Sikhism is the fifth largest world faith. There are greater than 500,000 Sikhs in the USA. And within the higher Milwaukee space, there are two most important locations of worship.
However how a lot do native non-Sikhs find out about it? Again in 2014, the National Sikh Campaign had a survey during which 60% of People stated they know nothing in any respect about Sikhs.
A brand new assortment of books concerning the faith and its tradition is bridging communities and educating the general public.
Library Director Jill Lininger is standing in entrance of the Sikh ebook assortment within the Oak Creek library. Fluorescent lights illuminate a number of cabinets displaying about 120 books and flicks.
There are espresso desk books on Sikh artwork, holy scriptures, historical past books and documentaries.
She factors out her favourite ebook within the assortment. “So this ebook is named Ajeet Singh: The Invincible Lion. And it has a younger boy, I am gonna guess he is most likely six or seven years outdated. And he’s making the muscle pose together with his arms above his head exhibiting off how robust he’s.”
It’s a narrative written in English and Punjabi a couple of boy’s overcome bullying at college.
The gathering was made accessible to the general public in April. Lininger says it’s a seamless effort to teach locals about Sikhs for the reason that Oak Creek Sikh Temple shooting in 2012.
“I feel that what’s most important about what we now have right here is to start out with, it is loads of books about Sikhism for non-Sikhs,” says Lininger. “And so it permits the neighborhood to begin to be taught concerning the range in our neighborhood and study what Sikhism is as a faith and as a tradition.
An official on the Oak Creek temple, Kulwant Singh Dhaliwal, says after the capturing, a whole bunch of individuals visited the temple to be taught extra about Sikhism. He says the library’s assortment is one other useful resource for non-Sikhs to raised perceive the faith.
“We attempt to put in books which might be quite simple, quick and concise that give the factual data with none sort of controversial topics in it to introduce to the individuals who Sikhs actually are, what their actual values are,” he says.
Dhaliwal says Sikhs are led to stay a peaceable life with out battle and arguments. Sikhs apply three core beliefs: truthful dwelling, devotion to God and repair to humanity.
He explains the beliefs of their unique Punjabi: “Kirit Karo, that means are you dwelling by sincere means; naam japna which suggests worship God; and vand chakko, and share what you’ve gotten with the needy — the three tenets. The essence of Sikhism.”
Sikhs put on turbans to signify their religion. They usually let their hair and beards develop lengthy. Dhaliwal says individuals typically ask about it. “They may say what does this hair, your beard imply? What does your turban imply? Do you’ve gotten any totally different colours? Do they imply something in any respect?”
Dhaliwal says Sikhs consider hair is a present from God. They let it develop naturally out of respect, masking it with a turban. He says Sikhs in America are sometimes misidentified for being Muslim or from the Center East. In line with the Sikh Coalition, 99% of individuals in America sporting turbans are Sikhs.
As library goer Jason Bernard stops by the featured assortment, he says he’s heard about violence in opposition to Sikhs and understands Sikhism to be a peaceable faith.
“It is fascinating to study totally different individuals,” notes Bernard. “There’s at all times one thing to study. I feel each tradition has one thing worthwhile to contribute.”
Dhaliwal says along with utilizing the gathering on the Oak Creek library, the neighborhood is welcome to be taught extra about Sikhism on the Oak Creek temple.
“I’d encourage individuals to come back, at the least in the local people within the Milwaukee space, in the event that they wish to find out about Sikhism,” says Dhaliwal. “That is the place they arrive to, to the Oak Creek Public Library. They usually can get data they usually can at all times come to our temple. There’s at all times as a gaggle or as a person, we shall be completely satisfied to speak to them and clarify to them about our faith or some other questions they’ve.”
Lininger says the library is increasing the gathering with extra grownup fiction and youngsters’s books.
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