Letter to the Editor

Understanding Sikhs

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Dear Pranhujeet Singh

Thank you so much for your help in understanding Sikhs. I cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed my visit here. The hospitality and generosity we have received are overwhelming.

Access to the Internet while traveling in rural India has been almost impossible.

I have been lucky to find 5 minutes a week online. For this reason I can only write about what I see and am told personally, rather than researching stories online.

I apologize for misspelling the name of the 10th guru. I take comfort in the fact that even the name of the prophet Muhammed has several spelling differentiations. Regarding the turban and facial hair, again, I only wrote what the Sikhs here in Punjab have explained to me.

One discription that was given is that Hinduism is a tree, with roots almost 3000 years back, and Sikhism and other religions have branched from this tree.

Islam and Christianity, of course, are different trees, but Sikhism and Hinduism have the same roots. Sikhs, in fact, were the warriors that kept Hinduism from being wiped out by invading forces.

I wish I could write more, but my five minutes this week is up, and I haven't even written my family.

Thank you so much for your interest, and I would love to talk to you when I return.

Jeff Tidyman


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