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Sikhism

Sat Sri Akaal - Welcome to the webpage on Sikhism.

Local Place of Worship:

Sri Guru Nanak Gurdwara,
Dundee1-3 Nelson Street, Dundee, DD1 2PN.
Tel: 01382 223 383
(approx. 25 minute bus journey from the University)

Services:

  • Programmes every Sunday from 10am to 6pm
  • Days of relevance of the respected Guru's are observed 
  • Punjabi School classes
  • Langar (a vegetarian meal provided) from 12pm to 4pm

Images below University of St Andrews staff and students at their religious/cultural events, E&D Officer with Sikh Gurdwara Committee and Giyani (head priest):

Sikh Committee and Giyani    

University of St Andrews Sikh Post-grad student Sikh
student from Chandigargh, India with the Giyani:

Sikh Student Gurdwara     

The Sri Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh Holy Book) within the Gurdwara: 

Sikh Holy Book

Inclusion points:

Curriculum & Student Provision Specific Issues:
Source: HEA Faith Guides for HE: A Guide to Sikhism
 
Dress -
For many Sikhs there are no dress-related issues which call for particular attention.  There needs to be more general awareness or the five Ks and the turban.  This will affect their decisions about participating in certain sports and swimming.  Many Sikhs who do not share the same degree of religious commitment will wear a Kara as an identifying symbol.  In some cases these are narrow steel ‘bangles’, but in others they are heavy and conspicuous.  Increasingly, Sikh men are covering their hair with a cloth, tied at the back of the neck, rather than with a full turban.
 
Racism in the USA -
In addition to the racism (overt or otherwise) experienced by members of other minorities, male Sikhs with turbans and beards have become more vulnerable to abuse since 11 September 2001.  In the US many Sikhs (approximately 300 at the time of writing) had been attacked on the assumption that they were Muslims and sympathetic to al-Qaeda or the Taliban.

Protection for Sikhs in Scotland -
In Scotland Sikhs are covered as an ethnic community in the UK by Race Relations legislation (in addition to being protected as a faith in the Equality Act (2010) - Religion or Belief). Download: Guidance on Sikh articles of faith Scotland (PDF, 852 KB) 
 
Use of Language -
Sikhs are especially hurt to hear the Kirpan referred to as a ‘dagger’, as this carries overtones of violent aggression and stealth. By contrast with these negative connotations, the Kirpan is honoured and the word is close to the word for God’s grace.
 
International Students -
Students from India would benefit from receiving a list of local shops that sell Indian products.  They and other Sikh students need to be informed of local Gurdwara addresses—it would be helpful if these could be provided through a link on the university website to ‘places of worship’.
 
Both UK and international students will wish to participate in worship and the social aspect of Sikh life in a Gurdwara.  For students from India this provides an especially welcome opportunity to connect with aspects of their home environment.
 
Counselling Service -
Sikh students sometimes make use of the university’s counselling service.  University counsellors need to be aware of cross-cultural issues.  In some cases a Sikh student will prefer to speak to a counsellor who is not from an Asian background, eg because of fears of being judged for perceived misdemeanours or sexual orientation or anxieties about confidences seeping into his or her home community.  At the same time Sikh students may well prefer to have the option of speaking to a counsellor from a Sikh, or at least a South Asian, family.

Additional guidance:

Higher Education Academy Guide to Sikhism -overview and examples of adjustments specific to staff/students in HE:
HEA Guide to Sikhism (PDF, 1,395 KB)     

Chaplaincy guidance from the Scottish Inter Faith CouncilSikhism

Equality & Human Rights Commission 'Sikh articles of Faith' guidance supported by Scottish GovernmentEHRC Scot Gov Sikh Faith guidance Mar 2011 (PDF, 852 KB)

 

Contact

Human Resources

University of St Andrews
The Old Burgh School

Abbey Walk
St Andrews
Fife
KY16 9LB
Scotland, United Kingdom

Tel: +44(0)1334 463096