand more about the history of our Sikh community.
Langar at a Sikh Gurdwara
How does food facilitate a core Sikh value? This Extending Your Learning module talks about the Sikh custom of langar and includes a variety of savory and sweet dishes that one would be served as a guest at langar. Be sure to leave a review of your cooking and eating experience as a part of The Great RDJ Recipe Review!
11 Things You Wanted to Know About My Turban But Were Too Afraid to Ask
Can you touch a turban? Well, CAN you… This Extending Your Learning module offers a very personal reflection on a very personal- and very public – aspect of Sikh identity.
End of Journey Quiz!
Would you like to win an Amazon gift card? Yes? Of course you would! Successfully complete this End of a Journey activity and your name will be entered in a monthly contest!
Thank you to our South East Michigan Sikh Community Partners:
Mata Tripta Ji Gurdwara Sahib, Plymouth, MI
Sikh Gurdwara, Rochester Hills, MI
Sikh Society of Michigan, Sterling Heights, MI