In my travels to Canada and Europe, I have occasionally seen men wearing turbans. To me, they were strange and very foreign. I have never taken the time to understand who they are.
Our tour guide took us to a Sikh temple. Sikhism is the fifth largest religion in the world with 25 million followers, most of them living in India. It was founded in 15th century as a monotheistic religion that rejected the Hindu caste system and dedicated itself to the principles of unity, equality, and social justice. The men of this faith never cut their hair and wrapping it, cover it with turbans.
What really impressed me was that the temple was also a “soup” kitchen.
Everyday Sikh volunteers feed anyone who needs food. Even our tour group was invited to join in the meal. This temple feeds hundreds of people each day.
Sikhs do not evangelize or try to convert people to their religion. The foundation of their doctrine is to do good deeds in the form of helping the needy and serving the community.
I understand now. Next time I see a Sikh in a turban, I won’t stare. Instead I will hope for the opportunity to tell that man that I’ve been to India and that I respect his religion very much.