Tourists learn Sikh culture, turban-tying at Penang gurdwara – Report

Som 20 visitors joined the Penang heritage site excursions organised under the George Town Heritage Celebrations 2019

Kirpal Singh showing how the chakar is embedded into the Sikh turban during war – Photo: Screengrab from StarTV

Getting to know the Sikh culture was an enriching experience for American tourist Jaime Patriarca and her French partner Solal Borderave.

Patriarca, 27, said she was fascinated by the details that went into turban-tying for Sikh men.

“I did not know that the cloth used is a very long piece. And that it requires skill to secure it well on the head,” she said during a visit to Wadda Gurdwara Sahib in Jalan Gurdwara in George Town yesterday (8 July 2019).

She was also intrigued by the different reasons behind the practice of turban-tying, and the way pray­ers were offered by the community.

Patriarca and Borderave were among the 20 visitors who joined the tour, which was part of the heritage site excursions organised under the George Town Heritage Celebrations 2019.

Tour volunteer-cum-Universiti Sains Malaysia post-doctoral resear­cher Dr Karpal Singh said the tour was a good way to preserve traditions.

“Excursions such as these help people understand different cultures and faiths better,” he said.
Karpal cited the example of the turban-tying ceremony.

“Turban-tying is basically regarded as a coming-of-age ritual for Sikh boys aged between eight and 16.

“It is first done in the presence of the community at the gurdwara. The cloth is essentially 3m to 5m in length,” he said while demonstrating how to tie a turban.

See original report, Tourists learn Sikh culture, turban-tying, and an accompanying video (The Star, 9 July 2019), here.



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