Sikhs And The Five “K’s” Important In Their Culture
Think Sikh and an image of Akshay Kumar dancing to Singh is King will flash before your eyes. More recently, Farhan Akhtar played the Flying Sikh Milkha Singh and immortalised the ace Indian athlete on celluloid. Happy men dancing in a turban at an Indian wedding might be a popular sight, but the Sikh community is steeped in culture and tradition. Their turban, gleaming kada, hair in a topknot are not only characteristics of their appearances but also symbols or their ancient culture. The five K’s of Sikhism, also called the Panj Kakaars (since in Punjabi, Panj means five and Kakaar stands for the Punjabi letter K.) Read on to know more about the 5 commandments of Sikhism.
Kesh: Every Sikhs is expected to grow his hair and beard and not cut it, since it is God’s gift and must be treasured. He is also supposed to wear a turban over it, which is considered as the crown of spirituality. According to Sikhism, cutting hair is a Kurehat, i.e. taboo.
Kara: If you thought that the steel bracelet on a Sikh’s wrist was a fashion accessory, think again. Kara, or steel bracelet is worn as a symbol of a Sikh’s loyalty and bondage to God. It reminds him that he is God’s servant and must work towards living a sincere and pure life, devoid of attachments. The circle shape is a mark of unity and perpetuity, since it has no beginning or end. It symbolises oneness with God and with the rest of the Sikh community. It also stands for God’s infinity and perpetuity.
Kachhera: Kachhera, or cotton shorts, emphasise purity and modesty. A Sikh is supposed to have immense control over his desires and passions and must always be alert and ready, like a soldier.
Kanga: A Sikh has to carry a Kanga or wooden comb with him at all times, since it is a mark of discipline and cleanliness. He is supposed to wash his hair in the morning daily, comb it and tie it up in a topknot, in which the Kanga is placed.
Kirpan: Kirpan is the small sword carried by Sikhs as a sign of being a soldier of Akal Purakh de Fauj, meaning God’s army. It is used for self-defence and protection of the weak and is also a reminder of a Sikh’s commitment to fight against his own weaknesses and fallacies.