sabato 10 novembre 2012


Today I want o to speak about the Sikh.
The Sikh are a religious group, most of them come from India. It’s quite easy to recognize them because they use to wear a turban. This has always been a problem for them because they have been discriminated because they were wearing it. In the documentary - Turbanaphobia - The Sikh Turban - is explored the western perceptions of the Sikh turban through the eyes of a Sikh born in England. I have just seen the trailer but what the protagonist says is that turban give him a sense of “honor”, “pride” and “dignity” but also a sense of “frustration”, “low self confidence” and “low self esteem”.
The documentary analyzes the problem of the turban stereotypes.
I think that often people judge things associating them with their previous knowledge. When people see a person wearing a turban they don’t think he or she is coming from India but more often they think he or she is coming from a Muslim country. Some of the Sikh interviewed in the documentary claim that some time English people (the documentary is set in England) think they are coming from Arab states because of the brown color of their skin and of their turban. Often people are not feeling comfortable in front of someone who is wearing a turban, maybe because in the recent years  we got many negative images that associate turban with Taliban or Arab extremists, or because it represent something different , difficult to accept in our culture. I don’t have the answer; people have to find their own answers inside their minds.
Speaking about Sikh there is in important misunderstanding that I’d like to explain. Everybody think that the religious symbol is the turban, but this is wrong. The religious symbol that is hidden by the turban are their hairs, they wear the turban to hide their hairs because they are symbol of holiness in India. According to their religion hairs in general are considered important, all over their bodies. Sikh have five religious symbols. You can find more information about this in the page below if you are interested to get information related to this religion whose precepts and symbols are still unknown for us.
The world is changing rapidly, we get in contact with new cultures, new religious groups and new way of lives almost every day, according to this is very important to train our minds in order to become more open and willing to accept these differences without building negatives images of the unknown world we have in front of us.

Silvia Bettiol

1 commento:

  1. I find this post really interesting. Not only stereotypes are a form of generalization and simplification of the reality, but in this case are totally wrong and tend to correlate and put together two different populations, religions and traditions. Because of their turban, Sikh are labelled as Muslims, and nowadays the gap between Muslim and terrorism is narrow. So a symbol, which is supposed to be sacred and to give a sense of pride and honour to Sikh, becomes instead something to be scorned and feared for. It seems inconceivable to me that in the era of globalization we are still scared by the other and we are so shallow to associate a turban to extremists, without trying to understand and appreciate the diversity of the world we live in.