Wondering Why?

Why do Sikhs grow their hair?

Sikhs refer to people who follow Sikhism, one of the world’s largest religions.  Sikhism mainly focuses on living a life that is considered truthful.  Teachings are based on the Holy Scriptures according to Guru Granth and ten other gurus.  Most Sikhs reside in a region in the northern part of India but there are also other Sikhs who live and work in other countries around the world including the US.  Sikhs are also known to grow their hair long including the men.  With this kind of look and tradition, many people have often wondered why this is so.  Sikhs basically don’t cut their hair because of their own religion.  The hair is very sacred for Sikhs and it is part of their teachings that they should grow their hair long.

For Sikhs, growing one’s hair long is referred to as “Kesh” and it is a religious tradition that has been passed on from previous generations.  The hair is said to be a symbol of respect to God and this is why they don’t have it cut.  Instead, the hair is allowed to grow long naturally and tied into knot.  In most cases, the tied long hair may need a Kanga to hold it in place and this piece will then be covered by a long cloth called a turban.  The hair or “kesh” is one of the “5 k’s” or external symbols that were taught to Sikhs by Guru Gobind Singh.  Growing the hair long is basically part of being Sikh and it symbolizes one’s respect for his/her own church and to God.

Long hair among Sikhs also represents the person’s devotion to God.  As explained by Guru Gobind Singh, the use of razors or shaving off hair is tantamount to committing a sin.  Some followers were even persecuted just because of their long hair.  There were also Sikhs in the past that had given up their lives in exchange for cutting their hair short.  Cases like this bring out the importance of growing their hair long among Sikhs.


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