From Margins to Mainstream: The Rise of Sikhism in the United States

by Antariksh Singh

Sikhism is fast becoming an integral part of the fabric of the United States, and the recent decision by Virginia to include information about the Sikh faith in its school curriculum is a significant step forward. The inclusion of Sikhism in the school syllabus will help educate students about the Sikh community, their practices, and traditions, ultimately leading to a better understanding and acceptance of this religion.

The Sikh Coalition, a US-based organization, has been working tirelessly to promote the inclusion of Sikhism in the school curriculum. The organization has rightly pointed out that inclusive and accurate standards are essential to combat bigotry, reduce bullying and increase cultural competency for all students. With over a million students in Virginia now learning about Sikhism, the impact of this decision cannot be overstated.

The inclusion of Sikhism in the school syllabus will help the Sikh community in the United States fight harassment, bullying, and discrimination. Sikhs have been the victims of hate crimes in the United States, often due to ignorance and a lack of understanding about their religion. By educating students about the Sikh community, we can combat bigotry and hate, leading to a more tolerant and accepting society.

Furthermore, the inclusion of Sikhism in the school syllabus will benefit not just the Sikh community but all groups whose histories should be taught accurately. The Sikh Coalition has rightly stated that many communities are still not represented as they should be, and they will continue to fight for the inclusion of all groups in the school curriculum. This fight for inclusivity will lead to a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the diversity that makes up the United States.

Sikhism is the fifth-largest religion in the world, with over 30 million followers. The Sikh community has made significant contributions to the United States, from serving in the military to running successful businesses. Despite their contributions, Sikhs have often been the victims of discrimination and hate crimes. The inclusion of Sikhism in the school syllabus is a significant step towards creating a more inclusive and accepting society.

In addition to Virginia, Utah and Mississippi have also included information about Sikhism in their social studies syllabi, making them the 15th and 16th states to do so, respectively. With more states expected to follow Virginia’s lead, the Sikh community is optimistic about the future. This trend of inclusivity is vital for the Sikh diaspora, as it provides a sense of belonging and validation, ultimately leading to a more positive and productive community.

Antariksh Singh

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